Client news   |    August 30th, 2021


After 12 games you generally get a reasonable idea of those teams that are set to challenge at the top end of the table and those that are likely to face a long hard winter battling relegation.

In the Premier League Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City look the best equipped teams to be league champions to me and it will be close between that trio. Jack Grealish is already looking a great signing for Manchester City as is Romelu Lukaku at Chelsea and youngster Harvey Elliott has been a revelation for Liverpool in the opening matches. At the opposite end of the table Brentford have had a good start but I expect them to fight It out with Burnley, Crystal Palace, Newcastle Utd, Norwich City, Southampton, and Watford to decide which three teams fall into the EFL Championship.

The EFL Championship will be as competitive as ever and it is one of the most difficult leagues in Europe from which to secure promotion and the riches that go with that can transform a club. Fulham and West Bromwich Albion look the standout teams at this early stage. The remainder of the league can all beat one another on their day, and I expect it to be very open at both ends of the table until the closing weeks of the season.

There are some big teams with rich histories in League One and for that reason alone it will be very competitive and two of those sides in Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland have both made very positive starts and will definitely be in the final shake up. Ipswich and Charlton have made poor starts but will improve to compete at the top end and Bolton, Portsmouth and Wigan will be there or thereabouts.

I think Bradford City will storm to the League Two title with a few weeks to spare and I also think Sutton Utd’s stay in the EFL will be short lived.

Whatever the outcome of each League it is simply brilliant that fans can once again be back in stadia across the country and the atmosphere at grounds up and down the country has demonstrated what we have all been missing. The game simply is not the same without fans. I was at the Charlton v Crewe match on Saturday and bearing in mind Charlton’s poor start the fans got behind their team from the first whistle and made a massive contribution to the outcome of the match and there is a lesson there for the fans of any team that is having a hard time. Noise and passion can generate positive outcomes whereas booing does the opposite!

Image – Getty Images

Peter Varney - Chairman, Integral Sports Management.

back to news