QUEENS PARK RANGERS
I fear for QPR. Off-the-field, they've decided to strip back their on-field outlay. Their squad is now built very British and very cheap. In some ways it's good and lazily compare to the 'moneyball' approach but when Ian Holloway is in charge, it's just worrying. Club legend and all that but he'll take them down of they don't get rid and, financially, they won't be getting rid. 2 signings this summer, 1 for the first team, QPR clearly weren't good enough last season and I see no reason why they'll not be worse.
A rigid but effective playing style achieved Reading a successful season. Defeated in the playoff final, usually that side goes onto finish Top 6 at least again. I don't see it for this team. I think their style suited last year's Championship tactical trend as it was contradictory to it and many didn't plan for the flat lines of the Royals. Pelle Clement is a wonderful signing but I'm not sure he'll flourish in their system. Kermorgant cannot be a starter again if they aim for promotion and Bodvarsson isn't good enough to displace him. They've lost their best player and replaced him with a poor goalkeeper.
The Blades were undoubtedly outstanding last season. Expansive, attacking fullbacks supporting strong, fluid midfield play finished off by a a proper goalscorer fopr the 3rd division. However, I don't feel United can play that way at a higher level. You can attempt to dominate and pass your way through teams when you're better than them but when they play their opening game against Brentford and attempt to do that, they might just get ripped apart. They'll be a lot better than a lot of sides but then get beaten by a lot of teams purely to their style. They'll stay up, build even further on their squad and playoffs next season is a shout. Not yet.
George Boyd is a good signing but he's their only addition other than the permanent capture of Jordan Rhiodes but that was done anyway. They have to go up this season otherwise that frantic spending of the last 2-3 seasons will be a worry. However, without a properly cohesive lineup, too many strikers and no further improvements, I fear they will miss out on the playoffs this year.
They are an appalling mess. Yet, they'll sneak the playoffs. Grayson is the best man for that job and that is why I think they'll sneak the playoffs. Their spine of Kone-Browning and Cattermole-N'Dong will be capable in the Championship. Grabban, McGeady and Vaughan will score lots in the Championship and someone who has gone under the radar: Wahbi Khazri. His crossing ability in this division is so suited to the league, if Grayson finds a settled XI, the Black Cats will doa lot better than expected.
Defensively, they still aren't good enough. Ruddy is 'past it', Norris is a decent signing. Batth still looks set to start, Boly is good, Ofosu-Ayeh is capable, Barry Douglas is average but takes a good freekick. Then, midfield. Ruben Neves, I just simply cannot believe it. With Diogo Jota forward alongside Helder Costa and a needed striker. However, amid those riches, Nuno Espirito Santo is not a good manager, he tends to be in charge of captulations too. Wolves aren't sustainable over 46 games, it's set up for a season that will fizzle out.