THE BIG KICK-OFF: The Blades look a cut above the rest, Posh to miss out in the play-offs

New Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder.
New Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder.
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Last season Peterborough Telegraph Peterborough United reporter Alan Swann accurately tipped Wigan to win League One and Crewe to finish bottom

Here is Alan’s club­-by-club guide, news on the major sumers transfers and predictions for the 2016-­17 season. Odds are to win the title from Sky Bet.

Former Posh striker Nicky Ajose has moved from Swindon to Charlton. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Former Posh striker Nicky Ajose has moved from Swindon to Charlton. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Rating guide:

***** Champions

**** Promotion contenders

*** Mid­table obscurity

Tyrone Barnett celebrates an equalising goal for Shrewsbury at Posh last season. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Tyrone Barnett celebrates an equalising goal for Shrewsbury at Posh last season. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

** Relegation battlers

* Doomed

Transfers correct as at August 3

AFC WIMBLEDON

Ins: Darius Charles (Burton), Ryan Clarke (Northampton), Chris Whelpdale (Stevenage), Dominic Poleon (Oldham), Dean Parrett (Stevenage), Sean Kelly (St Mirren), Tyrone Barnett (Shrewsbury).

Prediction: The popular Dons will receive plenty of goodwill, but plenty of bad beatings. A struggle to stay up, especially now they’ve signed Tyrone Barnett.

Odds: 28/1

Rating: **

BOLTON

Ins: Jamie Proctor (Bradford City), Mark Beevers (Millwall), Chris Taylor (Millwall), Mark Howard (Sheff Utd),

Prediction: A shambles of a club last season and no real evidence they have smartened themselves up. Pedigree will ensure they are in the promotion mix though.

Odds: 12/1

Rating: ****

BRADFORD CITY

Ins: Nat Knight-­Percival (Shrewsbury), Nicky Law (Rangers), Jordi Hiwula (Huddersfield), Timothee Dieng (Oldham), Colin Doyle (Blackpool), Rouven Sattemaier (Stuttgart Kickers), Romain Vincelot (Coventry), Matt Kilgallon (Blackburn).

Prediction: The loss of an over-­rated manager is no big deal, especially for those fans who like flowing, attractive football.

Odds: 11/1

Rating: ***

BRISTOL ROVERS

Ins: Peter Hartley (Plymouth), Luke James (Posh).

Prediction: Momentum from back-to-­back promotions, but ‘The Gas’ won’t be laughing too loudly come May.

Odds: 25/1

Rating: **

BURY

Ins: Anthony Kay (MK Dons), Chris Kirkland (Preston), Zeli Ismail (Wolves), Ben Williams (Bradford), Greg Leigh (Bradford), Neil Danns (Bolton), Leon Barnett (Wigan).

Prediction: Gigg Lane is fast becoming a retirement home for the old and the infirm. Experience will keep them out of trouble.

Odds: 50/1

Rating: ***

CHARLTON

Ins: Louis­Michel Yamfam (Stevenage), Lee Novak (Birmingham), Ricky Holmes (Northampton), Nicky Ajose (Swindon), Andrew Crofts (Brighton), Declan Rudd (Norwich),

Prediction: A basket­-case of a club last season, but if hostiliities towards the board cease, they will push for the title. Some good signings for League One.

Odds: 9/1

Rating: ****

CHESTERFIELD

Ins: Jon Nolan (Grimsby), Ched Evans (unattached). Paul McGinn (Dundee), Reece Mitchell (Chelsea).

Prediction: The arrival of Ched Evans generated headlines the Spireites won’t see again all season as they fight against relegation.

Odds: 50/1

Rating: **

COVENTRY

Ins: Jodi Jones (Dagenham & Redbridge). Kwame Thomas (Derby), Marvin Sordell (Colchester), Chris McCann (Atlanta).

Prediction: A proud club in a sad state. Will rely on top quality loans to have any chance, but even that didn’t save the Sky Blues from feeling very blue in the second half of last season.

Odds: 16/1

Rating: ***

FLEETWOOD

Ins: Ashley Nadesan (Horley), Ashley Eastham (Rochdale), Cian Bolger (Southend), Chris Neal (Port Vale), Aaron Holloway (Wycombe), Alex Cairns (Rotherham), Michael Duckworth (Hartlepool), Matt Urwin (Fylde), Ricardo Kip (Almere City).

Prediction: The last-minute arrival of Uwe Rosler as manager will not save ‘The Cod Army’ from regular batterings.

Odds: 33/1

Rating: **

GILLINGHAM

Ins: Billy Knott (Bradford City), Mark Byrne (Newport), Scott Wagstaff (Bristol City), Lee Martin (Millwall), Deji Oshilaja (Cardiff), Paul Konchesky (Leicester), Joe Quigley (Bournemouth).

Prediction: Folded quicker than a cheap deckchair last season. If they lose Bradley Dack, they will flounder in mid­-table.

Odds: 22/1

Rating: ***

MK DONS

Ins: Ed Upson (Millwall), George Williams (Barnsley), Paul Downing (Walsall), George Williams (Fulham), Chuks Aneke (Waragem).

Prediction: The unpopular Dons and their policy of borrowing a bundle of strikers predictably failed in the Championship. But League One looks average again and the imposters could challenge, sadly.

Odds: 10/1

Rating: ****

MILLWALL

Ins: David Worrall (Southend), Shaun Hutchinson (Fulham), Gregg Wylde (Plymouth).

Prediction: Big, strong, powerful and intimidating. That’s the team not the fans and they will be strong contenders for promotion again.

Odds: 11/1

Rating: ****

NORTHAMPTON

Ins: Aaron Phillips (Coventry), Paddy Kenny (Rotherham), Raheem Hanley (Swansea), Alex Revell (MK Dons), David Cornell (Oldham), Gaby Zakuani (Posh), Jak McCourt (Barnsley), Harry Beautyman (Posh), Kenji Gorre (Swansea), Matty Taylor (Burnley).

Prediction: Weird that the manager and the star player couldn’t wait to escape Sixfields after such a fantastic season. New boss will have them organised, but the Cobblers won’t nail down a top-half finish.

Odds: 18/1

Rating: ***

OLDHAM

Ins: Ollie Banks (Chesterfield), Peter Clarke (Bury), Cameron Burgess (Fulham), Billy McKay (Wigan), Chris Kettings (Crystal Palace), Jamie Reckford (Ross County), Luke Woodland (Bradford PA), Lee Erwin (Leeds), Connor Ripley (Motherwell), Josh Law (Motherwell), Paul Green (Rotherham). Darius Osei (Stevenage), Ousmane Fane (Kiddeminster).

Prediction: Couldn’t keep hold of the manager who saved them last season. They’d struggle to survive this time around with Mourinho in charge.

Odds: 66/1

Rating: *

OXFORD

Ins: Simon Eastwood (Blackburn), Christian Ribiero (Exeter), Aaron Martin (Coventry), Wes Thomas (Birmingham), Curtis Nelson (Plymouth), Dan Crowley (Arsenal), Rob Hall (Bolton), Joe Rothwell (Manchester United), Tyler Roberts (West Brom), Kane Hemmings (Dundee).

Prediction: Covered the departure of last season’s top scorer with some astute signings. Could be the best dark horse since Black Beauty.

Odds: 12/1

Rating: ****

PORT VALE

Ins: Rigino Cicilia (JC Roda), Kiko (Vitoria Setubal), Carlos Saleiro (Vitoria Setubal), Paulo Tavares (Viroria Setubal), Anthony de Freitas (Monaco), Quentin Pereira (Epernay. Champagne), Sebastien Amoros (Monaco), Anton Forrester (Blackburn), Jerome Thomas (Rotherham), Nathan Ferguson (Burton).

Prediction: Apear to be making a club protest against Brexit by inviting as many Europeans to the club as possible, including the manager. Not sure the Portuguese contingent will relish the Potteries.

Odds: 50/1

Rating: **

POSH

Ins: Hayden White (Bolton), RyanTafazolli (Mansfield), Andrew Hughes (Newport), Matty Stevens (Barnet), Gwion Edwards (Crawley), Brad Inman (Crewe), Paul Taylor (unattached), Jerome Binnom-Williams (Crystal Palace).

Prediction: Defence and midfield look stronger than 12 months ago, but not sure about the forward line. A lack of a natural goal­scorer could stop Posh reaching the play­offs.

Odds: 18/1

Rating: ***

ROCHDALE

Ins: Niall Canavan (Scunthorpe). Harrison McGahey (Sheffield United), Oliver Rathbone (Manchester United), Sanmi Odelusi (Wigan).

Prediction: The division’s over­achievers last season under their wise old manager. But Dale will be closer to going down than up this time around.

Odds: 33/1

Rating: ***

SCUNTHORPE

Ins: Josh Morris (Bradford City), Sam Mantom (Walsall), Duane Holmes (Huddersfield).

Prediction: Finished the season like a train last season and unlucky not to reach the play-­off platform. A couple of quality midfield additions means they could get there this season.

Odds: 16/1

Rating: ****

SHEFFIELD UNITED

Ins: Chris Hussey (Bury), Mark Duffy (Birmingham), James Wilson (Oldham), Jake Wright (Oxford), John Fleck (Coventry), Jack O’Connell (Brentford), Leon Clarke (Bury).

Prediction: A club of this size will surely get it right soon? Everything is in place, including last season’s all­-conquering Cobblers manager.

Odds: 6/1 fav

Rating: *****

SHREWSBURY

Ins: Oliver Lancashire (Shrewsbury), Gary Deegan (Southend), Louis Dodds (Port Vale), Antoni Sarcevic (Fleetwood), Ryan McGivern (Port Vale), AJ Leitch­Smith (Port Vale), Jim O’Brien (Coventry), Joe Riley (Bury), Adam El Abd (Bristol City).

Prediction: Manager threatened to quit unless squad was improved and the Shrews look to have recruited well enough to stay out of trouble.

Odds: 50/1

Rating: **

SOUTHEND

Ins: Jermaine McGlashan (Gillingham), Jason Demetriou (Walsall), Simon Cox (Reading), Mark Oxley (Hibernian), Jakub Sokolik (Yeovil), Nile Ranger (unattached).

Prediction: The sale of the best goalkeeper in League One means their chances of success have gone south.

Odds: 50/1

Rating: **

SWINDON

Ins: Lawrence Vigouroux (Liverpool), Conor Thomas (Coventry).

Prediction: Some dodgy decisions and terrible transfer business will catch up with the Robins at last. Down they go.

Odds: 40/1

Rating: **

WALSALL

Ins: Erhun Oztumer (Posh), Florent Cuvelier (Sheffield United), George Dobson (West Ham), Jason McCarthy (Southampton), Joe Edwards (Colchester), Simeon Jackson (Blackburn), Franck Moussa (Southen), Theo Vassell (Oldham), Josh Ginnelly (Burnley), Andreas Makris (Famagusta).

Prediction: Lost the majority of the stars of their play-­off team and will suffer as a consequence, despite the presence of the Wizard of Oztumer.

Odds: 22/1

Rating: ***