Relegation bound Premier League duo Middlesbrough and Sunderland will find life back in the Sky Bet Championship extremely difficult next season.

The division is widely regarded as one of the toughest to get out of and the competition for promotion next season looks set to be stronger than ever.

Promoted pair Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United have secured their places in the top two with games to spare however the two clubs have been put under pressure by the chasing pack throughout the season while they have both fallen to some shock defeats along the way.

Next season could be all about managers who are experts in working in the division. Should Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest survive the drop, both Harry Redknapp and Mark Warburton may have their sides competing for the top six while Derby County boss Gary Rowett is regarded as one of the most promising young managers in the game and expect his Rams side to challenge and be a real tough nut to crack.

Those teams who are unsuccessful in their pursuits for promotion via the Play Offs this season could again build while the likes of Norwich City and Aston Villa should enjoy better campaigns in 2017/2018.

A difficult task awaits both Middlesbrough and Sunderland who have both struggled in the top flight this season. Boro may need to identify a new boss who is going to build a squad capable of challenging for promotion which could be a real tough ask while Sunderland have been carrying too many players who are not up to the task for too long while question marks remain over the ability of manager David Moyes.

Another fascinating season is ahead in the Sky Bet Championship and it will again be extremely difficult to predict which clubs will challenge for promotion next season.

About Author

I am Dan Pentland and I am a York City season ticket holder and volunteer for men's health charity Prostate Cancer UK. In May 2015, I completed my childhood dream of visiting all 92 Football League grounds. Follow me on Twitter @DanPentlandpcuk and Facebook