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Fans predict Newcastle United, Sheffield United and Portsmouth to be Sky Bet EFL divisional winners this season

5 August 2016

A poll for over 6,000 fans has seen supporters predict it will be Newcastle United, Sheffield United and Portsmouth that win silverware as Sky Bet EFL divisional champions at the end of the season.

Newcastle fans themselves predicted they would finish in first place in the Sky Bet Championship, and it was a view matched by fans of every other Championship club, with a huge 74% saying it will be the Magpies who lift the famous Lady trophy in May.

In Sky Bet League One, Sheffield United (24%) are the fans’ predicted champions, though there was also strong backing for two teams looking for promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt – Charlton Athletic (20%) and Bolton Wanderers (18%).

In Sky Bet League Two, Portsmouth are the strong favourites among fans to win the division with 42% of supporters backing them, followed by newcomers Doncaster Rovers (18%) and last season’s defeated Sky Bet Play-Off finalists, Plymouth Argyle (12%).

Newcastle United fans have also been revealed as the most optimistic supporters in the EFL ahead of the start of the 2016/17 season. With an average optimism rating of 4.78 out of 5, more fans of Newcastle supporters than any other club say they are feeling ‘very optimistic’ ahead of the new campaign.

Having suffered relegation last season, the new sense of optimism among Magpies fans has seen them predict they will finish top of the division and seal an immediate return to the top flight.
Just behind Newcastle in the Championship optimism table were Sheffield Wednesday fans (4.69), with Derby County third (4.41).

The most optimistic fans among teams in Sky Bet League One are Scunthorpe United supporters (4.43), followed by Millwall (4.39) and Sheffield United (4.31). Among fans in Sky Bet League Two, those most optimistic about their team’s chances this season are Portsmouth fans (4.73), followed by Luton Town (4.53) and Doncaster Rovers (4.40)

The results are based on an EFL survey of 6,128 supporters across all 72 EFL clubs, which also asked fans what position they think their team will finish in, which team they thought would win the division, which fixture they are most looking forward to, who would be top scorer and which player from another team in their division they would most like to sign.

The new Sky Bet EFL season kicks off on Friday evening when Fulham host title favourites Newcastle United at 7:45pm, with the curtain-raiser being screened live on Sky Sports. Also live on Sky Sports this weekend is Queens Park Rangers versus Leeds United (Sunday, 12:00pm) and Sheffield Wednesday versus Aston Villa (Sunday, 4:30pm).

The remainder of the 72 EFL clubs return to action on Saturday at 3pm, with prime-time highlights featuring all the goals on Channel 5 at 9pm on Saturday evening. In addition, the popular ‘Nick Kicks’ show will return on Friday 12th August to Nicktoons, with it also being screened on Nickelodeon on Saturday mornings.

The full results of the EFL fan survey are as follows:

1. Fan optimism ahead of the new season

Sky Bet Championship (Ranking out of five)

Newcastle United: 4.78
Sheffield Wednesday: 4.69
Derby County: 4.41
Huddersfield Town: 4.36
Norwich City: 4.31
Brighton & Hove Albion: 4.25
Bristol City: 4.01
Wolverhampton Wanderers: 3.99
Preston North End: 3.98
Barnsley: 3.96
Cardiff City: 3.83
Wigan Athletic: 3.81
Fulham: 3.75
Aston Villa: 3.71
Leeds United: 3.69
Brentford: 3.64
Nottingham Forest: 3.63
Queens Park Rangers: 3.55
Birmingham City: 3.52
Reading: 3.51
Burton Albion: 3.34
Ipswich Town: 3.15
Blackburn Rovers: 2.89
Rotherham United: 2.62
Sky Bet League One (Ranking out of five)

Scunthorpe United: 4.43
Millwall: 4.39
Sheffield United: 4.31
Bristol Rovers: 4.04
Bradford City: 4.02
Oxford United: 3.98
Rochdale: 3.91
Bolton Wanderers: 3.75
AFC Wimbledon: 3.74
Peterborough United: 3.72
Port Vale: 3.59
Walsall: 3.57
Shrewsbury Town: 3.56
Northampton Town: 3.54
Gillingham: 3.50
Southend United: 3.42
Chesterfield: 3.35
Fleetwood Town: 3.19
Coventry City: 3.13
Milton Keynes Dons: 2.86
Oldham Athletic: 2.58
Bury: 2.43
Charlton Athletic: 2.37
Swindon Town: 2.08
Sky Bet League Two(Ranking out of five)

Portsmouth: 4.73
Luton Town: 4.53
Doncaster Rovers: 4.40
Plymouth Argyle: 4.34
Leyton Orient: 4.22
Cheltenham Town: 4.21
Carlisle United: 4.18
Exeter City: 4.17
Cambridge United: 4.14
Mansfield Town: 4.12
Notts County: 4.10
Stevenage: 4.06
Barnet: 4.05
Hartlepool United: 3.97
Wycombe Wanderers: 3.93
Crawley Town: 3.92
Grimsby Town: 3.84
Yeovil Town: 3.82
Newport County: 3.76
Colchester United: 3.71
Accrington Stanley: 3.56
Blackpool: 3.26
Morecambe: 3.14
Crewe Alexandra: 2.92

2. Average Predicted Finish Position

Sky Bet Championship (Average predicted position)

Newcastle United: 1
Norwich City: 3
Derby County: 3
Sheffield Wednesday: 3
Brighton & Hove Albion: 3
Aston Villa: 4
Wolverhampton Wanderers: 5
Cardiff City: 6
Fulham: 7
Leeds United: 7
Queens Park Rangers: 7
Nottingham Forest: 7
Ipswich Town: 8
Preston North End: 8
Huddersfield Town: 8
Birmingham City: 8
Brentford: 9
Reading: 9
Bristol City: 9
Wigan Athletic: 9
Blackburn Rovers: 12
Barnsley: 13
Burton Albion: 16
Rotherham United: 19

Sky Bet League One (Average predicted position)

Sheffield United: 2
Millwall: 3
Scunthorpe United: 4
Bradford City: 5
Bolton Wanderers: 6
Peterborough United: 6
Gillingham: 8
Oxford United: 8
Rochdale: 8
Milton Keynes Dons: 8
Coventry City: 9
Bristol Rovers: 9
Walsall: 9
Port Vale: 9
Southend United: 10
Chesterfield: 11
Northampton Town: 11
Shrewsbury Town: 12
Charlton Athletic: 12
AFC Wimbledon: 13
Fleetwood Town: 14
Oldham Athletic: 15
Bury: 17
Swindon Town: 17

Sky Bet League Two (Average predicted position)

Portsmouth: 2
Luton Town: 3
Doncaster Rovers: 3
Plymouth Argyle: 3
Leyton Orient: 4
Carlisle United: 5
Notts County: 5
Cambridge United: 6
Wycombe Wanderers: 6
Exeter City: 6
Mansfield Town: 6
Colchester United: 7
Cheltenham Town: 7
Barnet: 7
Stevenage: 7
Hartlepool United: 8
Accrington Stanley: 8
Crawley Town: 8
Blackpool: 9
Yeovil Town: 10
Grimsby Town: 10
Newport County: 10
Crewe Alexandra: 12
Morecambe: 14

3. Predicted Divisional Champions

Sky Bet Championship

Newcastle United: 74%
Norwich City: 6%
Derby County: 4%
Aston Villa: 4%
Sheffield Wednesday: 3%
Brighton & Hove Albion: 3%
Wolverhampton Wanderers: 1%

Sky Bet League One

Sheffield United: 24%
Charlton Athletic: 20%
Bolton Wanderers: 18%
Millwall: 12%
Milton Keynes Dons: 7%
Bradford City: 5%
Coventry City: 4%
Walsall: 2%
Bristol Rovers: 1%
Peterborough United: 1%

Sky Bet League Two
Portsmouth: 42%
Doncaster Rovers: 18%
Plymouth Argyle: 12%
Luton Town: 6%
Blackpool: 5%
Leyton Orient: 3%
Colchester United: 2%
Notts County: 2%
Accrington Stanley: 2%
Wycombe Wanderers: 1%

4. Most Anticipated Fixtures

Sky Bet Championship
1.    Aston Villa v Birmingham City
2.    Ipswich Town v Norwich City
3.    Derby County v Nottingham Forest
4.    Aston Villa v Wolverhampton Wanderers
5.    Leeds United v Newcastle United

Sky Bet League One
1.    Oxford United v Swindon Town
2.    Charlton Athletic v Millwall
3.    Bury v Bolton Wanderers
4.    Chesterfield v Sheffield United
5.    AFC Wimbledon v Milton Keynes Dons

Sky Bet League Two
1.    Mansfield Town v Notts County
2.    Exeter City v Plymouth Argyle
3.    Plymouth Argyle v Portsmouth
4.    Cambridge United v Luton Town
5.    Carlisle United v Hartlepool United

5. Predicted Top Scorers

Sky Bet Championship
1.    Ross McCormack
2.    Dwight Gayle
3.    Chris Martin
4.    Gary Hooper
5.    Britt Assombalonga
6.    Fernando Forestieri
7.    Scott Hogan
8.    Steven Fletcher
9.    Will Grigg
10.   Chris Wood

Sky Bet League One
1.    Billy Sharp
2.    Nicky Ajose
3.    Lee Gregory
4.    Leon Clarke
5.    Matt Taylor
6.    Ched Evans
7.    Paddy Madden
8.    Kane Hemmings
9.    James Hanson
10.   Zach Clough 

Sky Bet League Two
1.    Jay Simpson
2.    Jack Marriott
3.    Andy Williams
4.    David Goodwillie
5.    Conor Chaplin
6.    Michael Smith
7.    John Akinde
8.    Omar Bogle
9.    Matt Green  

The information in this story is based on an online survey of more than 5,000 fans by the EFL ahead of the new campaign.

Follow the EFL on social media for all the build-up to the start of the 2016/17 season, using #EFLKickOff:


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