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Football Manager 2017: EFL Season 2016/17 simulated

4 November 2016

Up? Down? Play-Off joy, or Wembley heartache? Check out who had a season to remember – or one to forget – with our Football Manager 2017 Season 2016/17 simulation.

We've already brought you five EFL challenges to try on the new Sports Interactive game, released today [4th November 2016], so we felt it was time to book a season-long holiday, put our feet up, and watch the campaign unfold from afar...

Football Manager 2017: Five EFL challenges for you to try

Sky Bet Championship

Newcastle United were the runaway winners, with Rafa Benitez guiding his side to a tally of 102 points, and a place in the FA Cup semi-final!

The Magpies didn't lose a game in October, November, December or January and boasted a goal difference of +53 in the final standings. Matt Ritchie (16), Aleksandar Mitrovic (14), Dwight Gayle (13) and Christian Atsu (11) were the main contributors to the cause.

Nineteen goals was the season-high in the division, a figure achieved by QPR's Sebastian Polter, Huddersfield's Nahki Wells, and Brighton's Tomer Hemed – the latter's efforts playing a key part in the Seagulls securing second spot and automatic promotion.

Aston Villa did it the hard way, but got over the line with a fine 3-0 Play-Off Final victory over Norwich City. Ross McCormack, Mile Jedinak and Rudy Gestede sealed their top-flight return at Wembley.

Huddersfield Town and Derby County were the losing semi-finalists, while the bottom three consisted of Burton Albion, Nottingham Forest and Preston North End.

Click here for the simulated Sky Bet Championship table in full

Champions: Newcastle United
Promoted: Brighton & Hove Albion, Aston Villa (Play-Off winners)
Relegated: Burton Albion, Nottingham Forest, Preston North End
Top scorer: Sebastian Polter, Nahki Wells, Tomer Hemed (all 19)

Sky Bet League One

Milton Keynes Dons bounced back from relegation in style, securing the title by three points, although they did hold a much more commanding lead for the majority of the season.

Charlton Athletic clawed back the deficit to also book a return to the Sky Bet Championship, with 24-goal top scorer Lee Novak firing the Addicks to automatic promotion.

There was a 15-point gap between them and third-placed Bolton Wanderers, but the Trotters were defeated by Sheffield United in the Play-Off Semi-Final. Gillingham finished fourth, but they succumbed to Northampton Town, who had made a rapid rise up the division in the second half of the campaign.

After losing just two of their last 18 games, the Cobblers carried their momentum to Wembley, and overcame former manager Chris Wilder and his Blades 2-1 to seal a second successive promotion. Kaylen Hinds – signed on loan from Arsenal – was the man to write his name into Cobblers' folklore.

Southend United, Swindon Town, AFC Wimbledon and Shrewsbury Town made up the bottom four.

Click here for the simulated Sky Bet League One table in full

Champions: Milton Keynes Dons
Promoted: Charlton Athletic,  Northampton Town (Play-Off winners)
Relegated: Southend United, Swindon Town, AFC Wimbledon, Shrewsbury Town
Top scorer: Lee Novak (24)

Sky Bet League Two

Blackpool finished nine points clear of the chasing pack, making it a trio of relegated sides to win the three EFL divisions.

Leyton Orient were giving the Seasiders a run for their money, but eight draws from their last 10 put paid to their title hopes and they had to settle for the runners-up spot.

Dermot Drummy, meanwhile, had a debut season to remember. The Crawley Town manager led his side to the third and final automatic promotion place.

John Akinde was the division's top scorer with 23 goals, and his Barnet side took on Colchester United in one of the Play-Off semi-finals. In the other, Crewe Alexandra took on Luton Town, and it was the two sides down from Sky Bet League One who advanced to Wembley.

It was an absolute thriller with the U's pegged back twice, but Brennan Dickenson's 119th-minute winner left the Railwaymen with no time to respond again, and the Essex outfit secured a return to the third tier.

Morecambe and Cheltenham Town dropped out of the EFL, with the latter suffering the ultimate heartache. Doncaster Rovers were destined to drop, but Harry Middleton's second-half winner on the final day kept them afloat at the Robins' expense.

Click here for the simulated Sky Bet League Two table in full

Champions: Blackpool
Promoted: Leyton Orient, Crawley Town, Colchester United (Play-Off winners)
Relegated: Cheltenham Town, Morecambe
Top scorer: John Akinde (23)

Buy now: Click here to order Football Manager 2017 on

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