Opinion: UTMP Predict the League Table

We didn’t do too bad on the League One predictions. Dan faired better than others by naming three of the four going down (Rochdale, Bristol Rovers and Northampton Town) and getting one of the promoted teams in Peterborough. This time we decided to publish the tables instead of our usual combined league table prediction.

Conor Hamilton’s (@Glad_All_Over_) predictions:

Conor’s Predicted PositionTeam
3Sheffield United
4West Bromwich Albion
6Swansea City
8Cardiff City
9Stoke City
12Nottingham Forest
13Queens Park Rangers
14Blackburn Rovers
15Bristol City
16Luton Town
18Coventry City
19Hull City
20Birmingham City
21Huddersfield Town
23Preston North End
Conor’s Predicted Table

My three promoted teams this season are:

  1. Fulham. They have a squad full of top quality players; including a healthy mix of promotion veterans and quick, eager young players. With buying Wilson for £12M, they’re spending to add to this and have a manger with a point to prove. I expect them to win the league.
  2. Bournemouth. I really rate Scott Parker, and I think this squad still has enough talent to push on and win promotion under his leadership. 
  3. Sheffield United. I think Sheffield may struggle without Wilder’s incredible connection with the supporters, but this is still a team that finished 9th in the Premier League two years ago. I think they’ll battle through the play-offs to get back into the top flight.

The three relegated teams will be:

  1. Derby. They barely have enough players for six-a-side training, and that was before Wayne Rooney started injuring more. There is no way they are surviving this season.
  2. Preston. I’m not just saying this because I’m a Blackpool fan. I think the loss of Ben Pearson is a defensive hole, and their attackers are all past their prime. They’ll play grim football and hopefully go down for it.
  3. Peterborough. One promoted team will go straight back down and I think it is the Posh. They have a thin squad, which I think got lucky last season. A few injuries, or COVID-19 scares, and they are in real trouble.

I think Blackpool will finish 17th. Our squad is strong enough to avoid relegation, but we haven’t made the level of signings required to really push on. It feels like a stabilisation season at the moment and, after the trials of Oyston Ownership, I’m kind of okay with that?

Dan Hopwood’s (@HopwoodDan) predicts:

Dan’s Predicted PositionTeam
1Fulham (P)
2West Bromwich Albion (P)
3Sheffield United (P)
8Cardiff City
9Nottingham Forest
17Blackburn Rovers
18Hull City
19Stoke City
20Bristol City
23Preston North End
Dan Hopwood’s Predictions

Three teams for promotion:

Boring as it is, I can’t see anyone knocking the three previous premier league teams off their stool. Therefore, I have gone with a simple one, two, three of Fulham, WBA and Sheffield United. I would think that Sheffield Uniteds’ promotion push would be most at risk from the likes of QPR or Bournemouth if they make the play-offs!

Three teams for relegation:

Derby is a banker for relegation currently with the on-goings at their club. At this point it would take a miracle to steady that ship. Other teams to join are our derby rivals PNE, and Huddersfield for me.

Tom Johnson (@TJohnson93) predicts:

Tom’s Predicted PositionTeams
1Sheffield United
3West Bromwich Albion
7Stoke City
10Nottingham Forest
14Bristol City
19Preston North End
20Blackburn Rovers
23Hull City
Tom Johnson’s Predictions

Teams for Promotion:

Sheff utd have the strongest squad and an experienced manager so I’ve backed them for the title, followed by Fulham who have heavily invested in a squad full of talent and another top manager in Marco Silva. After those two, I fancy WBA to to be up there too, though I hope I’m wrong and it’s not the three who came down from the Premier League as the top three.

Teams for Relegation:

It’s no secret that Derby look set for a season of struggle – cobbling together a squad last minute, having nearly gone down last year, and with a very unproven manager is surely a recipe for disaster when you consider the strength of the other teams in the league. After that, I think off-the-field problems could catch up with both Hull and Birmingham. Neither of them have particularly good squads or managers and I think that a poor run of form could turn the fans against the players, spiralling into relegation. Peterborough, Blackburn and PNE will finish just above the drop.

Ben Whetton (@Whetton123) predicts:

Ben’s Predicted PositionTeam
2West Bromwich Albion
6Sheffield United
9Stoke City
10Nottingham Forest
18Preston North End
19 Reading
22Bristol City
23Hull City
Ben Whetton’s Predictions

Teams going up: I have Fulham to top the table. After their relatively unfortunate relegation, you could argue their squad and coaching team have upgraded since their promotion two years ago. Prior to his poor tenure at Everton, Marco Silva’s track record prior suggests he is more than capable of taking this talented squad back into the premier league at the first try. Valérien Ismaël’s appointment at WBA fills me with confidence that they can follow, with Bournemouth being my choice for the play-offs.

At the other end of the spectrum, Derby are in freefall. Unless we see a significant change in the squad between now and the end of August, there’s a very real possibility Wayne Rooney’s men are relegated by March. Whilst the other 2 spots are much harder to call, I have gone with Hull, who I believe may lack the firepower to survive in the championship, and Nigel Pearson’s Bristol City.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or on our social media channels!

Enjoying our content? Make sure you check out UTMP’s latest podcasts too!

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Published by Conor Hamilton

Northerner working in finance. Blackpool FC fan. I write about football with healthy doses of tactics, statistics and data visualizations.

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