Championship: Who will be the main winners and losers in 2012/13?
Predicting who will do well in the Championship before the transfer window clangs shut is always a nervy business. This season for instance we wait to see how much money the new owners will pump in at Nottingham Forest, which could make the landscape look very different.
Predictions are a bit of a mug's game but, in the interests of starting a debate and annoying some readers, here goes anyway.
Usually the assessment has to begin with the relegated Premier League clubs. Teams like Newcastle and West Ham have proved recently that a fast return is possible, even if you lose some of your best players. Newcastle were still able to keep Argentinian internationals of the calibre of Colloccini and Gutierrez and West Ham hung on to Rob Green, Mark Noble and others.
But the three sides coming down this year don't seem to be in the same league. At Blackburn Steve Kean remains bullish but his optimism is hardly shared by the fans. After being 'the man to keep Rovers up' Kean has moved politician-like to be ' the man to bring them back' but injury to new signing Leon Best has already upset the vibes at Ewood Park.
Bolton looked to have a better squad than Rovers at season's end but its questionable if that's the case now. There's a lot of rebuilding to take place at the Reebok and it might be two-season effort but if Bolton sort their defence out, they have the talent to start well.
Wolves look to be in decent shape with optimism boosted by the appointment of Stole Solbakken. The Norwegian has a strong record - albeit not in his last job at Cologne. Much depends on sorting out the futures of Steven Fletcher and Matt Jarvis - if they go, the money received must be invested wisely.
And what of the three play-off teams from last season? The fact is Birmingham City, Blackpool and Cardiff City were all well behind the top three and there are question marks about whether they can be as successful in 2012/13.
How long can Ian Holloway keep Blackpool defying the odds on his modest budget? What will Birmingham do now that Chris Hughton has left? And can Cardiff rise above their status as nearly men?
The challengers for promotion may well come from the pack that finished just outside the top six last year. Leicester City, Middlesbrough and Hull City all have the potential to push on and there are three powerful teams coming up from League One.
Sheffield Wednesday are heading back in the right direction and Charlton Athletic were imperious last season under Chris Powell. But the big imponderable is whether Jordan Rhodes will still be at Huddersfield Town.
If the striker does stay with the Terriers, he has the potential to do what Ricky Lambert and Grant Holt did for Southampton and Norwich, respectively, and power the club from League One to the Premier League.
Neil Warnock has a proven track record when it comes to winning promotions but can he do it at Leeds where money is tight under the Bates regime? He has seven promotions to his credit and it's a fair bet that he'll have Leeds in at least the play-offs come May.
The ultra-popular Gianfranco Zola is back in English football at Watford but it might take two seasons before he gets the Hornets into a challenging position, but like Brighton - under the control of former team mate Gustavo Poyet - they are likely spoliers who could sneak the play-offs.
Anything could happen at Nottingham Forest; coach Sean O'Driscoll has a fine reputation and with the backing of a new regime, last season's problems could be history.
The rest of the Championship clubs aren't likely to figure in the top six and several will be anxious because of the quality coming up from League One. Bristol City, Millwall, Burnley, Peterborough, Barnsley, Ipswich Town, Crystal Palace, Derby County will all be happy to find a place in mid-table.
So the editor has asked me to pick which teams will be promoted. I'm tempted to stick a pin in and guess but I'll go for Middlesbrough, based on their new signings and because Tony Mowbray does get teams playing football. And Leeds because of Warnock's sheer expertise at getting out of divisions, plus the passionate Elland Road support driving them on.
For the third spot, Owen Coyle did wonders with Burnley at this level and he's probably got enough quality left at the Reebok to squeeze Bolton back to the top flight. For the other play-off berths I'll take Charlton, Cardiff and Leicester.
Calling all football fans: Do you agree with Hugh's assessment? Will Boro and Leeds be Premier League clubs in 12 months' time or will the likes of Leicester and Nottingham Forest be cracking open the Champagne? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.