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Football Manager 2017: Five EFL challenges

3 November 2016

Cherno Samba, Freddy Adu, Mark Kerr, Nicolas Millan – if you know, you know.

So the time has come, the latest edition of Sports Interactive's Football Manager is released tomorrow (4th November 2016), and we've taken a look at the game to pick out five EFL-related challenges.

Let us know via @EFL how you get on, or who you've chosen to start with. Enjoy!

Buy now: Click here to order Football Manager 2017 on footballmanager.com

Aston Villa, Newcastle United or Norwich City

The trio of teams relegated from the top flight all harbour ambitions of an immediate return, but can you guide them to glory and bounce back at the first time of asking?

Roared on by a passionate Geordie crowd, Newcastle United's squad is all set for a promotion challenge. The likes of Jonjo Shelvey and Mo Diame in the middle are accompanied by the threat of Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic up top. You get welcomed with a healthy transfer and wage budget but the pressure is on – the media predict a table-topping season.

Norwich City are predicted a second-placed finish by the in-game media and they have a squad full of Sky Bet Championship experience, with the bulk of their Play-Off winning squad from 2015 still at the club. Add that to the fact the Canaries' board give you a healthy £10m transfer budget to play with, it's fair to say you have all the tools to succeed.

After a miserable 2015/16 season, in which they accumulated just 17 points, Aston Villa are hopeful once more. Under your guidance, you're expected to be up there with the media predicting a third-place finish. You have firepower, that's for sure, in Ross McCormack and Jonathan Kodjia, but can you handle the pressure and reinvigorate the club? Look out for Second City Derby dates with Birmingham City – victories in those games will get the Villa Park faithful behind you.

Burton Albion

A non-league side as recently as 2009, Burton Albion are now mixing it in the Sky Bet Championship. Keeping them in the division is the primary objective, but they are within touching distance of the top flight.

Can you complete the Brewers' fairytale rise?

Bristol Rovers

Darrell Clarke has worked wonders, but can you carry on his success at the Memorial Stadium?

Bristol Rovers have been on the up since they suffered relegation out of the EFL in 2013/14 and, after promotion on their return to Sky Bet League Two last year, they're now in League One with momentum on their side. They also have one of the EFL's stand-out goal-getters in Matty Taylor.

Carlisle United

The Sky Bet League Two season is 15 games old and Carlisle United are still unbeaten, with eight victories and seven draws to date, sitting second in the table.

Can you better the record of manager Keith Curle and be the new name on fans' lips at Brunton Park?

Josh Morris

Here's a slightly different challenge...

Transform your left winger into a goalscoring machine.

That's exactly what Scunthorpe United boss Graham Alexander has done this term, with Josh Morris netting 13 league goals in 16 appearances – making him the EFL's top scorer. He also landed back-to-back Player of the Month awards to start the season.

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