As Luton Town demonstrated in May, it is possible to reach the sunlit uplands of the Premier League against all reasonable expectation.

And watching them wildly celebrate in Bedfordshire got us thinking: Who else would we love to see defy the betting odds and mix it with the big boys a year from now?

In no particular order, these five came to mind…

Coventry City

Having cruelly lost out on penalties in their Play-Off final with Luton - and subsequently forced to sell their 20-goal-a-season striker Viktor Gyokeres - it would be immensely satisfying to see the Sky Blues go one step further.

There is a lot to like about Coventry, not least their long-suffering supporters who have seen their club spiral down the footballing pyramid in recent times, mismanaged to the point of liquidation. Ten years ago they were ground-sharing with Northampton Town.

Football doesn’t really have a great track record at rewarding those that most deserve success. Let’s hope an exception is made here. 

Plymouth Argyle

In the Championship betting, the Pilgrims are far more fancied to head straight back down to League One, but we’ve seen many times before how momentum and a well put-together collective can achieve back to back promotions. 

Granted, in this instance this is entirely wishful thinking, with success for Argyle this season amounting to them maintaining their new-found second tier status.

But still, it would be all kinds of wonderful if the south-west could boast a top division side for the first time. It’s been an over-looked hotbed of football for forever.   

Sheffield Wednesday

The go-to example of a ‘sleeping giant’ have been full of promise and potential for a couple of decades now, usually disappointing in the form of a Championship Play-Off defeat or missing out on promotion from the third tier by a whisker.

As has been illustrated once again with Darren Moore departing mere weeks after re-establishing the Owls back into Championship predictions every week, this is a club that specialises in shooting themselves in the foot. First comes the promise, then the carpet-pull.

Which, from an outside perspective, is entertaining only for so long and with their history, great kits, and huge fan-base it would be a very welcome development if Wednesday could actually get their act together. 

Bristol City 

Famously, Bristol is the biggest city in England that has never had a Premier League side and with Rovers marooned in League One it falls on the Robins to put that right.

That won’t be easy, given they have sold their best player Alex Scott this summer to Bournemouth, but who knows, something magical may occur this term under Nigel Pearson. In Nahki Wells and Andreas Weimann they have one of the best strike partnerships in the division.

City may have only resided in the top-flight for four seasons back in the late-Seventies, but for those of a certain vintage it still feels like they should be competing at a higher level.

Ashton Gate would also be a great away day with fantastic pubs galore in the vicinity. 


The Sunderland ‘Til I Die documentary only partly revealed the depths this club have plumbed since dropping out of the Premier League in 2017, a relegation that was swiftly followed by another as one of the most treasured institutions in English football imploded into calamity and crisis. 

Now back on an even keel and challenging in the top half of the Championship can we please have the Mackems back in the big time? For their fans alone, we miss them.


Stephen Tudor is a freelance football writer and sports enthusiast who only knows slightly less about the beautiful game than you do.

A contributor to FourFourTwo and Forbes, he is a Manchester City fan who was taken to Maine Road as a child because his grandad predicted they would one day be good.