With the Championship kicking off in just a few weeks, we put FIFA 21 to the test and have simulated the upcoming season and it’s fair to say there are some bold shouts in here.

 

24) Blackpool: 32 points
Finishing rock bottom of the table are Neil Critchley’s side, according to FIFA 21.

Blackpool are back in the Championship for the first time since 2015, when they only managed to pick up 26 points, but this time round they do look considerably stronger despite FIFA backing them to go straight back down.

 

23) Reading: 39 points
This one is probably one of the boldest predictions as it would take an absolute disaster of a season for Reading to be relegated, after narrowly missing out on the top six last season.

FIFA is banking on the sale of Michael Olise hitting the Royals hard, but this would certainly be a surprising finish.

 

22) Hull City: 42 points
As the last of the relegated sides, we then have newly promoted Hull, who fall to their second relegation in the last three years according to FIFA.

The Tigers blew League One away as they won promotion at the first time of asking, but they now face the challenge of re-establishing themselves as a Championship club.

 

21) Barnsley: 44 points
It’s fair to say that last season might have been a bit of an overachievement from Barnsley, but a drop to 21st in the league would be a huge fall-off from last time.

They no longer have Alex Mowatt, Daryl Dike and Valérien Ismaël, but they still have a young core of promising players who will be targeting a top-half finish.

 

20) Cardiff City: 48 points
Another surprising shout as Cardiff fall 12 places down the league, narrowly avoiding relegation.

The Bluebirds will have their sights set on a top-six finish this time around, but FIFA is predicting them to have a tough year.

 

19) Derby County: 48 points
Right now, Derby fans would probably take a 19th-place finish with all the chaos around the club at the moment.

Rooney has a tough job on his hands to rebuild a side that narrowly avoided relegation last time on a shoe-string budget.

 

18) Preston North End: 52 points
This will be Frankie McAvoy’s first full season in charge after taking over from Alex Neil, who left in March by mutual consent.

McAvoy has done well in his short stint in charge so far, winning five of his eight games, but next season will bring its challenges for the new boss.

 

17) Peterborough: 53 points
FIFA is backing Peterborough to be the best performing out of the newly promoted sides with Darren Ferguson guiding them to a comfortable 17th-placed finish.

The last time they were in the Championship they finished on 54 points and that wasn’t enough to keep them up in 2012/13.

 

16) Swansea City: 55 points
The departure of star man Andre Ayew has obviously swayed FIFA’s prediction here, but a fall to 16th would a huge disappointment for Steve Cooper’s side.

Swansea will be hopeful that new addition Joël Piroe will be able to do the business for them going forward, but they are still expected to make some more signings.

 

15) Coventry City: 56 points
This would be a slight improvement from their finish last time as they look to continue to establish themselves as a Championship club.

Mark Robins is doing a fine job with Coventry and they will have the boost of playing their home matches back at the Ricoh Arena next season.

 

14) Luton Town: 56 points
The Hatters have been particularly busy in the transfer window so far with eight new additions and 10 departures from the squad.

FIFA has them finishing slightly lower than last season, but Nathan Jones will have his sights set on another top-half finish.

 

13) Huddersfield: 56 points
Carlos Corberán could really do with a strong start to the season after a shaky campaign last time which saw them concede more goals than any other club.

They have also been fairly busy in the transfer market so far, bringing in six new signings.

 

12) Blackburn Rovers: 56 points
Rovers finish bang in the middle of the table according to FIFA, which would be a slight improvement on last time’s 15th-place finish.

At their best, Blackburn were very good last season but they struggled with consistency and key players missed chunks of the season through injury.

 

11) QPR: 57 points
At the moment, many are backing QPR to be a bit of a dark horse next season and after how well they finished last time, it’s easy to see why.

Mark Warburton has put an effective system in place where they have tightened things up at the back as well as playing some nice stuff going forward. As the world wobbles, QPR are uncharacteristically stable.

 

10) Millwall: 59 points
Millwall kept 17 clean sheets last season and are expected to be strong at the back once again with the addition of Daniel Ballard, who’s coming on loan from Arsenal for the season.

Their problem last season was hitting the back of the net and so they’ll be hoping that Benik Afobe is able to make the difference for them going forward.

 

9) Middlesbrough: 61 points
If there’s one man that knows what it takes to get promoted from this level, it’s Neil Warnock.

Neil Warnock Middlesbrough boss

After flirting with the top six last season, Boro will want to go one step further this time but FIFA has them just falling short.

 

8) Birmingham: 67 points
I think that every Birmingham fan would take this finish after being in and around the relegation zone for the past few years.

Lee Bowyer did well to steady the ship after his arrival in March and FIFA thinks he’ll be able to shoot them up the league this time around.

 

7) Stoke: 69 points
This would be Stoke’s best finish since being back in the Championship as they have had three consecutive bottom-half finishes so far.

With the return of Tyrese Campbell and with additions such as Mario Vrančić and Ben Wilmot, maybe the Potters will fare a little better this time.

 

6) Bristol City: 72 points
This one would certainly be a surprise after the season the Robins are just coming off, finishing 19th in the league.

Nigel Pearson has his work cut out next season as he has to rebuild this Bristol City side that seemed to lose its spark last season.

 

5) West Brom: 83 points
After guiding Barnsley to a top-six finish last time round, Valérien Ismaël will have his sights set on another promotion push, this time with West Brom.

Currently, the Baggies are one of the favourites for promotion but FIFA doesn’t quite have them making the top two.

 

4) Nottingham Forest: 89 points
Chris Hughton is going to have to work some wonders with this Forest side next season to guide them to a fourth-place finish, but in the Championship, you can never rule anything out.

Hughton already has two promotions on his CV, but next season with Forest might just be his most challenging yet.

 

3) Fulham: 91 points (play-off winners)
Fulham know a thing or two about play-off victories and that’s just what FIFA is predicting for them once again this time.

Marco Silva has plenty of attacking talent to work with and they are currently among the favourites to be promoted.

 

2) Sheffield United: 91 points
Edging out Fulham on goal difference, the Blades manage to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking according to FIFA’s predictions.

Slaviša Jokanović already has one promotion on his CV from his time at Fulham and he’s looking to add to that soon with Sheffield United.

 

1) Bournemouth: 101 points
With Norwich and Watford both bouncing back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, Bournemouth have been left behind and have a point to prove after their play-off heartache last season.

The appointment of Scott Parker makes them an intriguing side and FIFA is backing them to blow the league away with 101 points.





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