Premier League Experience: 5 Seasons
Current Spell in Championship: 1 Seasons
Last Season: 19th
Forest were founder members of the Premier League and Sky Sports chose to broadcast the first ever live Premiership match from the City Ground, a 2-2 draw with Liverpool. Whilst Sky’s production values have come along a fair way in the last 17 years, the same cannot be said for Forest’s quality. An excruciating three seasons in League One was followed last year by a painful re-introduction to the Championship – Colin Calderwood’s side managed just two wins in their first 19 matches back in the second tier.
At least this season brings back the prospect of some excellent East-Midlands derbies. Leicester, Derby and Forest have not competed in the same division since 2004/05. For the first season in five bragging rights are most certainly at stake.
Premier League Experience: 0 Seasons
Current Spell in Championship: 0 Seasons
Last Season: 2nd (Promoted)
This is Posh’s first season in the second tier since 1993/94. Defeated on the opening day by City that season, Peterborough’s season never really got going as they whimpered out of Division One. Further relegation to the fourth tier followed four years later and since then Posh had rarely looked like breaking back into the Championship.
That was until 11 wins in their final 15 games last season put Posh ahead of the faltering MK Dons and as high as they’re been in the league ladder for 17 seasons. There’s really no telling how Peterborough will adjust, but under Darren Ferguson they should at least be difficult to beat at home.
Preston North End
Premier League Experience: 0 Seasons
Current Spell in Championship: 9 Seasons
Last Season: 6th
Preston haven’t experienced relegation for 17 seasons and given last season’s push for the play-offs it’s unlikely they will be looking down this season either. As the Championship’s longest serving tenants Preston are due an exit one way or another.
But like Ipswich Town, Preston have suffered at the hands of the play-offs too many times to consider then a viable option for promotion. Four times in the last nine seasons they have reached to top six, only to see Bolton and West Ham pip them to the Premier League in the final.
Queen’s Park Rangers
Premier League Experience: 4 Seasons
Current Spell in Championship: 5 Seasons
Last Season: 11th
Flush with dosh, QPR were the team to back for the title at the start of last season; nevermind.
Still, Rangers did manage a top half finish for the first time in four seasons. Like Leicester, QPR have suffered the ignominy of relegation to the third tier having lost their Premier League status in 1996. And like Nottingham Forrest, it took QPR three years to make their way out of what was then Division Two.
Finding the back of the net will be QPR’s most pressing concern early this season. They failed to score in nine of their last 14 Championship matches last year.
Premier League Experience: 2 Seasons
Current Spell in Championship: 1 Season
Last Season: 4th
Reading fans might argue they ought to have had at least one more season in the Premier League to their name. Back in 1994/95 they nearly completed the same feat Leicester fans are dreaming of this season. Promoted from Division Two a year earlier, Reading scored 58 goals and amassed 79 points in what was their first ever season in the second tier. It was enough to place them second in the table that season. Unfortunately for the Royals it was also the season in which the Premier League shed two teams from its roster. As a result the four sides relegated from the Premier League were to be replaced by just two from Division One. Reading battled to the play-off final but were beaten 4-3 by Bolton after extra time.
Still, when Reading did finally make it to the Premier League they did it in style. The 106 points the club won in 2005/06 is the highest any side has ever achieved in a single season.