Championship 2014/15: Season preview & predictions - Reading to Wolves

New York Stadium sign, Rotherham

We preview the chances of Reading, Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday, Watford, Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Reading

A club who have kept themselves particularly quiet over the summer, Reading have been away from much focus ahead of the season.

Simon Cox is the only addition to a squad who finished in a mid-table spot last season and it hard to see anything other than that occurring again this year.

The division looks strong and, although they shouldn’t struggle against the drop, it is hard to see the Royals launching a serious promotion challenge.

Prediction: 13th

Rotherham United

Rotherham United’s rapid transformation as a football club continued last season as they achieved promotion in the most thrilling way possible – winning the League One playoff final.

It is an exciting time to be a Millers fan after the club have made giant strides on and off the pitch in recent times.

This summer their additions have added to a talented squad and Rotherham look like they could be one of the sides to watch this year.

Led by the boisterous Steve Evans, they have brought in the likes of John Swift, Jordan Bowery and Matt Derbyshire during the transfer window so far, whilst Stevie May’s impending signing should add even more firepower.

These acquisitions should be enough to see Rotherham safe from danger and they could well surprise a few people this campaign.

Prediction: 17h

Sheffield Wednesday

Stuart Gray’s arrival at Sheffield Wednesday probably saved them from relegation last season, as he led to the club to safety.

Now, he will be looking to build on the impressive form that saw them climb out of danger towards the back-end of the last campaign.

However, that will be difficult after the club lost their talisman in Michail Antonio to Nottingham Forest two days ago and with it a lot of their attacking threat.

The Owls have made a number of solid additions – such as Sam Hutchinson and Tom Lees – but few eye-catching ones and they could struggle again this year.

Prediction: 18th

Watford

Watford’s Italian experiment appeared to have been a great success back in the 2012/13 season, where the side lost in the play-off final.

However, last year was rather an anti-climax as they slipped away from promotion contention and into the middle of the pack.

This year, the Hornets are hoping to be back competing amongst the top end of the table again and the signs are that they will be able to.

If they can keep hold of Troy Deeney, then they can surely boast the best attacking duo in the division – after Matej Vydra rejoined this summer – and the rest of the squad also looks packed with quality.

Expectations will be high at Vicarage Road, and Giuseppe Sannino still has a lot to prove as manager, but Watford should be right in the shake-up at the end of the season.

Prediction: 6th

Wigan Athletic

With Wigan Athletic facing the prospect of losing their big parachute payments from the Premier League if they don’t go up, this season looks crucial to the future of the football club.

Although that may sound like a nerve-wracking statement, they certainly have the right man in-charge.

Uwe Rosler has impressed during his time in management so far and his tactical expertise was on full display after taking over at Wigan after Owen Coyle’s dismal spell as manager.

This summer he has added some exciting talents – with James Tavernier and Emyr Huws really catching the eye – to a squad with some outstanding talents for this level.

James McClean will be determined to have a good year, whilst Callum McManaman has shown his quality in the past.

It may be make or break for Wigan, but they should have enough quality to meet expectations and a promotion push is certainly on the cards.

Prediction: 5th

Wolverhampton Wanderers

After crushing League One last season, Wolverhampton Wanderers will be looking to carry their momentum into the Championship.

Kenny Jackett has largely entrusted the side which got the club here to be able to compete at a higher level, with only two additions being made over the summer and that stability may be a benefit.

Wolves have undoubted class in their team and the likes of Bakary Sako and Kevin McDonald will be stand-out players, even in the second tier.

SEE ALSO: Championship 2014/15: Season preview & predictions - Brighton to Huddersfield

Whether they will quite have enough to get them into the play-off pack remains to be seen, but Wolves are back on the up again and a mid-table finish should provide them with a solid platform to build upon in the future.

Prediction: 10th

Will Wigan make the playoffs? Will Wednesday avoid the drop?

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