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Championship 2012-13: Club by club

Barnsley-Cardiff | Middlesbrough-Wolves

The final standings?
1. Leicester
2. Bolton
3. Wolves
4. Cardiff
5. Birmingham
6. Leeds
7. Hull
8. Blackburn
9. Blackpool
10. Middlesbrough
11. Charlton
12. Brighton
13. Sheffield Wednesday
14. Ipswich
15. Burnley
16. Watford
17. Nottingham Forest
18. Derby
19. Huddersfield
20. Crystal Palace
21. Millwall
22. Bristol City
23. Peterborough
24. Barnsley

Charlton

Manager: Chris Powell
Position last season: 1st (League One, promoted)
Players in: Lawrie Wilson (Stevenage), Jordan Cook (Sunderland), Salim Kerkar (Rangers), Tosan Popo (San Roque, loan), Ruben Bover Izquierdo (San Roque, loan).
Players out: Gary Doherty (Wycombe), Mikel Alonso, Jason Euell. Chris Powell's formula of all-change worked wonderfully last season as, after 18 summer signings, Charlton ran away with the League One title. Powell has been rather quieter in the transfer market this year, suggesting he believes players such as the prolific Bradley Wright-Phillips, goalscoring captain Johnnie Jackson and goalkeeper Ben Hamer can adapt easily to the Championship. Sides from League One have progressed straight to the Premier League in the last two seasons, in Norwich and Southampton, and while a hat-trick is unlikely, Charlton should certainly secure safety comfortably. Key Man: Michael Morrison. Named in the League One Team of the Year last season, the centre-back has proved a fine signing from Powell's former club Leicester.
One to Watch: Lawrie Wilson. Part of the Stevenage success story, Wilson will be playing in a fourth division in as many seasons.

Crystal Palace

Manager: Dougie Freedman
Position last season: 17th
Players in: Aaron Wilbraham (Norwich), Joel Ward (Portsmouth), Aaron Martin (Southampton, loan).
Players out: Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Darren Ambrose (Birmingham), Anthony Gardner (Sheffield Wednesday), Jake Caprice (Blackpool), Sean Scannell (Huddersfield). Palace beat Manchester United in a terrific Carling Cup run last season, but their league form tailed off. Watching them, it was hard to imagine that Dougie Freedman is a former forward: while they were defensively excellent, they struggled to score. Goals might be at even more of a premium this season after the loss of Darren Ambrose and Sean Scannell, two of their most talented attacking midfielders, while Anthony Gardner and Nathaniel Clyne, half of the watertight back four, have also gone. While Wilfried Zaha, the club's prize asset, remains, it all suggests this year will be altogether harder, especially as arrivals have been underwhelming, if solid. The aim should simply be to survive. Key Man: Wilfried Zaha. The next sizeable sum deposited in Palace's bank account could be for Zaha but the winger, another graduate of their fine youth system, should score more goals.
One to Watch: Jonathan Williams. The teenage Welsh midfielder is the latest talent off the Palace production line. He is sure to draw the scouts to Selhurst Park.

Derby

Manager: Nigel Clough
Position last season: 12th
Players in: Michael Jacobs (Northampton), Paul Coutts (Preston), Richard Keogh (Coventry), James O'Connor (Doncaster), Michael Hoganson (Newcastle).
Players out: Jason Shackell (Burnley), Paul Green (Leeds), Chris Maguire (Sheffield Wednesday), Miles Addison (Bournemouth), Callum Ball (Coventry), James Severn (Scunthorpe), Lee Croft (Oldham, loan). It may be all change elsewhere in the Championship but Nigel Clough, the division's longest-serving manager, quietly steered Derby into the top half of the table last season and, as ever, operated uncomplainingly on a budget. The worry is that two of Clough's senior figures, Paul Green and captain Jason Shackell, have left and a young team have just got younger while, the injury-prone and possibly departing Steve Davies apart, Derby lack a goalscorer. It is a reason that, while others spend, the Rams may slip further from the play-off places especially as, while their frugal approach is admirable, others are outspending them. Key Man: Frank Fielding. Deprived of a pillar of the defence in Shackell, the goalkeeper could be busier this year.
One to Watch: Michael Jacobs. Clough has an eye for a bargain in the lower leagues and the 20-year-old midfielder Jacobs caught the eye in an otherwise uninspiring Northampton side.

Huddersfield

Manager: Simon Grayson
Position last season: 4th (League One, promoted)
Players in: Sean Scannell (Crystal Palace), Adam Clayton (Leeds), Oliver Norwood (Manchester United), Keith Southern (Blackpool), Joel Lynch (Nottingham Forest), Paul Dixon (Dundee United).
Players out: Gary Roberts (Carlisle), Tommy Miller (Swindon), Nathan Clarke (Leyton Orient), Gary Naysmith. Three clubs, three promotions from League One: there has been a consistency to Simon Grayson's managerial career. He has established both of his former employers, Blackpool and Leeds, in the Championship, and Huddersfield's continued willingness to invest means he stands a good chance of making it a hat-trick. Grayson has brought in two familiar faces, the gifted Adam Clayton and the gnarled Keith Southern, as a potential central-midfield partnership while Sean Scannell adds trickery on the flanks. Inevitably, however, attention will be focused on the prolific Jordan Rhodes to see how he fares at a higher level and, indeed, to see if Huddersfield can keep him. If they can and he keeps on scoring, Town will have few worries. If not, their stay in the Championship may be brief. Key Man: Jordan Rhodes. It couldn't really be anyone else. Scorer of 40 goals last season, Rhodes was too good for League One.
One to Watch: Oliver Norwood. The Northern Ireland international midfielder came through Manchester United's youth system without ever making a senior appearance at Old Trafford. Now, after several loan spells, he has moved on.

Hull

Manager: Steve Bruce
Position last season: 8th
Players in: Nick Proschwitz (Paderborn), Sone Aluko (Rangers), Ben Amos (Manchester United, loan), Alex Bruce (Leeds), Abdoulaye Faye (West Ham), Eldin Jakupovic (Aris Salonika).
Players out: Kevin Kilbane (Coventry), Kamil Ghilas (Reims), Will Atkinson (Bradford), Liam Rosenior. Last season reached a surreal conclusion with the sacking of the monosyllabic Nicky Barmby for speaking out, albeit seemingly innocuously. Enter the quotable but affable Steve Bruce, whose twin promotions with Birmingham qualify him for the task in hand. But a total of 47 goals in 46 games was nowhere enough for a side with aspirations of promotion. Hence the recruitment of Nick Proschwitz and Sone Aluko to provide support for striker Matty Fryatt and midfielder Robert Koren, whose tallies of 16 and ten respectively were excellent in a low-scoring side. A defence in which James Chester prospered and which should protect the borrowed Ben Amos is less of a concern, although whether it needed Bruce junior - Alex, signed from Leeds - is a moot point. If he doesn't cause too much damage and if Hull find the path to goal at the other end, they should challenge. Key Man: Nick Proschwitz. A £2.6 million signing is a statement of intent. Proschwitz has been prolific in Liechtenstein and, more impressively, his native Germany, where he was the joint top scorer in the second flight.
One to Watch: Sone Aluko. One of the many to leave Rangers, the winger is yet to make an impact in England but fared rather better north of the border.

Ipswich

Manager: Paul Jewell
Position last season: 15th
Players in: Luke Chambers (Nottingham Forest), Scott Loach (Watford), Elliot Hewitt (Macclesfield), Massimo Luongo (Tottenham, loan).
Players out: Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough), Richard Wright, Mark Kennedy, Lee Bowyer, Ibrahima Sonko. Scored 69, conceded 77: Ipswich were a guarantee of entertainment for the neutral last season, even if Town fans could be forgiven for wishing for a duller, more efficient side. Paul Jewell's preference for experience did not bring the required results so this is a younger Town team with fewer big names. Tellingly, the comparatively unknown, but up-and-coming, Aaron Cresswell was one of last season's few success stories. In Michael Chopra and Jason Scotland, Ipswich still have scorers but how they fare depends on whether they can keep goals out at the other end. Key Man: Luke Chambers. Part of the defensive exodus from Nottingham Forest over the past 12 months, Chambers endured a difficult year. But, if he reproduces the form that made him Forest's star player in the 2010-11 campaign, he could shore up Ipswich's back four.
One to Watch: Elliott Hewitt. The defender dropped out of the Football League with Macclesfield last season but earned a personal promotion as part of Jewell's new policy of bringing in younger players.

Leeds

Manager: Neil Warnock
Position last season: 14th
Players in: Paddy Kenny (QPR), Lee Peltier (Leicester), Adam Drury (Norwich), Jason Pearce (Portsmouth), Paul Green (Derby), Jamie Ashdown (Portsmouth), Luke Varney (Portsmouth), Rodoplh Austin (SK Brann), David Norris (Portsmouth), Andy Gray (Barnsley), El-Hadji Diouf (Doncaster).
Players out: Andy Lonergan (Bolton), Robert Snodgrass (Norwich), Maik Taylor (Millwall), Adam Clayton (Huddersfield), Alex Bruce (Hull), Andy O'Brien (Vancouver), Mikael Forssell, Lloyd Sam. Last season, Leeds were not recognisable as a Neil Warnock side. Conceding 41 goals at Elland Road, seven of them to Nottingham Forest alone, was a guarantee of a summer overhaul with an emphasis on the defence. Hence the arrivals of two goalkeepers and three defenders even if the signing of one of Warnock's favourites, Paddy Kenny, makes rather more sense than the recruitment of another, the ageing Andy Gray returning to the club of his father, Frank, and uncle, Eddie. Generally, though, Warnock has just raided Portsmouth, taking the spine of a spine from Hampshire to Yorkshire, even if the most surprising signing comes from rather closer: El-Hadji Diouf, recently of Doncaster, once branded a "sewer rat" by Warnock and a guarantee of controversy, though not goals. In Ross McCormack and Luciano Becchio, Leeds have two fine finishers but the sale of captain Robert Snodgrass has meant that, within a year, the whole of a talented midfield have gone. It leaves Leeds looking duller but Warnock often builds teams who can reach the play-offs. The current collective have the potential to become another. Key Man: Jason Pearce - Portsmouth's player of the year will be charged with becoming the cornerstone of the new-look defence.
One to Watch: Aiden White - Last season was something of a breakthrough year for the gifted left footer. He could become the next flair player to draw the scouts to Elland Road.

Leicester

Manager: Nigel Pearson
Position last season: 9th
Players in: Ritchie de Laet (Manchester United), Matty James (Manchester United), Zak Whitbread (Norwich), Jamie Vardy (Fleetwood), Marko Futacs (Portsmouth), Anthony Knockaert (Guingamp).
Players out: Matt Mills (Bolton), Sol Bamba (Trabzonspor), Darius Vassell, Steve Howard (Hartlepool), Chris Weale (Shrewsbury), Lee Peltier (Leicester), Franck Moussa. Last season's expensive underachievers used 30 players and spent the best part of £20 million in the transfer market to move up one position. It is an understatement to say that rather better will be expected this year after further outlay on a diverse group of recruits, from the highly-rated French midfielder Anthony Knockaert to the former non-league forward Jamie Vardy. Manager Nigel Pearson now has his squad, with a notable emphasis on youth (and indeed the Manchester United youth system), and no excuses for failure. In Jermaine Beckford and David Nugent, he has one of the division's best strikeforces, in Kasper Schmeichel one of its finer goalkeepers and in Zak Whitbread a defender who helped Norwich get out of the Championship. Once again, Leicester ought to go up. If they don't, it is unlikely that the ambitious owners who sacked Sven-Goran Eriksson will persist with Pearson. Key Man: Ritchie de Laet. Generally solid in his few outings for Manchester United but awful on loan at Norwich, the Belgian looks to be a pivotal figure in defence now that Matt Mills and Sol Bamba have moved on.
One to Watch: Ben Marshall. The January recruit brought goals and flair to the flanks in the second half of the season.
Barnsley-Cardiff | Middlesbrough-Wolves

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