Next up we focus on Bristol City, Burnley, Cardiff and Coventry…

BRISTOL CITY

Last season: 15th Odds to win: 80-1

After the promise of last season vanished when Steve Coppell walked out, City have never recovered. A brief flirt with relegation eventually led to a mid-table finish last season and another tough slog may be in store.

Keith Millen can welcome back Nicky Maynard who missed most of last season after claiming the Championship golden boot in 2009-10. Maynard will be supported by the pacy Albert Adomah and new signing Yannick Bolasie as well as forwards Jon Stead, Brett Pitman and Ryan Taylor. However despite the arrival of Neil Kilkenny from Leeds City are weak in midfield and suspect at the back. David James has agreed to stay at Ashton Gate for another season but he is often left too exposed.

Key Player

The goals of the classy Nicky Maynard will be essential to City and we will discover how good the forward is after his absence last term.

Verdict: 17th

BURNLEY

Last season: 8th Odds to win: 42-1

Ex-Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is ready to put his stamp on this Burnley team but key departures may make a promotion challenge out of reach.

Howe took over from Brian Laws in December and instantly refreshed the team although they could not sneak into the Play-Offs, this season will be went Howe is judged. His hands have been tied after departures of Chris Eagles, Tyrone Mears, Graham Alexander, Chris Iwelumo and Steven Thompson. However so far the only teenagers Kieran Trippier and Ben Mee have arrived and Burnley need more players if they are too look at promotion.

One of the highlights of last season was the emergence of England Under 21 international Jay Rodriguez who netted 14 times last season. With Charlie Austin not looking prolific Rodriguez needs a partner and some service from the flanks. Burnley have reportedly targeted Coventry striker Lukas Jutkiewicz but that may just be the start.

Key Player

Martin Paterson was a revelation in Burnley’s promotion season but was absent for large chunks of last season. His running and guile will be need up front if Burnley are to finish high up the league.

Verdict: 10th

CARDIFF CITY

Last Season: 4th Odds to win:21-1

Despite the loss of the attacking trio Craig Bellamy, Jay Bothroyd and Michael Chopra, Cardiff can look to the new season with optimism. Hungry, young manager Malky Mackay has joined from Watford and is looking to reinvent a team that over the last two years have fallen just short of promotion.

In come the dangerous Robert Earnshaw and Ex-Rangers goalgetter Kenny Miller to lead the line while the side still boasts a solid midfield containing the talents of Peter Whittingham and Chris Burke’s replacement Craig Conway. Don Cowie Aaron Gunnarsson and Andrew Taylor have also arrived on frees and Cardiff look a very good outfit heading into the new campaign.

Key Player

Kenny Miller looked set to return to Rangers but Cardiff stumped up the cash to brig the Scotsman back to Blighty. Quick, intelligent and lethal Miller should be a top player at this level.

Verdict: 3rd

COVENTRY CITY

Last season: 18th Odds to win:200-1

Andy Thorn took over in April and now faces a real test to keep Coventry up this season after a raft of big name departures. The first was Marlon King who joined Birmingham while Kieran Westwood and Aaron Gunnarsson have also moved on. Now with reports linked star striker Lukas Jutkiewicz with Burnley, Sky Blues’ fans should be fearing the worst.

City do still possess bite in midfiled with Sammy Clingan but may be short in other areas of the park. Joe Murphy will replace Westwood but Coventry will struggle to score at one end and may ship them at the other. A tough season embroiled in a relegation battle looks likely.

Key Player

If he stays Lukas Jutiewicz will be Coventry’s main hope of getting goals. The former Everton man scored nine last term and will need to improve this season.

Verdict: 20th

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