We have spent the last couple of weeks catching up with Managers around the country to get their views on three topics ahead of the new season; their expectations, their predictions for their division's dark horses and the names of any players to keep an eye on.

We ask a selection of Managers in the npower Championship who they think this season's dark horses will be:

Sam Allardyce (West Ham United)
"There's always a surprise at this level. Look what Norwich did last season. That was fantastic, and what Blackpool did the year before. I think there is always one that emerges from the pack. There will always be favourites but it is always who has the squad to cope with 46 games, who gets fewest injuries, and who gets the team that gets the team spirit right. I expect it to be a very good, very interesting season."

Sean Dyche (Watford)
"Apart from your heavy spenders like Cardiff, Leicester and I presume Forest will spend as well, apart from them we are all looking to be like Blackpool I guess. We all look for the right belief and the right momentum. They have kind of waved the flag for that one and everyone is trying to do their own version of that."

Sven Goran Eriksson (Leicester City)
"You always expect those coming down from the Premier League to do well and to do everything to get back first time so those three are the favourites. But in the league there are a lot of big big clubs. Southampton have come up and have been in the Premier League before. You have Leeds, you have Ipswich, you have a lot of very good teams."

Simon Grayson (Leeds United)
"I think it will be very open like last year. People will look at Leicester with the money they have spent and West Ham with their Premier League experience, and then you can pick anybody else. The teams that have come up that are spending money and are big teams, Blackpool and Birmingham after coming down will be difficult to beat so you take your pick. It is pretty much a lottery and it is the most consistent teams that will get results."

Keith Hill (Barnsley)
"I'm not too sure to be honest. It can be dependent on how you start. Confidence has a lot to do with performances and results so it could be anybody. The usual suspects will be up there competing for automatic and the play-offs but some of the usual suspects will miss out. There's more pressure on those sides."

Keith Millen (Bristol City)
"I think the teams that have come up will be strong this year and looking to kick on again like Norwich did last year. But it is very difficult to call this year. It is the strongest league that I have been involved with for a very long time There are some teams with big budgets and who are spending money. It will be interesting to see how the teams that came down cope."

Malky Mackay (Cardiff City)
"I think you look ever year and can never discount anyone. Just look how Norwich came through. Not many people expected that. It is a fantastic league and over 46 games there are twists and turns every Saturday. Anyone can beat anyone and that is the beauty of it. It is well supported and there are some big clubs coming into it this season."

Andy Thorne (Coventry City)
"We played a lot of good teams last year and we know what to expect. Teams with the finances are going to do well but there is always somebody who comes along that wasn't expected. It is so tight in the division that whoever gets that little bit of consistency will be that team."