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Sturny

This seasons "Dark Horse" ​​​​​​​

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So who do you think it'll be? I'm not sure we qualify as we've splashed some cash which definitely hasn't gone under the radar. But there isn't always a dark horse tbf. 

Last season I thought Norwich were sorta a dark horse finishing top, don't remember many people giving their squad serious praise before that season. 

My weak guess is Swansea, even tho they finished top 10 last season.  

What do you think 👀?

 

Edited by Sturny

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Blackburn. 👀

Think ourselves and Brentford slated in as possible top 6 contenders so I'll go with Blackburn for a surprise playoff tilt.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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12 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Blackburn. 👀

Think ourselves and Brentford slated in as possible top 6 contenders so I'll go with Blackburn for a surprise playoff tilt.

Blackburn floated around the top 6 for a couple of months too last season

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Just now, Sturny said:

Blackburn floated around the top 6 for a couple of months too last season

Yeah true, strong home record as well IIRC.

Don't think many are tipping them at all though.

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Luton. Really fancy them to do well. Not many teams will enjoy playing at Kenilworth road and they'll take big support on the road. 

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25 minutes ago, Lew-T said:

Hull might surprise a few. Swansea and Forest too.

I can see Swansea and Hull struggling this season. I’d go for Brentford, Luton and Wigan.

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Us.

We might have spent money, but our net spend is little, so the pundits wont be looking at little Bristol city.

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Preston could be a surprise package. I don't fancy Luton, I think they will struggle with the Championship style of football. 

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1 hour ago, JBFC II said:

Luton, they’re on the up big time at the moment 

They were my first thought as well, they’ve been flying up the leagues so it’ll be interesting to see if they can continue.

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I have a few mates that follow the Championship, and contrary to the belief on here, many of them would class us as "dark horses", but ultimately not being good enough to achieve promotion this year - mostly because we lack a goal scoring centre forward. A glance across the internet shows many that share this view, so hopefully we'll have a forward coming to Ashton Gate soon.

As for other dark horses, a lot of people are discounting Fulham, but I think they'll have a good season. My main pick for dark horse is Sheffield Wednesday. Bruce usually puts a good foundation in, and given that Bruce's leaving was despite the owners being fairly accommodating to him, I can see a decent coach taking over the reins and them rallying around for a promotion push.

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3 minutes ago, EnderMB said:

I have a few mates that follow the Championship, and contrary to the belief on here, many of them would class us as "dark horses", but ultimately not being good enough to achieve promotion this year - mostly because we lack a goal scoring centre forward. A glance across the internet shows many that share this view, so hopefully we'll have a forward coming to Ashton Gate soon.

As for other dark horses, a lot of people are discounting Fulham, but I think they'll have a good season. My main pick for dark horse is Sheffield Wednesday. Bruce usually puts a good foundation in, and given that Bruce's leaving was despite the owners being fairly accommodating to him, I can see a decent coach taking over the reins and them rallying around for a promotion push.

Fulham have made some seriously impressive signings so far. Can see them going up

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33 minutes ago, JBFC II said:

Fulham have made some seriously impressive signings so far. Can see them going up

@EnderMB

I had them down as one of the strongest on paper- Parker interchanged with Jokanovic the difference of course- even before Cavaleiro and Knockaert.

Can't see why Fulham are discounted at all. They still have a lot of the side that were unbeaten in 23 games and have strengthened it in some areas. A full season of Mitrovic, Sessegnon still there (for now- but Cavaleiro-Mitrovic-Knockaert?!)- Taylor-Crossdale has joined on a free, good depth and competition. Full season of Christie, add in Mawson, Le Marchand, Bryan. Anguissa will add depth if not be a starter.

Not just one of the favourites, but the team to beat surely? With so much continuity from their 2017/18 success they can easily slot into that 4-3-3 as if it was 2017/18 again, but stronger. Bettinelli, Johansen still there. No Fredericks or Targett granted.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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1 hour ago, fatchers said:

Preston could be a surprise package. I don't fancy Luton, I think they will struggle with the Championship style of football. 

Yeah Luton will really struggle i think. Maybe the wave of momentum can keep them from avoiding relegation.

Preston were hit with the injury bug last season and seriously hindered their top six chances. Won't be much of a surprise if Brentford finished top six with their squad. I will go for Wigan some decent signings made so far and PC seems a top manager.

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33 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

@EnderMB

I had them down as one of the strongest on paper- Parker interchanged with Jokanovic the difference of course- even before Cavaleiro and Knockaert.

Can't see why Fulham are discounted at all. They still have a lot of the side that were unbeaten in 23 games and have strengthened it in some areas. A full season of Mitrovic, Sessegnon still there (for now- but Cavaleiro-Mitrovic-Knockaert?!)- Taylor-Crossdale has joined on a free, good depth and competition. Full season of Christie, add in Mawson, Le Marchand, Bryan. Anguissa will add depth if not be a starter.

Not just one of the favourites, but the team to beat surely? With so much continuity from their 2017/18 success they can easily slot into that 4-3-3 as if it was 2017/18 again, but stronger. Bettinelli, Johansen still there. No Fredericks or Targett granted.

Not really a dark horse then, particularly as they are second favourites behind Leeds.

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Just now, Sir Geoff said:

Not really a dark horse then, particularly as they are second favourites behind Leeds.

Agreed entirely- not a dark horse at all, baffled as to how they would be considered a dark horse.

Could argue ourselves and Brentford given the summer business combined with a quiet window generally plus our last 2 seasons aren't really one either.

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Darkest of horses but perhaps Birmingham could spring some surprises? Yes they've lost Che Adams but Jutkiewicz actually had a very good season last year. They've a solid squad even if few players jump out at you as being the type who can win you a game on his own. Crowley seems like he could be a decent signing. In pre-season they have managed to beat two of the "greatest" teams in the country so they must be up to something!

I'd expect most would predict a top six of (in no particular order) Leeds, Fulham, Cardiff, West Brom, Stoke and Huddersfield.

We'll then be categorised in the next cluster with the likes of Boro, Derby, Preston, Swansea, Sheff Wed, Forest, Brentford etc. All given the line of "If they can make it click and capitalise on their potential then this team could yet gatecrash the play-offs."

Edited by ExiledAjax

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4 minutes ago, ExiledAjax said:

Darkest of horses but perhaps Birmingham could spring some surprises? Yes they've lost Che Adams but Jutkiewicz actually had a very good season last year. They've a solid squad even if few players jump out at you as being the type who can win you a game on his own. Crowley seems like he could be a decent signing. In pre-season they have managed to beat two of the "greatest" teams in the country so they must be up to something!

I'd expect most would predict a top six of (in no particular order) Leeds, Fulham, Cardiff, West Brom, Stoke and Huddersfield.

We'll then be categorised in the next cluster with the likes of Boro, Derby, Preston, Swansea, Sheff Wed, Forest, Brentford etc. All given the line of "If they can make it click and capitalise on their potential then this team could yet gatecrash the play-offs."

Could be okay Birmingham but don't see them as being near top 6.

Adams a major hole, Jota their top creator- 11 assists, Morrison I think was their captain and of course the one who brought it all together Monk. Mahoney not necessarily replaced either.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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I seriously believe that if we sign Eddie Nketiah, it will make us promotion contenders in our own right.  Sod the dark horse, lets make it clear from the outset. 

Edited by Badger08
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21 minutes ago, Badger08 said:

I seriously believe that if we sign Eddie Nketiah, it will make us promotion contenders in our own right.  Sod the dark horse, lets make it clear from the outset. 

Make what clear?

And if we do ",make it clear" - that's just heaping pressure on ourselves.

We have a good team, let them under-estimate us. Far easier to win games when you are being underestimated.

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2 minutes ago, Riaz said:

Make what clear?

And if we do ",make it clear" - that's just heaping pressure on ourselves.

We have a good team, let them under-estimate us. Far easier to win games when you are being underestimated.

I don't think teams do underestimate us though, and haven't done for a good few seasons now. 

By making it clear, I mean making it clear from the start that we mean business (which they will do anyway from the signing of Kalas and JD). 

Bristol City aren't dark horses anymore. If you're anyone who knows anything about football, you will know that we're now one of the best (in patches) footballing sides in the league. 

 

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3 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

@EnderMB

I had them down as one of the strongest on paper- Parker interchanged with Jokanovic the difference of course- even before Cavaleiro and Knockaert.

Can't see why Fulham are discounted at all. They still have a lot of the side that were unbeaten in 23 games and have strengthened it in some areas. A full season of Mitrovic, Sessegnon still there (for now- but Cavaleiro-Mitrovic-Knockaert?!)- Taylor-Crossdale has joined on a free, good depth and competition. Full season of Christie, add in Mawson, Le Marchand, Bryan. Anguissa will add depth if not be a starter.

Not just one of the favourites, but the team to beat surely? With so much continuity from their 2017/18 success they can easily slot into that 4-3-3 as if it was 2017/18 again, but stronger. Bettinelli, Johansen still there. No Fredericks or Targett granted.

The inevitable slide writes itself, though. Sunderland looked like a Championship team when they were relegated from the Premier League, and they looked far weaker than the sum of their parts when they went down again. I think a lot of people expect Fulham to stumble after spunking 9 figures in one season on talent only to go right back down again.

That, and there are so many people that believe the Championship is stronger than those at the bottom of the Premier League. The fact that many people here consider that we are are up there for the playoffs this season despite some strong teams coming down says it all, really.

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4 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Don't think many are tipping them at all though.

Surely that's a prerequisite for a dark horse :whistle:

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16 minutes ago, EnderMB said:

The inevitable slide writes itself, though. Sunderland looked like a Championship team when they were relegated from the Premier League, and they looked far weaker than the sum of their parts when they went down again. I think a lot of people expect Fulham to stumble after spunking 9 figures in one season on talent only to go right back down again.

That, and there are so many people that believe the Championship is stronger than those at the bottom of the Premier League. The fact that many people here consider that we are are up there for the playoffs this season despite some strong teams coming down says it all, really.

Understand that- Fulham to me look in a lot better shape than Sunderland were though. Will look back at their 2017/18 side but it looked a mismatch, unhappy players, some aging- Grayson should at least have been able to stabilise them though. They maybe slow starters but I look at their squad, a fair bit of continuity and the fact it is stronger than the one that went up- and the fact that Parker has been preparing since his appointment as caretaker manager when a quick return looked likely for a return to Fulham's style that was so successful from late December 2017 to the playoff final.

Dunno about stronger but certainly not a lot between IMO.

https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/sunderland-afc/startseite/verein/289?saison_id=2017

Was really nothing special tbh, looking at it! Was big and yet lacked depth, was aging in places and raw in others. Poor age profile, questionable quality, well taken as a whole as there were a number of good individuals there- I just don't see that with Fulham.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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1 hour ago, Badger08 said:

I seriously believe that if we sign Eddie Nketiah, it will make us promotion contenders in our own right.  Sod the dark horse, lets make it clear from the outset. 

Hasn’t that now been ruled out by the Arsenal Manager..?

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Genuine dark horses- Barnsley. They seem to be signing a lot of "high risk, high reward" type players from Europe and if a decent number of them pay off, they could have a very good side. Of course, they could also fail to gel and be terrible...

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I'd say Forest are going to be the surprise package this year, a club that's run pretty much the complete opposite to us with an owner who is probably getting around FFP by selling players to the other club he owns. 

A manager who hasn't really succeeded at any side (took Rennes to 5th after being their half a season then got the boot half a season later with a 38% win rate)

But they have so far been able to keep their best players, signed a few more from Portugal (depends whether they can handle the physicality of the championship). Finished just behind us last season so I don't know if you could class them as "dark horses" 

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I’m looking at the predicted table as we go through the weeks. As it stands now I have a rough estimate as the below. Lots will change though as sure Maupay will leave Brentford and hopefully we sign a few more.  I’m in a prediction league with mates and usually manage to do okay albeit the winner never gets it anywhere near spot on!

Fulham 

Leeds

Cardiff

Stoke

West Brom 

Brentford 

Bristol City

Middlesborough 

Huddersfield

Derby

Preston 

Sheff Wed

Notts Forest

Swansea

Blackburn

Reading

QPR

Barnsley

Charlton

Birmingham

Millwall

Wigan 

Luton

Hull

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2 hours ago, Badger08 said:

 

I don't think teams do underestimate us though, and haven't done for a good few seasons now. 

By making it clear, I mean making it clear from the start that we mean business (which they will do anyway from the signing of Kalas and JD). 

Bristol City aren't dark horses anymore. If you're anyone who knows anything about football, you will know that we're now one of the best (in patches) footballing sides in the league. 

 

The club will always say we are ambitious. That’s clear.

and yes teams take us serious. But no one thinks we will be in the top 2.

And if you go by the bookies, they think we’ll finish 8-10th. 

That means the pressures off and the pressure is on teams like Leeds.

thats good for us.

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10 minutes ago, Riaz said:

The club will always say we are ambitious. That’s clear.

and yes teams take us serious. But no one thinks we will be in the top 2.

And if you go by the bookies, they think we’ll finish 8-10th. 

That means the pressures off and the pressure is on teams like Leeds.

thats good for us.

If we signed a couple more of quality to improve our first XI say Nketiah and Williams I would have us as top four pushing for top two. 

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