The upcoming Championship campaign looks set for a mighty battle at the bottom, with three strong sides on their way up from League One.
Last season saw real quality at the top end of the third tier, which spells trouble for some of the Championship sides who narrowly avoided the drop last term.
Ipswich, Plymouth Argyle, and Sheffield Wednesday have a lot of backers in the second tier, so could some more established sides be in line for relegation?
Rotherham to be relegated @ 6/4
Last season ended Rotherham’s yo-yo run, as they finished 19th in the Championship. This is the first time they’ve started consecutive seasons at the same level since 2016/17, going on to drop from the Championship that year.
Matt Taylor led them away from danger after Paul Warne departed for League One Derby County, but his first full season could be a lot tougher. Two of last season’s top scorers have left, with Chiedozie Ogbene and Conor Washington both departing.
So far, the Millers have yet to add a striker in the window, and goals could be a real issue for them next term. Under Taylor, they won just eight of 36 games, shipping 52 goals. With Rotherham set to struggle at the other end, this could be a fourth relegation in eight seasons.
QPR to be relegated @ 5/2
QPR’s start to last season saw them pick up nine wins by Halloween, only to finish the campaign with just 13. They tailed off in spectacular fashion, taking just 20 points from their final 29 games to wind up just six points clear of a Reading side who were deducted six points.
This summer has been about boardroom reshuffles for QPR, with former owner Tony Fernandes selling up and Les Ferdinand departing as Director of Football. None of their summer signings suggest they will soon improve, and some fans may be questioning what the future holds.
Gareth Ainsworth took charge late last season, and while he’s proven himself at Wycombe, this squad doesn’t seem suited to his methods. Rangers look strongest in the midfield, but his direct approach alienates them from the buildup. With 12 defeats in 21 league games in 2023, QPR have work to do to halt their slide into League One.
Cardiff to be relegated @ 3/1
Finally, Cardiff are only still at this level thanks to Reading’s off-field issues. The Bluebirds had the third-worst record over the campaign, but the Royals’ points hit spared them. Cardiff did play some part in saving themselves, claiming 20 points across their final 15 games.
However, that success came under boss Sabri Lamouchi, who departed in the summer. Little-known Erol Bulut has taken his place. The high point of his career is probably an eight-month stint at Fenerbahce.
While there’s some excitement around the addition of Aaron Ramsey, the ex-Arsenal man isn’t the player he once was. Overall, the Bluebirds recruitment is muddled, their managerial choice is unproven, and their luck might just have run out