Wel­come back to the mad­house!

The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

WE’VE had our sum­mer break, we’ve recharged our bat­ter­ies – and we’re ea­ger to get stuck into what prom­ises to be an ex­cit­ing sea­son.

There is no doubt that the Cham­pi­onship is in­creas­ing in pro­file and pres­tige with ev­ery pass­ing sea­son. And you only have to look at the size of the clubs in it this sea­son to see that there will be plenty of heavy­weight clashes.

As­ton Villa have cap­tured Chelsea leg­end John Terry, while Mid­dles­brough and Wolves have bro­ken the bank to sign striker Britt As­som­ba­longa and mid­fielder Ruben Neves re­spec­tively.

Villa and Boro are highly favoured to come out on top, but the likes of Ful­ham, Nor­wich and Sh­effield Wed­nes­day, to name just a few, aren’t go­ing to make it easy for them.

In League One, Black­burn Rovers and Wi­gan will be ea­ger to bounce back to the Cham­pi­onship at the first time of ask­ing, while Portsmouth will be keen to press on again af­ter win­ning League Two last term.

Steve Evans will be de­ter­mined to guide Mans­field to glory in the fourth tier, while the likes of Lu­ton, Coven­try and Swin­don will be out to stop them. And what of EFL new­com­ers Lin­coln City and For­est Green Rovers? Don’t ex­pect them to just make up the num­bers.

Other de­vel­op­ments? There will be goalline tech­nol­ogy – long over­due – in the Cham­pi­onship, the ABBA penalty for­mat (see p43) will be tri­alled in EFL com­pe­ti­tions and the League Cup has be­come the Carabao Cup.

Whether your team got off to a dream start this week­end or fell flat on their face, it’s wise to keep a cool head. Af­ter all, New­cas­tle lost their open­ing two Cham­pi­onship games last term but went on to win the ti­tle in dra­matic style.

The main thing is that foot­ball’s back, so stick with us on your club’s road to glory – or glo­ri­ous fail­ure…

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