Championship Preview (E-N)

Image: Skysports.com previews the 2010/11 npower Championship season

Check out how your club will fare this season via our exhaustive guide to the Championship.

Hull City


Manager: Nigel Pearson. Enjoyed considerable success during his time at Leicester, leading the Foxes to promotion out of League One and into the Championship play-offs. The challenge of trying to get Hull City back into the big time proved too good to turn down this summer and he will be looking to further his growing reputation.
Key man: Paul McShane. A dependable centre-half who did not look out of place in the Premier League during the Tigers' two-year adventure in the top flight. He should enjoy a quieter campaign this year than he did last and will also be hoping to play a leading role for Republic of Ireland in their Euro 2012 qualification campaign. Position last season: 19th (relegated from the Premier League) Players in: James Harper (unattached), Nolberto Solano (undisclosed, Leicester City) Players out: Dean Marney (undisclosed, Burnley), Steven Mouyokolo (undisclosed, Wolverhampton Wanderers), Stephen Hunt (undisclosed, Wolverhampton Wanderers), Bernard Mendy, Yann Ekra, Nathan Hanley, Ryan Kendall, John Leonard, Darragh Satelle (all released), Boaz Myhill (£1.5m, West Bromwich Albion) Our view:: Play-off push is possible. Prediction: 4th Sky Bet odds: 16/1

Ipswich Town


Manager: Roy Keane. About to enter his second full season in charge of the Tractor Boys and knows he needs to start delivering results. Arrived with a big reputation but has been unable to turn Ipswich into anything other than Championship also-rans.
Key man: Connor Wickham. One of English football's most promising talents, Wickham has already drawn admiring glances from the Premier League heavyweights. It remains to be seen how long he will stick around at Portman Road, but he is likely to enhance his reputation in 2010/11. Position last season: 15th Players in: Conor Hourihane (undisclosed, Sunderland), Mark Kennedy (free, Cardiff City) Players out: Ed Upson (free, Yeovil Town), David Wright (free, Crystal Palace), Richard Wright (released), Pim Balkestein (released), Liam Trotter (free, Millwall), Kevin Lisbie (loan, Millwall) Our view:: Appear to have stood still. Prediction: 15th Sky Bet odds: 14/1

Leeds United


Manager: Simon Grayson. Finally managed to drag Leeds out of League One last season and must now handle the added weight of expectation hung around his shoulders. Consolidation should be the target for a man who has prior experience of life at this level from his time with Blackpool.
Key man: Patrick Kisnorbo. Injury prevented the Australia international from gracing this summer's World Cup finals, but he is making promising progress in his recovery from a ruptured tendon and is expected to be back in action before the turn of the year. A commanding presence at the heart of the back four, Kisnorbo was named Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year last season - his first at Elland Road. Position last season: 2nd (promoted from League One) Players in: Kasper Schmeichel (free, Notts County), Billy Paynter (free, Swindon Town), Paul Connolly (free, Derby County), Federico Bessone (free, Swansea City), Neill Collins (undisclosed, Preston North End), Lloyd Sam (free, Charlton) Players out: Jermaine Beckford (free, Everton), Tom Elliott (loan, Rotherham United), Casper Ankergren, Rui Marques, Andrew Milne (all released) Our view:: Will miss Beckford's goals but should be alright. Prediction: 19th Sky Bet odds: 14/1

Leicester City


Manager: Paulo Sousa. Not one to stand still for long, Sousa is set to take charge of his third Championship club in as many seasons in 2010/11. Having made a name for himself at Queens Park Rangers and Swansea, the Portuguese coach will be looking to build on the solid foundations put in place by Nigel Pearson at the Walkers Stadium.
Key man: Matty Fryatt. Injury curtailed his progress last season, just as he was looking good, so Fryatt will be straining at the leash this year. A proven goal-getter in the Football League, the 24-year-old is tipped to reach the very top. Position last season: 5th Players in: Tom Kennedy (free, Rochdale), Miguel Vitor (loan, Benfica) Players out: Billy Kee (free, Torquay United), James Wesolowski (undisclosed, Peterborough United), Wayne Brown (free, Preston North End), Nolberto Solano (undisclosed, Hull City), Yann Kermorgant (loan, Arles-Avignon), Astrit Ajdarevic, Robbie Burns, Carl Pentney, Levi Porter (all released), Stephen Clemence (retired), Harry Worley (free, Oxford United) Our view:: Capable of making the end of season shake-up. Prediction: 5th Sky Bet odds: 12/1

Middlesbrough


Manager: Gordon Strachan. The Scot will be expected to stamp his authority on the Boro side this season, having taken charge midway through the 2009/10 campaign. His activity in the transfer market this summer suggests he means business and failure will no longer be tolerated on Teesside.
Key man: Kris Boyd. Boro pulled off quite a coup when they persuaded Scotland international Boyd to join the Riverside Stadium ranks. The top goalscorer in SPL history, the burly frontman has been brought in to add much-needed firepower to Strachan's side. Position last season: 11th Players in: Andrew Halliday (undisclosed, Livingston), Kris Boyd (free, Rangers), Nicky Bailey (£1.4m, Charlton Athletic), Stephen McManus (£1.5m, Celtic), Kevin Thomson (£2m, Rangers) Players out: Emmanuel Pogatetz (free, Hannover 96), John Johnson (undisclosed, Northampton Town) Our view:: Anything less than the title would be a disappointment. Prediction: 1st Sky Bet odds: 13/2

Millwall


Manager: Kenny Jackett. Wrote his own chapter in the colourful history of Millwall Football Club last season as he guided the club back into the second tier. Keeping them there will test Jackett's managerial capabilities to the full.
Key man: Steve Morison. Took a while to find his feet with the Lions, but once he did there was no stopping him. Millwall's promotion surge was based largely on Morison's goals and he will want to prove that he is capable of cutting it in this company. Position last season: 3rd (League One play-off winners) Players in: Shaun Batt (undisclosed, Peterborough United), Tamika Mkandawire (free, Leyton Orient), Steve Mildenhall (free, Southend United), Liam Trotter (free, Ipswich Town), James Henry (undisclosed, Reading), Kevin Lisbie (loan, Ipswich Town) Players out: Dave Martin (undisclosed, Derby County), Jason Price (free, Carlisle United), Ali Fuseini (released), Adam Bolder (free, Burton Albion), John Sullivan (loan, Yeovil Town) Our view:: Fighting spirit should see them safe - just. Prediction: 21st Sky Bet odds: 25/1

Norwich City


Manager: Paul Lambert. Did not disappoint when charged with the task of turning Norwich's fortunes around and led the Canaries to the League One title at a canter. Another of the up and coming British managers currently making a name for themselves in the Football League.
Key man: Wes Hoolahan. Grant Holt may be the Canaries' top marksman, but it is Hoolahan who really makes them tick. An attacking midfielder who has already been recognised by the Republic of Ireland at international level, he will provide the attacking spark for Lambert's men. Position last season: 1st (promoted from League One) Players in: David Fox (undisclosed, Colchester United), Andrew Crofts (undisclosed, Brighton & Hove Albion), Elliott Ward (free, Coventry City), Steven Smith (free, Rangers), Andrew Surman (undisclosed, Wolverhampton Wanderers), John Ruddy (undisclosed, Everton), Simeon Jackson (undisclosed, Gillingham) Players out: Danny Kelly (free, Barnet), Michael Spillane (undisclosed, Brentford), David Stephens (free, Hibernian), Gary Doherty (free, Charlton Athletic), Jamie Cureton, Paul McVeigh, Darel Russell (all released), Tom Adeyemi (loan, Bradford City), Cody McDonald (loan, Gillingham), Damon Lathrope (free, Torquay United), Rhoys Wiggins (undisclosed, Bournemouth) Our view:: Should safely avoid a basement battle. Prediction: 16th Sky Bet odds: 14/1

Nottingham Forest


Manager: Billy Davies. Has often vented his frustration at having his hands tied by the board, but remains the ideal candidate to take Forest forward. Is tried and tested in the Championship and will be determined to return the Reds to the Premier League - where they believe they belong.
Key man: Paul McKenna. Not the most flamboyant midfielder in the world, but a player of undisputed importance to Forest. The club captain leads by example, helping to keep things tight in the middle of the park and allowing those around him to express themselves. Position last season: 3rd Players in: Radoslaw Majewski (£1m, Polonia Warsaw) Players out: James Perch (undisclosed, Newcastle United), Mark Byrne (loan, Barnet), Joe Garner (loan, Huddersfield Town) Our view:: Could be the year Forest return to the top flight. Prediction: 2nd Sky Bet odds: 8/1

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