What WSC contributors got right and wrong
8 August ~ While Leicester were widely expected to be challenging at the top of the Championship in 2013-14 – though not run away with the title – their fellow automatically promoted club surprised virtually everyone. Burnley were predicted to finish 17th but had a superb season under Sean Dyche to earn second place. It even caught fan Kevin Clarke off guard, who was concerned about the Clarets' "very unbalanced" squad.
Leicester contributor Simon Tyers, meanwhile, thought they "could finish anywhere between the fringes of promotion and the outskirts of relegation." Their 102 points means they return to the Premier League for the first time since 2003-04.
Derby looked like mid-table fodder for the rest of the division, but Peter Gutteridge had them pegged when he predicted: "Let's be optimistic and say we'll lose in the play-offs." That's exactly what they did, as a late Bobby Zamora goal at Wembley sent QPR up instead. That will have come as a surprise to John Carter, who suggested Harry Redknapp would have "an awful lot of planting and weeding to do" before predicting a mid-table finish.
Reading and Wigan were widely expected to take the top two places, with Roger Titford of the former saying that "anything less than automatic promotion would be a disappointment". Even the play-offs were beyond Reading as they missed out on the final day, though Wigan's Ian Aspinall will have been content with the play-off place he predicted.
At the bottom Yeovil made many friends but were ultimately relegated as predicted. "We should go down but we may spring a few surprises along the way," said Bill Bliss. In South Yorkshire, Richard Dean thought that Barnsley's local hopes "being fixed on a possible play-off spot" were a little ambitious and instead predicted his team would finish "a little way ahead of relegation". The rest of the contributors thought otherwise and they ended up being right as Barnsley's eight-year stay in the division ended in a drop to League One.
It was also a bad season for South Yorkshire's Doncaster Rovers. Expected to struggle, Glen Wilson thought that "for a team of our budget, just staying up would be a considerable achievement." They looked to have managed it, too, until Birmingham's late equaliser at Bolton on the final day of the season.
Birmingham themselves were widely expected to be safe, though their own contributor Chris Sanderson had his doubts and thought, "given financial uncertainties" and key player sales, they would also be fortunate to stay in the Championship.
Bournemouth's Steve Menary said: "Common sense says fourth from bottom is acceptable but we are used to winning now and Eddie Howe has confounded predictions during both his stints at the club so who knows?" Howe was at it again as the Cherries mounted a late challenge for the play-offs, ultimately finishing tenth.
The WSC 2014-15 season preview will be in shops on Tuesday August 12