The Opinium Football League Predictions

The Opinium Football League Predictions

This prediction is despite the fact that the fieldwork period (17th to 22nd August) covered the first week of football fixtures including Manchester United’s shock defeat to Everton.

Over the course of Euro 2012, Opinium conducted a number of surveys of football fans to gauge how the England team were performing and our respondents successfully predicted that Spain would ultimately take home the trophy. We’ll also be conducting occasional polls throughout the season to see what football fans think of the latest developments.

Premiership winning predictions

Over half (52%) of UK adult football fans believe Manchester United will come up top at the English Premier League. This is not surprising considering they have never been relegated from the Premiership since 1992 and have always ended the season in the top 3.

Despite winning the Premier League last season only 29% back Manchester City to repeat this feat again this season whilst only 7% back last season’s Champions League winners Chelsea to win the title for the first time since the 2009 / 2010 season.

Likely relegation victims:

Wigan, Reading & Southampton

It appears the three teams that UK football fans believe will be relegated from the Premier League this season are Wigan (47%), Reading (45%) and Southampton (32%).

First Premier League Manager to have to update his CV:

Mark Hughes

The QPR Manager Mark Hughes is seen as the most likely to be the first manager looking for new employment this season with 11% backing him to be the first managerial casualty, a prediction which looks more likely after QPR were demolished by Swansea City in their first match. 9% backed Brendan Rogers at Liverpool and 8% don’t think Steve Clark will make it to the end of the season.

Despite the usual managerial merry go-round 11% predict that this season will be the first in several years to witness no managerial casualties before the end of the season.

Top Premier League goal scorer:

Robin Van Persie

A third (32%) of UK football fans believe Robin Van Persie will be the top goal scorer, followed by Wayne Rooney (13%).

This is bearing in mind the fact that after one week, the top goal scorer title is shared between five players, none of whom play for Manchester United. Two are from Chelsea (Lampard and Ivanovic), two from Swansea city (Michu and Dyer) and one from Fulham (Petric)

Obviously there’s excitement to be found outside of the Premier League as well so we also asked our football fans to predict who they thought would be the movers and shakers in the English and Scottish football leagues.

Tipped for promotion:

Birmingham, Blackpool & Leeds

Birmingham (35%), Blackpool (31%) and Leeds United (also on 31%) are the three Championship teams tipped to make it back into the top division of English football. Last year’s relegated teams from the Premiership received mixed backing with 28% picking Bolton, 25% picking Blackburn and 19% thinking Wolves will successfully return to the top flight at the first time of asking.

Relegated Championship teams:

Peterborough, Barnsley & Millwall / Bristol City

Peterborough (42%) and Barnsley (29%) are the favourites to go down according to the Opinium panel with opinion as to the third team to be relegated split between Millwall (25%) and Bristol City (25%).

Promoted League 1 Teams:

Sheffield United, MK Dons & Coventry

Over 53% of football fans back Sheffield United to get promoted back to the Championship at the second time of asking whilst 32% back MK Dons to secure promotion to the Championship for the first time and the same figure backing Coventry to get promoted at the first time of asking.

Relegated League 1 Teams:

Yeovil, Crawley, Stevenage, Portsmouth

According to the survey fans of Yeovil (39%), Crawley (31%) and Stevenage (27%) should prepare for a difficult season whilst 26% predict Portsmouth will have to endure back to back relegations (although conversely 18% tip them for promotion so clearly opinions on where they will finish appear split).

Promoted League 2 Teams:

Bristol Rovers, AFC Wimbledon, Oxford United & Plymouth

36% of football fans predict Bristol Rovers will succeed in winning promotion from League 2 this season with 35% backing AFC Wimbledon, 24% backing Oxford and 22% predicting that Plymouth will emerge from several seasons of struggle to secure promotion back to League 1.

Relegated League 2 Teams:

Fleetwood Town & Barnet

Fleetwood Town (21%) and Barent (17%) are the two teams tipped by fans across the country to slip out of the football league come the end of the season.

Scottish Premier League winners:

Celtic

After a chaotic season in Scotland, following Rangers relegation out of the SPL, Celtic emerge as the clear favourites to win the Scottish Premier League, backed by 84% of football fans.

FA Cup:

Manchester United

League Cup:

Manchester United

Having been backed to win the Premier League, fans also back them to complete a domestic treble including 18% backing them to triumph in the FA Cup and 18% predicting they will win the League Cup.

Opinium interviewed 2,322 UK football fans between the 17th and the 22nd August 2012