Championship 2022-23 predictions: Baggies the team to catch

Joe Casey
LiveScore
Steve Bruce’s West Brom could have a different look in his first full season in charge
Steve Bruce’s West Brom could have a different look in his first full season in charge

While we await the winner of the Championship play-off final between Huddersfield and Nottingham Forest, teams are already formalising plans for next season as they bid to make it to the Premier League. 

Next term will be like no other as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will bring a halt to domestic action in November and December — and this could make for an even more entertaining end to the campaign.

Ahead of what promises to be an action-packed season, we take a look at the contenders to challenge for promotion.

Bruce bonus

While Norwich and Watford are expected to have a good crack at bouncing straight back to the top flight, West Brom could be the danger team under the guidance of experienced manager Steve Bruce. 

Things may not have gone to plan for the former Newcastle boss last term, as he failed to earn promotion with the Baggies, missing out on the top six by eight points.

But the 61-year-old only took charge at The Hawthorns in February and had little time to turn things around. 

With a full summer ahead to overhaul the squad, Bruce will be hoping to bring in some useful reinforcements and replace the likes of Sam Johnstone and Romaine Sawyers, who are two of 12 released players.

The veteran boss has a good pedigree when it comes to getting teams into the Premier League, having previously guided Birmingham and Hull to the top flight.

Bruce's knowledge of this division and his links to several Premier League clubs, which could result in some important loan signings, ensures the Baggies have all the makings of a strong promotion challenge.

The West Midlands club also still have the likes of Grady Diangana, Callum Robinson, Jake Livermore, Kyle Bartley and Matt Phillips on the books, so there could be lots to shout about for the club's fans. 

Clarets going sour

Burnley are still to decide if interim coach Mike Jackson will continue next season
Burnley are still to decide if interim coach Mike Jackson will continue next season

Despite their efforts to beat the drop, Burnley's stay in the Premier League came to an end this season.

And if they are not careful, they could find themselves battling against successive relegations. 

The Clarets' financial situation is said to be a big worry and it is unclear what funds they will have to spend, while several first-team players are out of contract this summer. 

Defender James Tarkowski is one of the biggest names expected to leave Turf Moor, while Ben Mee, Phil Bardsley and Erik Pieters are looking for new deals. 

The contracts of Jack Cork, Matej Vydra, Ashley Barnes, Dale Stephens and Aaron Lennon are also set to expire and the squad is looking extremely thin in certain departments — something former boss Sean Dyche often bemoaned. 

A permanent manager has also yet to be decided.

Interim boss Mike Jackson is believed to be in the running but there are doubts whether he has the experience to lead the team back to the Premier League. 

Tags

ChampionshipWest BromwichBurnley
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