Holloway predicts tough Championship season for Blackburn

Luke Varney during Blackburn training

Sky Sports pundit Ian Holloway expects Blackburn Rovers to struggle this season as they begin their fifth consecutive season in the Championship.

Ian Holloway has predicted an 18th-placed finish for Blackburn in this season's Championship, which gets underway this weekend.

In his Sky Sports blog, Football League analyst Holloway predicted where all 24 teams would finish come May, with Blackburn labouring near the relegation zone.

New Blackburn Rovers Manager Owen Coyle poses after the press conference

New manager Owen Coyle will begin his career at Blackburn with a home game against Norwich City, who are one of the favourites for promotion after being relegated from the Premier League last season. Having managed two of Blackburn's rivals, Holloway predicts that things could be tough for Coyle if results do not go his way.

"Owen Coyle will need a tin hat and a bullet proof car if things don't go well at Blackburn this season with his Burnley and Bolton connections." Holloway told Sky Sports.

Danny Graham scores the second goal for Blackburn

The Lancashire club finished 15th last season, and have made five signings this summer, including the return of Danny Graham, who scored eight goals in 17 appearances last term during a loan spell from Sunderland.

Blackburn have also added Anthony Stokes to their squad, arriving on a free transfer from Celtic. Coyle will be hoping that Graham and Stokes can fill the void left by Jordan Rhodes, who left the club in January.

However, Blackburn have seen one of their key players leave, with captain Grant Hanley heading to Championship rivals Newcastle, which Holloway says "wont help their cause".

Shane Duffy of Blackburn Rovers

Rovers will need to ensure that they do not lose any more players, with Shane Duffy also being linked with a move away from Ewood Park.

Holloway expects Coyle's side to beat the drop but does not see them as contenders for promotion either. The former Blackpool and Crystal Palace boss has tipped Brentford, Huddersfield and Rotherham for the drop, whilst backing Newcastle to lift the Championship trophy.

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