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Stuart Dalgleish 5th Aug 2009 - 20:14

Leeds can still be Fab without Delph

League 1 favourites Leeds United (3/1 to win the league, 8/11 to get promoted) have been dealt a blow with their England U21 star Fabian Delph departing for Premier League side Aston Villa.

While United fans will be disappointed to see one of their prized assets leave, the news that Jermaine Beckford (7/1 to be top scorer) will still be wearing white next season will come as a huge sigh of relief.

The temperamental striker was outstanding last season; scoring 34 goals in all competitions to become the country's overall top scorer, a repeat of that sort of form will surely see Simon Grayson's team chasing honours at the business end of the season.

Along with Beckford another key player that has been retained by Grayson is Robert Snodgrass (50/1 to be top scorer), the wide-man was a revelation in his first season in English football following his move from Livingston, setting up goals galore for Beckford and weighing in with 11 goals for himself from the wing.

With their defence seemingly more solid after the disastrous defending during Gary McAllister's reign the Whites should be in for a successful campaign.

Next in the betting is another former Premier League team, Norwich City - priced at 7/1 to win the league, 5/2 to gain promotion.

The Canaries had a woeful time in the Championship last season, conceding 70 goals and finishing five points adrift of safety, even club legend Bryan Gunn couldn't stop the inevitable slide into the 3rd tier.

Last season's star man Lee Croft has left for Derby County but City have still got midfielders who can compete at this level, in particular Wes Hoolahan, who was outstanding when last playing in this division for Blackpool.

Bryan Gunn has also bought well, Grant Holt (16/1 for top scorer) has arrived from Shrewsbury and he's been a regular scorer in the lower leagues over the years and was a vital part of Town's run to last season's play-offs - if he can link up well with Hoolahan and new recruit Simon Whaley then Norwich could be banging in the goals on a weekly basis.

It remains to be seen how City will do defensively as quite a few of their regular starters from last season have departed, the likes of Bertrand, Clingan and Marshall have all moved on to pastures new and it could be difficult for the new defensive line-up to gel straight away.

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A familiar face has returned to the MK Dons (8/1 to win the league, 5/2 to get promoted) hot seat in the shape of Paul Ince, but can he repeat his success of two seasons ago before his ill fated spell with Blackburn Rovers?

Ince certainly has the squad to make an impact in this division but does his team have the bottle? Too many times under Roberto Di Matteo The Dons froze in front of their own fans, losing seven times at stadium:mk - without those defeats they could and probably should have got one of the automatic promotion spots.

Goals shouldn't be an issue though, last season they scored just one less than champions Leicester with Aaron Wilbraham (14/1 to be top scorer) one of the main threats chipping in with 17 league strikes.

The lanky forward is set to miss the first couple of weeks of the season so new signing Jermaine Easter will be hoping to make an instant impact, the former Plymouth man is an attractive looking 33/1 to be the league's top scorer - with pacy wingers Jemal Johnson and Jason Puncheon providing through balls that could be a fantastic bet.

One problem for The Dons could be at the back as commanding defender Sean O'Hanlon has been ruled out until the New Year. If new signing David McCracken can keep up the form that saw him promoted with Wycombe then it shouldn't prove to be too much of an issue.

Those are the teams that I think will get promoted but a whole host of teams will be hoping to make a realistic push for the play-offs.

Brighton (12/1 for the title, 7/2 for promotion) very nearly dropped down to League 2 last season but stayed up by the skin of their teeth.

With Russell Slade set to embark on his first full season with the Seagulls they could be good value for a play-off spot at least, Albion have a good look about them in midfield with creative players like Dean Cox and Mark Wright (who has joined from MK Dons along with Alan Navarro) sure to lay on plenty of goals for the front two.

Which two will be playing up front is what Slade has to figure out now, veteran striker Nicky Forster (40/1 top scorer) is likely to partner new signing Liam Dickinson (20/1) with Glenn Murray (50/1) reportedly seeking a move away from the Withdean.

Huddersfield, (9/1 to win the league, 10/3 to get promoted) like their Yorkshire rivals Leeds, always seem to be tipped up for greatness at the start of the season, but can they live up to those expectations this time?

If Town are to feature in the top six then they'll need to replace the goals of club legend Andy Booth who retired at the end of last season (why didn't I back him to score in his final game?!)

Theo Robinson (20/1 to be top scorer) could be that man; the 20-year old has arrived from Watford on a three-year deal and will be hoping to replicate the form he's shown in his several loan spells away from Vicarage Road.

Jordan Rhodes (also 20/1 to top score) is a new recruit from Ipswich and could form a decent partnership with Robinson, especially if Lionel Ainsworth can provide decent crosses from the wing.

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Phil Parkinson's Charlton side (8/1 to win the league, 11/4 to get promoted) had an absolute nightmare last season and were relegated by some distance, The Addicks will need a huge upturn in fortune if they are to get in amongst the play-off places - but they should score goals.

Forward options include the experienced duo of Andy Gray (16/1 to be top scorer) and Deon Burton (25/1) as well as former lower league net bulgers Izale McLeod (16/1) and Stuart Fleetwood (also 16/1).

Those players should be able to deliver the goods upfront and the midfield has quality with the likes of highly rated Jonjo Shelvey, last year's player of the season and captain Nicky Bailey and Scottish stalwart Christian Dailly.

The only thing that hangs over Athletic is confidence, after such a demoralising season will they be able to bounce back as easily as they hope?

The relegation fight looks to be an intriguing battle this time around, Stockport (4/5 to go down) look set for a really tough season; after going into administration last year a whole host of players have departed and County will now be relying on youngsters to try and get them out of trouble, Gary Ablett has a difficult job on his hands.

Another team who've had players leave over the summer - including player of the year Paul Warne - are Yeovil (15/8 to get relegated), who weren't exactly flying last season - The Glovers were woeful in front of goal, only managing 41 goals all year and will need to sharpen up to have any chance of survival this time around.

A team who I think could be good value to go down are Swindon (9/2), The Robins finished 15th last season but that was in no small part down to the goals from outstanding striker Simon Cox.

Without him they would almost certainly have been struggling further down the table, Jonathan Douglas has arrived from Leeds and he should be a good addition to the midfield but without Cox's goals Town will be up against it this season - Billy Painter (66/1 to be top scorer) and Lee Peacock (also 66/1) are no mugs at this level but they won't threaten as much as their former star striker.

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