Roberto Di Matteo thinks Newcastle, Leeds, Norwich, Sheffield Wednesday, Wolves and Derby will all feel they should be at a higher level.
Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo
Ahead of his first season as Aston Villa boss, Roberto Di Matteo has told The Mirror that he thinks six other Championship clubs will they belong in the Premier League.
Having suffered relegation from the Premier League, Villa will be hoping to bounce back to the top flight at the first attempt - and have called upon Di Matteo to guide them out of the second tier.
The Italian, 46, has a Championship promotion on his CV with West Brom in 2010, whilst he also won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012, giving Villa fans hope of a successful season.
One of the biggest clubs in the Championship, Villa have huge expectations on them - and open the campaign with a tough trip to face another huge club on Sunday in Sheffield Wednesday.
Di Matteo is well aware that, with such a huge fanbase and a talented squad, a promotion push may well be expected - but he's also aware that there other clubs in the Championship who will feel they are too big to be playing the second tier this season.
Speaking to The Mirror, Di Matteo noted that Villa's facilities make it almost bizarre that they're in the Championship, but stated that he also thinks Newcastle, Leeds, Norwich, Sheffield Wednesday, Wolves and Derby will feel the same way, highlighting that none of them have a divine right to be in the Premier League.
"You may look at the stadium, the training ground, the fanbase and wonder what a club like Aston Villa is doing in the Championship," said Di Matteo. "But there are five or six other clubs who probably feel the same way, which underlines the strength of this division."
"Newcastle, Leeds, Norwich, Sheffield Wednesday, Wolves and Derby will all feel they belong at a higher level. Nottingham Forest, like us, won the European Cup some time ago. But none of us has a divine right to be in the Premier League," he added.
Villa's fellow relegated sides Newcastle and Norwich are certainly expected to push for automatic promotion, whilst Wednesday and Derby were knocked out in last season's play-offs and will be hoping to go one better this season.
Meanwhile, Leeds and Wolves both finished in the bottom half of the table last season, but will be expected to do better this time around. New Leeds manager Garry Monk arrives with a strong reputation and has brought in some real quality this summer, whilst Wolves' takeover from the Fosun Group - and appointment of Walter Zenga - has brought some excitement to Molineux again.
It may be ever-increasingly competitive Championship, but there are just three promotion spots on offer, and a number of the big clubs Di Matteo named will end the season disappointed.
Do you think any of those clubs will be promoted this season?