Let me start by saying that this is going to be a bloody long piece of content so if you don’t have too much time, you may want to bookmark this post so that you can come back to it when you have a bit more time on your hands. We asked our friends over at Deepdale Digest and Preston Updates if they would like to get involved with this prediction piece and they were more than happy to.

So, Olly from Deepdale Digest, Bob from Preston Updates, myself (Jake), Dan and Oli are all going to give our predictions on not just North End but also some aspects of the Championship for the upcoming season. Everyone has done 1-24 predictions for all of the football league, or so it seems so we’re taking a look at a few key aspects of the division and the same for North End.

First of all, we’re going to have a look over the Championship and give our thoughts on who we think will finish in the top 2, the teams who will make up the rest of the top 6 and thus finishing the season in the play-offs, the bottom 3, who we think will be the league’s top scorer, a ‘team to watch’ if you will, or a dark horse and finally the team who will be the biggest flop of the season.

As for our beloved Preston North End, we will take a look at league position, who we think will finish as our top scorer for the season, we will talk about a player we’re most looking forward to seeing this season and conversely, the player who we think will be the biggest flop or have the most disappointing season. That’s about the gist of this piece so, without further ado, let’s crack on.

Olly Dawes – Deepdale Digest

If you’re not already, you can follow Deepdale Digest on twitter, just search (or click the link) for @DeepdaleDigest. Below are his thoughts on the Championship and North End for the upcoming season.

Championship Predictions

Top 2

Fulham, Bristol City.

Play-Offs

Brentford, West Brom, Middlesbrough, Leeds.

Bottom 3

Charlton, Birmingham City, Barnsley.

Top Scorer

Aleksandar Mitrovic just ahead of Neal Maupay as things stand.

Dark Horse

If they keep Oliver McBurnie, I think Swansea could fare better than expected under Steve Cooper.

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Biggest Flop

As much as I’m a fan of Nathan Jones, I don’t think Stoke are even a guarantee for the top 10 and may flatter to deceive again.

Preston North End

League Position

Honest verdict is around 11th (as usual) but hopefully we can push higher.

Top Scorer

Alan Browne; with Callum Robinson gone and no replacement signed, I’ll back our goalscoring midfielder.

Player I’m Most Looking Forward to Seeing

Billy Bodin; it will be great to see Bodin in action this season given that we’ve barely even seen him in a Preston shirt, and after a superb pre-season, he could really shine this season.

Player You Think Will Be the Biggest Flop

The fan expectations for Josh Harrop just don’t correlate with what we’ve actually seen from him, and I fear he won’t live up to those expectations this season.

Bob Melling – Preston Updates

Bob is the guy behind Preston Updates, like us, a fairly new addition to the world of PNE fan accounts on twitter that has garnered a little bit of respect among all of the other shite talking fan accounts that many fans don’t seem to take too seriously.

If you aren’t already, you can follow Preston Updates on twitter here – @PrestonUpdates_ and here are Bob’s thoughts.

Championship Predictions

1st – Leeds United

“Leeds, Leeds are falling apart, again.” The echoes of the chant linger on, but can Leeds United finally avoid the proverbial self-implosion at the back end of a season? Well, I actually think they will this time around. With fickle Argentine Marcelo Bielsa committing his future to the cause and many of the same faces remaining in his camp, the keyword for Leeds will be continuity.

Jansson has gone, but Leeds have made some shrewd appointments in his wake. Ben White joins as a prospect, while proven winger Helder Costa gives Leeds depth out wide. And perhaps most importantly, Jack Clarke returns to the club on loan.

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2nd – Fulham

Fulham have largely been tipped for an immediate return to the Premier League and for good reason. I mean, their attacking options alone are enough to make you gulp nervously in anticipation. Playmaker Tom Cairney, target man Aleksander Mitrovic, winger Anthony Knockaert and versatile forward Ivan Cavaleiro.

Fulham have been ruthless in the transfer market, maintaining their core, while also recruiting proven attackers with the know-how to get out of the Championship.

Play-Offs

3rd – Brentford

When you lose key assets, re-invest. This is exactly what Brentford have done and if the back end of last season’s form is anything to go by, Brentford will be a formidable team. New signing Jansson provides leadership at the back, while the midfield and attack continue to look buoyant.

4th – Bristol City

Bristol City always flirt with the Play-Off places, but just never quite make it. This season will be different. They’ve been active in the transfer market and look determined to stop being the nearly team.

5th – Stoke City

It’s taken time for Nathan Jones to implement his style at Stoke City, but he’s certainly energised the club, bringing in his own signings and ridding the club of that Premier League hangover.

Stoke now look ready to play the Nathan Jones way and with one of the staunchest defences in the Championship, Stoke will be tough at the back and much more fluid in attack. Nick Powell adds a touch of class while Lee Gregory will work tirelessly at the top.

6th – Cardiff

Rarely does a relegated Premier League side bounce back to the top flight at the first time of asking. But if anyone can reverse that trend, it’s Neil Warnock’s hard-working Cardiff side. The club is more united than ever and will go again in the Championship with a very similar squad.

Bottom Three

22nd – Birmingham

Birmingham suffered three huge losses this Summer – Garry Monk, Che Adams and Jota. And although they have signed Croatian midfielder Ivan Sunjic for a sizable fee along with Dan Crowley, Birmingham will be largely looking to cut back and promote from within.

This season will be tough for Pep Clotet and the Blues could come under early pressure with a tricky run of opening fixtures.

23rd – Reading

Jose Gomes was a revelation in a sense last season but Reading massively over-performed and could finally fall out of the second tier this season. FFP restrictions have ensured that Reading’s transfer activity has been limited and this is why relegation should be a fear.

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24th – Charlton

There are deeply rooted structural issues at Charlton, which made last season’s dramatic Play-Off Final victory seem so much sweeter. Toxicity was rampant at The Valley, but steadfast Lee Bowyer has united the club with the help of some exciting players.

But the question remains, can this last? I don’t think so.

Championship Top Scorer

Aleksander Mitrovic – The bullish Serb is well worth a punt for the Golden Boot thanks to his aerial prowess and clinical finishing.

Dark Horse

Barnsley – Daniel Stendel is a driven manager with a group of young, hard-working players. It’s true that they’ve lost a couple of pivotal defensive assets, but they’ve also recruited quickly, standing them in good stead for the season.

I have a sneaky feeling they could be in and around the top ten this season.

Biggest Flop

West Brom – Despite often playing an insipid brand of football, the Baggies still made the top six last season. To be honest, it was all down to Rodriguez and Gayle, the goal-laden pair boasted an incredible record, but with Rodriguez now at Burnley and Gayle back at parent club Newcastle, West Brom will look rather toothless up top – even with the addition of the frustrating Kenneth Zohore.

Preston North End

League Position

11th – Arguably, Preston have regressed since last season. Callum Robinson departs, while our only business thus far has seen us strengthen the defence with Patrick Bauer and inject experience into the attack with cult hero David Nugent. Yet to spend a penny on transfer fees, I struggle to envision a promotion push.

But, with a little bit more injury luck, I do believe we can improve upon last season’s underwhelming finish. We must not undervalue the current squad, but if we are to challenge for the Play-Offs, a Robinson replacement is the minimum requirement.

Top Scorer

Alan Browne – The loss of Callum Robinson leaves a goalscoring void yet to be filled. And with no proven goal threat among Preston’s striking options, Alan Browne seems to be the most likely candidate to be top scorer.

Player I’m Most Looking Forward to Seeing

Billy Bodin – After a lengthy spell on the sidelines, the Welsh winger will be relishing the opportunity to impress on the pitch as he comes into his prime years. Billy has enjoyed a scintillating pre-season, exciting Preston fans with his incredible skill and composure in front of goal. Should he remain injury-free, Bodin has the potential to be a very influential player for PNE.

Player You Think Will Be the Biggest Flop

Josh Harrop – After stating that his aim is to be the best player in the Championship, number ten Josh Harrop set the bar high. Unfortunately, limited game time could restrict Harrop’s progress. As long as Alan Browne and Brad Potts are fit, they will be our main central attacking focus, leaving Harrop with limited minutes to impress.

This is why attitude may well become a significant issue. Harrop clearly has an abundance of technical ability, but I just cannot see him matching the high standards he has set for himself.

Oli Gornall – From the Finney

Oli is one of the three main contributors here at From the Finney and has written many in-depth pieces that seem to have gone down well with the fans like the piece about Ben Pearson being the man who makes North End tick and most recently, the piece taking a look at North End’s finances. If you aren’t already, you can follow him on twitter @gorn__.

Championship Predictions

Top 2

1st – Fulham

Scott Parker improved Fulham’s fortunes when he took over late last season, and has inherited a strong squad at Championship level. Parker is a highly rated coach and seems to be very level headed, I think he’ll adapt well like Frank Lampard did last season.

With the additions of Anthony Knockaert and Ivan Cavaleiro, alongside seasoned pros in Tom Cairney, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Alfie Mawson, I think the Cottagers have a real chance of bouncing straight back up as Champions.

2nd – Cardiff

Love him or loathe him, Neil Warnock knows the Championship inside out, and you just know that the Bluebirds will churn out results week in, week out. Cardiff haven’t lost any key players from last season, Kenneth Zohore apart, and their squad will have benefitted from a season in the Premier League, where they would’ve stayed up if it wasn’t for some shocking refereeing decisions.

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They know exactly what they are, and have some real quality, and I expect them to benefit from a tumultuous edition of the Championship this season.

Play-Offs

3rd – Leeds

Jansson aside, Leeds are as strong as last season and the players will now have a greater understanding of Bielsa’s systems and tactics. Providing Kalvin Phillips stays, and Kemar Roofe stays fit, I fully expect Leeds to be right up there again this season.

4th – Stoke

Mainly because of how highly I rate Nathan Jones, I can see Stoke finishing comfortably in the top 6. The Welshman didn’t improve results massively when he took over last season, but their xGD improved a lot and he has now shaped his squad to suit his diamond system, which I think will be effective.

5th – Bristol City

Lee Johnson’s men have made positive moves in the transfer market, and have developed a very competitive squad at this level. There are always a question mark over “streaky Johnson”, but I think City can maintain a challenge this season in what is a very open division. The addition of a striker will be the key.

6th – Brentford

It took a while for things to get going under Thomas Frank last season, but a change to 3-4-2-1 and a new found doggedness has given me optimism about their chances this season. The addition of Patrick Jansson should add extra experience and resistance at the back, and they’ve made a few usual Brentford additions, who should do well. Keeping Maupay and Benrahma will be key, and if they do, I expect them to be there or thereabouts.

Bottom 3

22nd – Birmingham

I’m not sure if this seems like a bold shout, but I’m very worried for Brum this season. Having replaced Gary Monk with Pep Clotet, who failed at Oxford and has made some odd signings, there seems to be a lack of direction at the Club. Jake Clarke-Salter and Dan Crowley look like they could be exciting additions, but losing Che Adams takes 20+ goals out of their side straight away. Things just feel slightly chaotic at St. Andrews and I feel like they could pay the price.

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23rd – Hull

Under the stewardship of Grant McCann, unproven at this level, and with a squad lacking depth and quality, it’s hard to be positive about Hull’s chances this season. If they keep Grosicki and Bowen they should have enough to stay in the division, however as the deadline looms I think at least one will leave. A couple of interesting additions have been made, and I could be way out with this one, but someone has to go down.

24th – Charlton

I feel like a few people are writing Charlton off easily, maybe myself included, however having lost Joe Aribo, Patrick Bauer and Josh Cullen, it’s hard to see the Addicks making much of a fist of it this season. Lyle Taylor should trouble defences, but they lack quality all over the pitch. The ongoing uncertainty surrounding the control of the clubs will do them now favours, and despite Lee Bowyer forming a close-knit group of players, I can see them dropping straight back down.

Top Scorer

Mitrovic – What do I need to say to justify this really?

Dark Horse

Blackburn – Some good additions as well as a young squad developing nicely, I feel they could make an attempt at the play-offs.

Biggest Flop

Huddersfield – I’m not buying into Jan Siewert and there are rumours are unhappiness in the camp, and it could be a long season for the Yorkshire team. Bottom half for me.

Preston North End

League Position

9th – We will be a lot more competitive than a lot of people think, but I think we may fall short yet again. The next 2 weeks will be the key as a couple of good additions could really give us the spark that we need.

Avoiding another injury crisis and a horrific start, I can see us being around the top half all season.

Top Scorer

Sean Maguire – He will stay fit and score 15 goals.

Player I’m Most Looking Forward to Seeing

Josh Harrop – I’m Bill’s biggest fan, but everyone else is saying him, so I’ll say Josh Harrop. There seems to be a lot of talk about hype/over hype, but I genuinely think he could become a quality player for us this season.

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Biggest Flop

David Nugent – Finished at this level.

Jake Oates – From the Finney

This is me, I’m the host of the podcast and started this site back in February with the aim of trying to provide a different view on what’s going on with North End. I’m on twitter if you want to give me a follow – @jioates, don’t be scared of saying hi. Also, if you haven’t, give the podcast a listen – podcast.fromthefinney.co.uk.

Championship

Top 2

1st – Fulham

Already been mentioned but I can’t believe they’re heading into the season with Mitrovic, Cavaleiro, Knockaert and Cairney as the main bulk of their attack. All Premier League quality and should do well. The only thing that I think could hold Fulham back is Scott Parker’s inexperience as a manager but I wouldn’t be too worried about that.

2nd – Leeds

The main reason for having Leeds here is simply down to one man, El Loco. Marcelo Bielsa had a clear impact on Leeds United last season and as they’ve long been the bridesmaid and never the bride so to speak, I think they’ll do it this year. Although technically, finishing second would make them the bridesmaid I guess, but you get my point.

Play-Offs

3rd – Cardiff

Wily Warnock knows what he’s doing in this league and I think we’ll see Cardiff there or there abouts and they’ll finish the best of the rest. As far as winning the play-offs, I couldn’t call it from the 4 I’ve got here but I’ve got Cardiff doing enough to finish third and just missing out on the top 2.

4th – West Brom

I fancy Slaven Bilić to have enough about him as a manager to get West Brom back in the top 6. Yes, they’ve lost goals in Rodriguez and Gayle but they should still have enough about them, in my opinion, to be up there challenging. They’ve still got plenty of quality players in Sam Johnstone, Chris Brunt, Jake Livermore, Matt Phillips and have added Kenneth Zohore who they will be hoping can go some way to making up the loss in goals. Romaine Sawyers is an astute signing at just under £3m.

5th – Bristol City

Pains me to say it but I actually don’t mind Bristol City and they’ve done well every season and have progressed and improved almost every season in recent times. They’ve got a good squad and I suspect this will be the season they’ll finally finish in the top 6. I just hope it’s not the season they actually pick up a win against us.

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6th – Middlesbrough

Another one with a new manager at this level but I think Middlesbrough’s squad is good enough to just sneak into the top 6. I do however think it’s more likely Woodgate ends up faltering than say Bilić at West Brom or Parker at Fulham. This is a risky one and the one I’m least confident about but hey, here we are.

Bottom 3

22nd – Birmingham

Che Adams out of the door, Pep Clotet in to replace Garry Monk and a 9-point deduction to end last season. Not the way many Birmingham fans would have envisaged this season starting. The Spaniard is Birmingham’s 6th manager in 3 years and if truth be told, as George Elek of the NTT20 podcast often says, his time at Oxford left a lot to be desired which you’d argue doesn’t bode well for Blues this coming season.

I don’t see where they’ll replace Che Adams’ goals to be honest and that’ll be their undoing, in my opinion.

23rd – Charlton

We’ve signed arguably their best defender on a free. At least, that’s the impression I got judging some of their fans’ reactions after we announced the signing of Patrick Bauer. They’ve still got Lyle Taylor but is he up to it at this level, who knows? They’ve also lost Aribo to Rangers who will be a big miss. Things just seem a bit of a mess at The Valley looking from the outside in and I think they’ll struggle.

24th – Wigan

I originally had, in my full 24 table, QPR sitting in 24th position but the more I’ve pondered, I’m going to swap them with the team I had sitting in 21st in Wigan Athletic. They’ve lost a few key players from last season such as Nick Powell and Reece James and their absolute lack of goals, much like Birmingham, means I just don’t see them doing enough to stay in the division.

I mean, as much as I love the guy and I’m sure Wigan fans do too, it must be a worry having Joe Garner as the only recognised striker in a squad. He just doesn’t get goals at this level.

Top Scorer

Aleksandar Mitrović – No brainer really. Plus he’ll get his customary handful of goals against us too.

Dark Horse

Blackburn Rovers – It pains me to say it as their fans are completely insufferable but they’ve got a good squad and have added to it quite well this season. It seems as though they’re keeping hold of Dack too. I can see them having a right good go this season and could possibly push for one of the play-off spots.

Biggest Flop

Brentford – I’m touch and go with this one but I just don’t think they will have that good a season. I like them, I like what they do but I think they will be comfortably mid-table, especially if they lose Neal Maupay. Replacing his goals would be crucial.

Yes, they still have Saïd Benrahma, Ollie Watkins and have signed Pontus Jansson but I just don’t see them doing much. This could come back and bite me on the arse big time in May though so we’ll see.

Preston North End

League Position

8th – I’m putting us this high as I’m confident, perhaps foolishly, that the club will back the manager and bring in a couple more players that he wants in order to strengthen the squad in terms of quality. We saw last season that on the whole, the squad is good enough to be challenging around the top end of the table and with some quality additions, I see no reason, barring another injury crisis, why we can be up there again.

Top Scorer

Sean Maguire – Probably a bit boring but as things stand, I’m going to go with Sean Maguire. He’s shown he’s more than capable of hitting double figures at this level. Let’s just hope his hamstrings hold out. I reserve my right to change this should we sign another forward though.

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Player I’m Most Looking Forward to Seeing

Patrick Bauer – Probably not a popular choice but from what I’ve seen of the ‘BFG’ as some fans have taken to calling him, he looks cool, calm and collected. Against Newcastle he was very dominant, won a lot in the air and while he’s not exactly Usain Bolt, he looked plenty quick enough. So yeah, the ‘Big Fucking German’ is my pick.

Biggest Flop

Jayden Stockley – If he stays here for the full season, I just don’t see him getting enough of a shot to make an impact. Granted, he’s a finisher but is he going to keep up his decent enough goals to minutes ratio from his limited time on the pitch thus far? Probably not. And I just don’t see him starting enough either. Sorry, Jayden. It’s nothing personal.

Dan Wheeler – From the Finney

Dan is the third piece of the From the Finney jigsaw and the other voice on the podcast that you’ve (hopefully) all listened to. If you aren’t already following him on twitter here – @wheels_456.

Championship Predictions

1st – Fulham

Fulham underperformed in the Premier League last season and will be looking for an immediate return. Keeping hold of Aleksandar Mitrovic is going to be massive for them this year, the big Serbian striker is unplayable on his day against just about any opposition and in the Championship rarely looks anything other than simply far too good for the level.

With the recent additions of Ivan Cavaleiro and Anthony Knockeart to play on the wings, I think Fulham’s firepower and technical ability will be too much for the vast majority of sides in the division and could well see them pushing for the title come May.

2nd – Derby

Now, hear me out. Derby County have a very talented squad that managed to reach the play-offs in a relatively consistent season last year. This time around they have Phillipe Cocu, whom I believe will do an even better job with them than Frank Lampard did.

They have also had a quiet but strong summer window, bringing in Graeme Shinnie from Aberdeen and Kieron Dowell on loan from Everton. Dowell particularly impresses me whenever I see him play and I think he’ll be instrumental to any sort of promotion push for the Rams this year.

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Play-offs

3rd – Huddersfield

Pushing Derby all the way will be Huddersfield I think. With Jan Siewart, one of the current crop of young German managers who seem to be so effective in the higher tiers in England, at the helm and a squad that remains largely intact following their relegation from the Premier League (the notable losses of Jonas Lössl, Chris Löwe and Erik Durm aside), I reckon the Terriers could be in a strong position to put themselves in the ring for an immediate return to the top tier.

4th – Cardiff

Love him or hate him, Neil Warnock knows how to take a club into the Premier League and it will be interesting to see if he can add taking a relegated club immediately back to the top tier to his already impressive Championship CV. Cardiff’s squad remains almost completely intact having lost only two players who played significant parts in their Premier League season in Aron Gunnarson and Bruno Ecuele Manga.

Strong additions to their side in Will Vaulks and Aden Flint among others will make them a force to be reckoned with in the battle for the top 6.

5th – Leeds

Leeds finished 3rd last year, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion, only to lose out in the play-offs under head coach Marcelo Bielsa. They are still a strong side, with talents such as Kemar Roofe and in my opinion at least, the most technically gifted player in the league in Pablo Hernandez to boast among their ranks.

6th – QPR

Also my pick for the dark horses this season, I’m going to take a bit of a risk and suggest that Queens Park Rangers might steal into that 6th position. They have quietly gone about some very good business this summer and with Mark Warburton at the helm, who will be eager to prove himself after falling somewhat behind in his promising career trajectory after impressing in charge of Brentford but his move to Rangers in the SPL didn’t go as planned and his career has stagnated since.

Their recruitment has been superb, signing a completely new back 4 in Todd Kane, Connor Masterson, Yoann Barbet and Lee Wallace as well as making good additions in midfield with Luke Amos on loan from Spurs and signing Marc Pugh from Bournemouth. Their most recent addition is what tipped the scale for me. The ability of Jordan Hugill could help them break into the top 6, so long as their system can play to his strengths.

Bottom 3

22nd – Birmingham

Birmingham aren’t necessarily a “poor” side, so to speak, but they could soon find themselves in trouble this year. Losing Che Adams is the key for me, his goals were just enough to keep the Blues ticking over last year and without them, I fear Lukas Jutkiewicz’s firepower just won’t be sufficient for them to outscore their opponents.

Jonathan Grounds almost surmises their hopes in my opinion, a defender who has always been fairly well respected, but was brought in by Bolton on loan from League 1 Oldham last season to try to aid their fight for survival, but to no avail. With only a caretaker head coach in charge in the shape of Pep Clotet, I worry they may have left it too late to give themselves a fair crack at escaping a scrap this year.

23rd – Wigan

Wigan have failed to inspire confidence this summer. They have made a couple of decent signings, one of which is a permanent signing of a player they had on loan last season, but ultimately have lost such key players as Callum McManaman and goalkeeper Christian Walton leaving them notably weaker. Other than last year’s joint top scorers with 8; Joe Garner and Nick Powell who also provided 6 assists in 2018/19, the latter of which has also left Wigan after signing for Stoke, it’s hard to see where the goals to stop Wigan slipping back to League 1 are going to come from.

24th – Charlton

Given the competitive nature of the league, there are rarely what could be described as “whipping boys” in the Championship, but I think Charlton might come as near as any to being just that this year. They scraped a 1-0 win in the League 1 play-off final last year with a stoppage time winner. Patrick Bauer, the scorer of that goal, who then signed for Preston North End was among several other members of the squad who moved on in the summer, seeing their squad decimated.

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They have made signings to rebuild, including Tom Lockyer and Macauley Bonne, but I think their squad looks just that little bit weaker than every other side in the division and I believe they’ll struggle.

Top Scorer

Aleksandar Mitrovic

As I said when covering Fulham, Mitrovic is unplayable on his day and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him top 30 goals this season.

Team to Watch/Dark Horse

QPR

As above, I’ve covered QPR already, I really do believe with the right approach they could surprise us this campaign.

Biggest Flop

West Brom

Arguably, West Brom flopped last year but this time around, after losing several key players including their pair of lethal strikers Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriquez, could see them finishing lower than midtable.

Preston North End

League Position

11th

We all know that North End have the power to both disappoint and pleasantly surprise in relatively equal measure, so I wouldn’t even completely rule out a strong season and a play-off push. That being said, two signings in the shape of Patrick Bauer and David Nugent, while the latter is superb from a nostalgic point of view, have been rather uninspiring from a footballing point of view.

Not that they are bad signings in and of themselves, Patrick Bauer does offer much-needed height and presence at the back and Nugent’s experience at this level and higher, as well as his obvious ability, could be invaluable. What’s been uninspiring is that the club seems to be moving at such a slow pace with other deals that they might even claim to be content with the current squad, despite it having been obvious that we need at least a quality goalkeeper and a replacement for Callum Robinson in off that left-hand side.

Top Scorer

Sean Maguire

After a bit of deliberation over the likelihood of an injury to the Irishman, I decided it was unfair to factor any potential injury into this prediction so it has to be him. Given a fully fit season Maguire is more than capable of topping 15, even 20 goals.

Player I’m Most Looking Forward to Seeing

Billy Bodin

After having his first full season cruelly ended before it even began, we haven’t really had a full opportunity to see what Billy Bodin’s capable of. He has come up with some absolute magic against some quality sides in the flashes that we have seen from him and I cannot wait to see what we get out of him given a full season’s worth of football.

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Biggest Flop

Daniel Johnson

DJ is a weird one for me, one of my favourite players 3 years ago but he just hasn’t been as consistently effective in the last couple of seasons, showing flashes of quality but little more. His tentativeness to jump for headers and to put tackles in is something I also hate to see in any player, regardless of their style of play, so I’ve found myself more and more disenchanted with DJ as of late, too.

As the rest of our squad improves around him, I feel he may get consigned to the North End history books and fall further out of favour this year.

We Out!

Well, there we have it folks. Thanks to Olly and Bob for their contributions to this piece, if you’re here reading this now, thanks to you for sticking with it and getting this far. If you follow us on social media you’ll have seen that we’ve been running a poll to gauge fan feeling ahead of the new season starting on Saturday.

Well, thanks to the 281 of you who voted in the poll. An overwhelming majority of you voted that you think we’ll finish ‘in the middle somewhere’. I expected this one to be the most popular option to be honest and I understand that the middle could be anywhere from say 10th to 18th but for me, it sums up the feeling amongst the fans at the moment. The squad is good enough to stay up but not quite good enough to challenge the top 6.

That pretty much echoes all of our predictions too, though myself and Oli have us finishing inside the top 10 while Dan, Olly and Bob all have us finishing in what some may call ‘home’, 11th position.

The 3% of you who voted that we would finish in the bottom 3, give your heads a wobble. This squad showed we’re more than good enough to compete at this level and if we manage to bring in some quality before the transfer deadline, I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t push higher.

Anyway, let us know what you think of our predictions for the league and for North End on social media. As the heading says above, we out!