Npower Championship: Predictions for 2012/13


Can Cardiff finally shrug off the shackles that have held them back at pivotal moments in recent years? This author thinks yes. Having suffered playoff heartbreak in the past two seasons, and the controversial decision from the clubs new owners to change their club colours from blue to red, Cardiff scraped to a 1-0 victory over Huddersfield on the opening day of the season. The best is sure to come. The new owners have been quick to stamp their mark, sanctioning the signings of Jordan Mutch from Birmingham, Filip Kiss from Slovan Bratislava, and Kim Bo-Kyung from Cerezo Osaka for a reported £2 million. Yet the one signing the fans wanted was Craig Bellamy, and the Welshman arrived, having spent a successful loan spell at the club last season. With these new arrivals, and only fringe players leaving, this could yet be Cardiff€™s most successful season, and may see them ending the season as the second Welsh club to take their place amongst the elite of English football. Prediction: 3rd (Promotion)

Charlton Athletic

One of the newly promoted teams, Athletic ended last season top of the pile in League 1 and should be full of confidence heading into the upcoming season, yet may struggle to stay in the division having largely kept faith in the players from the previous seasons successful campaign. They will certainly start as one of the relegation favourites, and their survival may come down to how they perform against the teams who may also struggle. Prediction: 21st Crystal Palace Another team that may struggle this season, but for different reasons. Pre-season has seen a lot of promising young players, and also seasoned professionals leave Selhurst Park. Amongst these have been highly rated full-back Nathaniel Clyne, Winger Sean Scannell, and the hit and miss Darren Ambrose. A 16th position finish last time round may struggle to be improved upon. Prediction: 17th

Derby County

Not much strengthening has occurred for Derby County over the summer, and this could lead to stagnation. A promotion bid may be off the cards this time around, and another frustrating season of mid table may be in store for the Rams. Prediction: 16th

Huddersfield Town

Another of the promoted sides, who have strengthened and built upon their success of last season. Although it not be a season of the play-offs or Wembley this time around, they can certainly form a basis for a push towards one next time around. If the prolific Jordan Rhodes hits his straps then defenders are certainly in for a torrid time against this Terrier. Adding the midfielder Oliver Norwood from Manchester United, and the experience of Keith Southern and Anthony Gerrard from Blackpool and Cardiff, will only aid their cause and this should be a successful if not unimaginative campaign. Prediction: 20th
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Joseph is an accredited football journalist and has interviewed nearly all of the current 20 Barclay's Premier League managers. He is also a correspondent for Bleacher Report and has written for Caught Offside and Give Me Football.