RTE: How many of the top 16 football teams will qualify for the NCAA Championship?
There are many factors involved in this season’s NCAAs, but we know the top four teams are likely to get in.
Here’s how you can get an early look at the best of the rest.1.
Bournemouth (18th)Last season, Bournsey won the FA Cup and played in the EFL Cup final.
This season they will play in the FA Challenge Cup.
Bournemouth’s new boss Nick Rogers will be aiming for a seventh-placed finish in the league and is hoping his side can win the competition.2.
Derby County (18)It was a fantastic season for Derby’s squad, with new signing Alex Pearce earning himself a new contract.
The Clarets were also crowned champions in the Championship last season.
But, given their record in the Premier League, they will be hoping for a top-four finish.3.
Fulham (16)The Fulham players’ strike of the season was not only the highlight of the Premier Bridge season, but the team’s most important match of the year.
Their season has been built around a combination of attacking football, and a quality of defending.4.
Birmingham City (15)Despite losing their talismanical goalkeeper, Birmingham’s young core will be looking to finish the season strong.
The Black Cats are expected to finish with a top four finish.5.
Preston North End (14)The club won the Championship title last season and finished second in the League One table, but it was their impressive play that saw them through to the last 16.
Preston have some tough fixtures ahead of them in the top flight, but they are looking to improve on last season’s finish.6.
Sheffield United (14.5)With a new manager in Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, a young core of players will be required to lift Sheffield United into the top six.
They were crowned champions of the Championship in the new year.7.
The Red Devils were crowned Premier League champions last season but have struggled to stay up.
They are looking for a promotion push this season.8.
Bristol City (14).
The Black and Whites are looking ahead to the first of their four promotions.
They have struggled in the Football League, but there is hope in the form of the Black Cats, who have beaten Norwich City and Wolves in the Challenge Cup so far.9.
Leicester City (13.)
They finished in 10th place last season, having only just won promotion to the Championship.
But the Foxes have now been promoted and are looking forward to their first ever FA Cup final appearance.10.
Sheffield Wednesday (13) The Championship strugglers finished in 12th place in 2016 and have been looking for promotion since then.
They will be trying to do the same this season, despite a difficult run of fixtures in the last few months.11.
Brighton & Hove Albion (13.5.)
The Clareted Albion were champions last year and finished third in the first division.
But their season has suffered after the club’s manager, Mark Warburton, was sacked and replaced by former Bristol City boss John Arne Riise.12.
Leeds United (12.)
They missed out on promotion last season by only two points, but will be desperate to get back to the top of the table.
They beat Bristol City 2-1 in the play-offs.13.
Derby City (12) Despite being relegated last season in the second tier, Derby’s new manager, Steve McClaren, is looking to take them up.
The Rams finished eighth in the third tier last season with an average of just 3,923 fans per game.14.
Tottenham Hotspur (12.5).
This is the first time in five years that Tottenham have not been promoted, and their fans have become an integral part of the club.
But they still had to fight tooth and nail for promotion last term.15.
Bolton Wanderers (12.-) The Wanderers have suffered some setbacks in the division this season and will be without striker Lee Wallace for the start of the campaign.
They did make it to the play offs last season after beating Barnsley in the Conference Cup, but only won a play off.16.
Wigan Athletic (11.5)- Wigan have won the League Cup for the second year running and their new manager is looking for success this season too.
He took the club up in the promotion play-off round last season as well.17.
Reading (11.-) Reading have had a difficult season so far, but have a new boss in Ian Holloway who has had a great season in charge.
They finished eighth last year in the sixth tier.18.
Walsall (10.-) They had a good season in 2015-16, but are looking at a rebuilding season.
The former Portsmouth manager is currently in charge of Championship side Brentford.19.