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Leicester City 10/11 Opponents – Preview 2

This is part 2 of my Npower Championship preview feature; I have already conjured up my thoughts on Barnsley, Bristol City, Burnley and Cardiff. In Part 2 though I will concentrate on four more team’s these being Crystal Palace, Doncaster and Leicester’s rivals Coventry City and Derby County…

Coventry – Aidy Boothroyd is ready to manage Coventry City as the former Watford manager will look to bring success to the midlands club. There are high expectations on Boothroyd as he has brought in seven new faces, including Roy O’Donovan, former Villa defender Stephen O’Halloran and returnees Lee Carsley and Gary McSheffrey. The squad is good on numbers and there will be a lot of competition for places at the Ricoh Arena, however even though the spine looks fairly resilient the defence still doesn’t look up to scratch. The first team defenders are inexperienced and that could tell it’s toll later on in the season, when Coventry face the likes of Middlesbrough, Burnley and Cardiff. On the other hand the midfield looks very decent aswell as the strikeforce, overall Aidy Boothroyd has strengthened well and to be honest Coventry City could well be the surprise package of this season’s Npower Championship. Prediction – 12th 

Crystal Palace – Like Coventry, Crystal Palace will also be under new management this season, as the experienced George Burley takes to the Selhurst Park hotseat. The London club managed to save themselves from relegation on the last day of the 09/10 season, as they suffered a point’s deduction earlier in the campaign. The “Eagles” will look to start a fresh under the reigns of Burley, as the former Scotland coach managed to persuade goalscoring midfielder Darren Ambrose to sign a new contract. Key players like Julien Speroni and Nathaniel Clyne are still at the club, while the manager has boosted his side with new signings such as Andy Dorman and Adam Barrett. On a negative note the squad lacks depth and Burley will have to rely on a number of youngsters, overall Palace could well find themselves in a spot of bother this season as the squad is very thin especially in the attacking roles. Prediction – 18th  


Derby County – Leicester’s rivals Derby County could well be set for another mediocre season, as Nigel Clough hasn’t really strengthened in key areas. Tomasz Cywka and David Martin decided to opt upon a permanent deal but other than that, Clough has only brought in two Crewe Alexandra youngsters. The defence looks about the best position as captain Shaun Barker still remains in the heart of the defence, while the fans will be hoping Miles Addison is fully fit for the start of the season. On the other hand Rob Hulse could still switch forces, as there has been plenty of transfer talk involving the striker with a move to the Riverside Stadium. Chris Porter could well prove to be a key player for Derby County aswell as Polish striker Cywka. Overall a long and hard Championship campaign looks on the cards, even though the squad is a decent size, Clough may still need to buy players at the back end of this month. Prediction – 16th

Doncaster – Highly rated manager Sean O’Driscoll will yet again be looking to improve as Doncaster boss. The 53 year old has done a magnificent job with the Yorkshire side, as this season could be the most promising out of his four year reign. There is big expectations on new signing Billy Sharp aswell as the whole unit, but striker Sharp will be looking to fire in the goals again this season, and show that his first stint at the club wasn’t a one off, O’Driscoll has also snapped up George Friend, Josh Payne and Simon Gillett. Meanwhile the squad does lack a cutting edge especially in defence, the defenders are not the most well known and they could well find themselves being in deep trouble against the bigger opposition this season. Overall Doncaster have the players to fire them to a top ten finish, but all eyes will be on Billy Sharp, can he rematch his 2009/2010 form. Prediction – 14th 

Opinions Wanted Please

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  1. SkyBlueStan

    2 August, 2010 at 18:51

    How can you say we have inexperienced defenders? I wouldn’t call the likes of Stephen O’Halloran, James McPake, and Richard Wood inexperienced. We also have a number of younger defenders more than capable of holding their own in this division. But I suppose the proof will be at the end of the season. Anyway, although I hate to say it good luck to your boys and as long as they finish below us I’ll be happy. You never know we may even see each other at Wembley play-offs!!!

  2. gavh

    2 August, 2010 at 21:21

    Thanks for the comment, it’s the age that those players are which makes them inexperienced. Not just my preview but I have found that the likes of Sky Sports, even question your defensive quality. The likes of O’Halloran, Hussey and Keogh are under the age of 23, Wood is experienced but even though McPake is 26 he has little experience in the Championship as he only joined Coventry last year. However any team with Lee Carsley in it will do potentially well, I have listed Coventry to finish in 12th, but you could well expect a better finish than that as I rate Aidy Boothroyd highly, even though he doesn’t play the most attractive football in the world.

  3. essexeagle22

    7 August, 2010 at 19:56

    Hello, palace fan here in peace
    I dont disagree with what you have predicted for us (perhaps the final league position if we play like we did 1st half), im just here for some friendly banter 😀
    Probably fair to say it was a game of two halves and how you would have loved another 10 minutes at us but we blew you away in the first 45 🙂
    so im only commenting to remind you of the score, a lot can happen in the other 45 matches this season however so I want to enjoy this moment. Imagine me miming to you 3 fingers on one hand and two on the other 😉
    best of luck for the rest of the season and I welcome the banter in the reverse fixture!

  4. gavh

    7 August, 2010 at 22:43

    The Defence was lacklustre in the first half essexeagle, against Sunderland especially Michael Morrison who had a terrific 09/10 season looked all over the place. He let so many long balls go over his head in pre-season, and today he did the same as Zaha scored your first goal.

    Sousa still doesn’t know his proper starting 11 yet, but on today’s performance Richie Wellens and Steve Howard both need to start. Some fresh faces will probably come in, mostly in the backline. Overall though very happy with the second half performance, but first half was 45 minutes to forget. Only the first game of the season, just look what Bristol City and Middlesbrough did today, that tells you that this league will be ever so tough.

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