Portsmouth, Sunderland, Derby County and Plymouth Championship verdicts delivered as respected Sky Sports pundit voices opinion

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Don Goodman has offered a positive assessment of Pompey’s Championship chances.

But fans of Sunderland, Derby, Plymouth and Oxford will be concerned as the Sky Sports pundit identified teams who he believes might be in trouble next season.

Pompey return to the Championship for the first time since 2012 after being promoted as League One champions. Head coach John Mousinho has added five new recruits to his ranks already this summer, including Oxford play-off final hero Josh Murphy and Middlesbrough winger Sammy Silvera on loan.

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More arrivals are expected from the Blues’ recruitment team, which is headed up by sporting director Rich Hughes, ahead of the season-opener against Leeds United on August 10.

That will be music to the ears of the Fratton faithful who would love Pompey to continue to strengthen their lot over the remainder of the transfer window. Goodman’s assessment of their second-tier chances this season will also go down well at PO4.

He expects them to be the most competitive of the three teams who won promotion last season - and believes there’s compelling evidence to suggest others might struggle over the course of the forthcoming campaign.

The former Wolves, West Brom and Sunderland striker said: ‘I would expect Portsmouth to be the strongest of the relegated clubs and, therefore, I'm looking at the clubs that just about survived.’

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He added: ‘(Sunderland) They've got a new manager in Regis Le Bris, whose background is in developing young footballers, but this is the Championship, so it's very difficult for a whole group of young players to succeed.

‘They didn't have any strikers capable of performing at that level and struggled for goals (last season).

‘Des Buckingham has a huge job on his hands at Oxford as play-off winners are notoriously the teams that struggle the most. It's just brilliant that they're in the Championship.

‘Derby County remind me of Sheffield Wednesday last season as they have one of the oldest teams in the division. Wednesday struggled with the physical side of things early on last year, so it's interesting to see Paul Warne move on a number of 30-plus-year-olds and bring pace and energy into the club. That gap still needs to be bridged, though.’

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Speaking about Plymouth, who appoint Wayne Rooney has boss this summer, Goodman said: ‘I’m not sure about Plymouth, and that's not because of Wayne Rooney, it's just the nature of them being in the Championship.’

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