2013/14 predictions from 1FITG

Pre-season comes to a welcome end this evening as the first Football League fixture opens up another 10 months of glorious action. And what a season it looks like on the face of it. The top of the Premiership hasn’t looked this unpredictable in years, which is mirrored in each of three divisions below.

Ever keen to stick our collective neck on the line, we’re hoping to accurately predict some of the stories for the season ahead. Last year we successfully predicted Andy Thorn to be the first boss to lose his job – while one of our bloggers bizarrely suggested it was going to be an awful year for Swansea….

1. The Champions question: who will win the Premiership, Championship, League 1 and League 2

@rktweets: Chelsea. Jose comes back with a more mellowed demeanor (for now) and brings the title back. City a close second if not pushing for top spot. So really I’m saying Chelsea or City. Or Spurs (not Spurs).

I like the look of Brighton and intrigued what their tikka takka manager will bring. But Wigan for the title… QPR may be down to the bare bones but they could challenge too

James Albion: Chelsea, Watford, Peterborough, Scunthorpe

@josephclift
: Chelsea, Watford, Peterborough, Portsmouth

Dan Northcote-Smith (@dnsandnick)
: Man City, Wigan, Sheffield United, Fleetwood

Nick Moss (@dnsandnick)
: Chelsea, QPR, Peterborough (have to I’m afraid, place of birth), Fleetwood (heart over head this one but love the story)

2. The Ron Atkinson question: who will be the first manager to be sacked in the top four divisions?

@rktweets: Paul Ince (Blackpool)

James Albion
: Harry Redknapp (QPR). Relegation rarely stops the rot and I’m not sure Harry’s got the energy to turn the club round. With Steve McClaren recently joining the QPR coaching team, Redknapp may find his successor has already been recruited.

@josephclift: Nigel Pearson (Leicester City). Pearson’s been on a steady decline since January and simply hasn’t delivered despite being backed with funding. Their lack of activity in the transfer market this summer does not bode well.

Dan Northcote-Smith (@dnsandnick): Gary Bowyer (Blackburn Rovers)

Nick Moss (@dnsandnick): Not sure why but I think that Paul Ince is a bit lively in the boardroom and could well walk/be pushed. Avoiding the customary Blackburn manager answer.

3. The Guy Whittingham question: who will be the top scorer out of the top four divisions?

@rktweets: The boy Rhodes, or if he stays Doyle at Wolves.

James Albion: I expect Matt Tubbs to return to prolific form now he’s been reunited with former manager Steve Evans at Rotherham.

@josephclift: Fresh from his cracking season at Easter Road, I can see Leigh Griffiths setting League 1 alight at Wolves.

Dan Northcote-Smith (@dnsandnick): Charlie Austin

Nick Moss (@dnsandnick): I’ll plump for Jordan Rhodes again. Honourable mention for big Grant Holt. Failing that, a sensational season for Gary Hooper would be a joy to see… Honest.

4. The Marco Boogers question: which new signing will completely flop?

@rktweets: Arsenal’s Higuain. Oh wait. Despite every media (especially goal) pretty much announcing he signed, he never did. Really, Vito Mannone at Sunderland, Helanius at Villa and maybe Van Wolfswinkle.

James Albion: Dave Kitson. Looked ready for the glue factory when I saw him for Sheffield United last season. Has continued his descent down the leagues by signing for League 2’s Oxford. I don’t expect many goals.

@josephclift: Charlie Austin. Had a quite brilliant season at Burnley, with no expectations, before picking up a bad injury. He failed a medical as a result that ended hopes of a move to Hull. He’s now expected to deliver what Hooper would have done at QPR, where they are expected to be promoted – I can’t see him reproducing the form he had at Turf Moor.

Dan Northcote-Smith (@dnsandnick): Danny Graham – could be another goalless season.

Nick Moss (@dnsandnick): I’m gonna bend the rules here and say that Arsenal’s signing of Absolutely No-one may not turn out to be the hard hitting presence on the field they hoped for.

5. The Titanic question: which club is going to have a nightmarish disaster of a season?

@rktweets: I don’t like the shape of Sheffield United. Wonder how Stoke will do and Norwich rode their luck at the end. I don’t see a QPR of slides though this season. Pompey are supposed to win the league…not sure about that.

James Albion: Assuming they even start the season, Coventry look doomed to another awful season courtesy of their ongoing off-field problems.

@josephclift: It’s already happening at Coventry sadly, but I reckon the wheels will ultimately come off the Di Canio roller-coaster at Sunderland.

Dan Northcote-Smith (@dnsandnick): Coventry – they are already.

Nick Moss (@dnsandnick): It’s just looking worse and worse for Coventry.

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