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jagfox99

2019/2020 Championship Predictor

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Dundee United

Caley Thistle

Dundee

Partick Thistle

Morton

Dunfermline

Ayr United

Queen Of The South

Arbroath

Alloa

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Dundee Utd

Partick Thistle

Dundee

Inverness 

Dunfermline Athletic

Ayr United

Queen of the South

Greenock Morton

Arbroath

Alloa Athletic

Edited by NEFarab

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Dundee United

ICT

Dundee

Partick

Dunfermline

Ayr

Arbroath

Morton

QoS

Alloa

 

From 5th to 9th, you could mix and match. I reckon those 5 will fill those places in whatever order. Hopefully we aren't 9th again though.

 

 Edited. We are fucked.

 

 

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Between budget cuts, inexperienced managers and clubs still having a lot of business to do we've got more unknown quantities than usual this season, but I’m doing it before the League Cup starts to not be a shitebag. It'll be a surprise if the mid-table sides aren't an absolute clusterfuck doing everything in their power to fall into the relegation battle again.

Dundee have made some good signings and I think there’s a good starting XI in there, aside from their failure to replace that diddy in goal, but there's a lack of depth beyond that and there's always the risk that McPake could turn out to be an Alan Kernaghan figure. Even in their worst case scenario that he does turn out to be clueless though, the combination of their budget being too big and most of the division being too shite means there's surely very little chance of them missing out on the top four. Where most clubs in this division are always a bad appointment away from a relegation battle, the Dundee clubs should always be big enough to remain in the top half - see Dundee United still managing to make the playoffs with Csaba Laszlo in charge. If McPake is in any way decent they'll comfortably stroll into the top four.

Dundee United should absolutely piss this league. From Neilson taking over to the end of last season they matched Ross County's points total and while County weren't an especially memorable side as winners of this league go, they still strolled to the title with over 70 points. United will be a better team this season without a clown like Laszlo overseeing the start of the season or ringers like Loemba and Barton stinking the place out. For all that there are question marks over Neilson's in game management and the way they fluffed the playoffs was hilarious, he has destroyed this division before and it's the strongest squad they've had since coming down. I can't see anyone else getting close to them, unless McPake turns out to be a brilliant manager.

ICT have a weaker squad on paper than last season, but as was discussed on here last season Robertson seems to be one of the few managers in the division who's actually capable of adjusting his style of play to suit the players he's got and grind out results rather than focusing on some imaginary philosophy. It might be a stretch for them to maintain their form of the second half of the season consistently, but they should be around the top half regardless.

Ayr were in relegation form from December to the end of the season and have lost some of their better players from every area of the park. There are still good Championship players in there who would be an asset to most sides - you'll rarely be overrun in midfield with Andy Murdoch in it provided McCall actually plays him in the middle, looking at his goals to game ratio of last season Doolan making double figures is realistic, Ross is an upgrade on McDaid but unless their remaining business is going to consist of some real quality to strengthen the starting eleven another playoff challenge doesn't look likely. That doesn't mean they're necessarily slipping into a relegation battle when you look at what every other club is up to, but you wouldn't rule it out.

Morton are one of the biggest unknown quantities, with new signings being a combination of players who once had decent reputations but have struggled at previous clubs, a few unknown English ringers and a Brechin reject. This could very easily turn out to be a disaster if Hopkin can't get the likes of Muirhead & Nesbitt performing and the English free agents are closer to Morton 13/14 or Falkirk 18/19 standard than your average Caley Thistle signing. There's a solid Championship midfield there but both goalkeepers are unknown quantities and there's only one (injury-prone) centre back signed. How those areas of the park turn out can be the difference between 4th and 10th, and the longer we go without sorting the centre backs the more likely we are to scramble around and end up with crap, which is why we have yet more Brechin rejects on trial.

There's a lot of optimism about Hopkin and we couldn't have realistically got a manager with a better track record, particularly with the budget cuts we've made, but I think some (fans of other clubs more than Morton fans going by this thread) are getting carried away with expectations. Even if you look at what he did with Livingston as something he'd be capable of as par for the course as opposed to an incredible one-off achievement, he did it in his third season there having been relegated in his first, giving him a year of steamrollering League One to get to know his players and how to complement their strengths, building the spine which delivered promotion gradually. I think anyone expecting similar miracles this season when he's had a massive rebuild and the defence is likely to be the weakest part of the squad is going to be disappointed.

Partick are an interesting one this season, if only to get a clearer verdict on Caldwell. After going 13 games without a win up to the end of December, they then launched into comfortable top four form from January. Did that turnaround come because Caldwell learned how to get results and can continue that into this season, or did it come because Caldwell signed one standout player in Scott McDonald who carried the team with his goals and that was enough to cover up the rest of their flaws not being fixed? Could be a bit of both of course, but if Miller doesn't have the same impact McDonald did I'm interested to see if Caldwell can continue to get results without a centre forward who's too good for the division or if they fall back to bottom half form.

Dunfermline's approach to cutting the budget and going for lower league signings does seem less risky than others who’ve done it in that a few of them are at least players who've consistently been spoken about as some of the best players in the lower leagues and/or been chased by other Championship clubs as well, such as Turner and Lang. It's still a risk though and it's heightened by having a manager who the jury is still out on. They're another side where no position from 3rd to 10th would be a big surprise, but with Crawford's record so far I'm leaning towards being pish being more likely.

Alloa should be better equipped to stay up this season with keeping the core of the squad who did it last season - loan signings still to come obviously - however it all comes to down to the big unknown factor of Peter Grant. I’d had how some prospective managers could affect them in my head: a dud like Gary Naysmith would have guaranteed 10th with under 30 points likely, whereas Stewart Petrie would have given them every reason to be confident of 8th or better, but Grant was right out of left field. It could go either way but between his poor record as a manager and a lack of knowledge of part-time football I’m leaning towards failure being more likely. Regardless of the manager I do think it's worth noting the core of the squad who've played a part in some of their best seasons over recent years - Graham, Flannigan, Parry, Cawley - are all the wrong side of 30 now. If all of them start declining that's a huge problem.

While the jury is out on Allan Johnston and this is probably his last chance at full-time management, he's certainly an upgrade for Queen of the South and on paper they've got a better squad than last season. You do have to acknowledge that he set Dunfermline sliding towards trouble and their squad still has it's weaknesses, but at least they've got shot of Naysmith. Their defence was an absolute joke in the second half of last season and it looks stronger now, crucially with a massive upgrade in goal. There are always going to be questions of what happens when Dobbie finally gets a significant injury or stops scoring at the same rate, but of the defence is sorted out should be enough to keep them safe.

Arbroath won the title at a canter last season so that should put them in a better position to compete than most of the part-time sides who've come up in recent years having finished a distant third or fourth in the playoffs, but their form also had a downturn towards the end of the season and they haven't really strengthened yet. Of course they could have been playing within themselves with the title realistically won since February, but how much momentum are they actually bringing here? Meanwhile, as fantastic a job as he's done with Arbroath Dick Campbell doesn't haven't a good record in this division.

With the obvious caveat that every team still has signings to come and that 4th to 10th is pretty much entirely guesswork here:

Dundee United

Dundee

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Partick

Queen of the South

Dunfermline

Ayr

Morton

Arbroath

Alloa

I could realistically see any of the sides I've got from 4th-10th finishing bottom. I’m not usually one for going for the obvious ‘stick the two part-timers as the bottom two’ approach to predictions but until they get the loans in after the League Cup starts it’s hard to see what can propel them up the league, aside from another full-time disaster. Could easily move them up if they add quality on loan later in the window while Ayr or Morton only sign cover or Brechin rejects respectively.

I’m totally unconvinced by Caldwell but Partick have defaulted into fourth by virtue of having fewer glaring weaknesses in their squad than everyone below them. Anyone could surprise like Ayr last season but I’m seeing a bottom half of the table as bad as last season.

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After seeing us effortlessly rattle 7 goals past our English opponents yesterday I’d say it’s our title to lose now.

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1. Dundee Utd

2. Dundee

3. ICT

4. Thistle

5. Ayr Utd

6. Dunfermline

7. Morton

8. QOTS

9. Arbroath

10. Alloa

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1. Dundee United
2. Inverness CT
3. Partick Thistle
4. Dundee
5. Ayr United
6. Arbroath
7. Dunfermline
8. Morton
9. Queen of the South
10.Alloa

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1. Dundee United

2. Morton

3. Dundee

4. Inverness CT

5. Partick Thistle

6. Ayr

7. Dunfermline

8. Queen of the South

9. Alloa

10. Arbroath

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On 31/05/2019 at 09:50, 80sPar said:
  1.  Partick
  2.  Dundee Utd
  3.  Dundee
  4.  Dunfermline
  5.  ICT 
  6.  Morton
  7.  Ayr
  8.  QOTS
  9.  Alloa 
  10.  Arbroath

Revised my earlier prediction

  1.  Dundee
  2.  Partick
  3.  Dundee Utd
  4.  ICT 
  5.  Dunfermline
  6.  Morton
  7.  Ayr
  8.  Arbroath
  9.  Alloa 
  10.  QOTS

 

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1. Dundee United
2. ICT
3. Dundee
4. Dunfermline
5. Partick Thistle
6. Ayr
7. Morton
8. QotS
9. Arbroath
10. Alloa

Arguing with myself whether I think Alloa or Arbroath will finish bottom. Decided on Alloa as I expect the usual good start from Arbroath still on that wave of positivity and Alloa still finding their feet with Peter Grant.

Hopefully it's an open race right with 3 or 4 in it going into April, I don't think any team is stand out at this stage. Might come down to who identifies what they need and recruits the best in January.

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Dundee United have got a pretty good squad on paper but their manager having no idea how to get the best out of them will be a leveller. They’ll probably win the league once they sack Neilson after a month or so.

None of the other squads are that impressive though. In fact some of them look utter dogshit on paper. ICT have the best manager in the league imo and have kept most of the same squad as last season albeit they’ve lost Polworth but replaced him with Keatings who I think is a good signing.

I think the likes of Dundee, Dunfermline and Partick will push for the remaining 2 play off spots whilst us and Morton will probably have relatively unspectacular seasons but be solid enough to hang about 6th and 7th.

Queens have Dobbie which gives them an advantage but as usual they’re scrambling around trying to find half decent players to fill out the rest of their squad. Semple, McCrorie and Holt are decent signings but they’ve lost a lot of creativity with Dykes and Todd gone. Alloa and Arbroath will probably be their main rivals in a relegation fight with Alloa finishing bottom after Grant makes a complete arse of it.

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1 hour ago, Estragon IS NOT a fud said:

Why is everyone backing Partick for a play-off spot?

Almost certainly the third highest budget in the league, which should theoretically lead to a competitive side. Plus once Caldwell got his own players in, we were one of the better teams in the league in the second half of the season. The turnaround in form didn't completely excuse the disaster of a first two months he had in charge, but it has given a bit more reason for optimism.

I actually still don't really know what to make of us under Caldwell yet. His signings have mainly been pretty good, but the team doesn't seem to have an identity (formation and style of play seem to vary game-to-game) and the defence looks highly suspect. But even still, I'd have us making top four as we should probably be quite similar to how we were post-Christmas last season, which was a top four side in terms of form. Additionally, others look weaker than last year (Dunfermline and Morton cutting their budgets, Ayr and ICT losing key players).

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3 hours ago, Nightmare said:

, others look weaker than last year (Dunfermline and Morton cutting their budgets, Ayr and ICT losing key players).

We improved our budget from the season previous to that, didn't mean we looked stronger. 

 

There's a better balance to our squad now than last, and with a better dressing room I'd hope we wouldn't be worrying about relegation. 

 

With regards to Thistle they seem pretty weak at fullback, Robson and Williamson are good going forward but they're both defensively pretty rancid, need some pretty strong centre backs to help them out. I'd still have them down for the playoffs, don't think Caldwell is as bad as he's made out to be. 

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