Date: 13th August 2012 at 7:24pm
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Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling has tipped Blackpool to finish in the Championship’s top two and return to the Premier League.

Talking to Vital ahead of the new football season, the ‘Soccer Saturday’ man also predicted that neighbours Fleetwood Town would have a fruitful campaign with both Fylde Coast sides going up automatically.

‘I couldn’t possibly call the top six in the Championship, but in terms of winners I go along with most people and think Bolton will be champions. I like Owen Coyle and they’ve kept most of their big players,’ Stelling said.

‘Believe it or not, I did scribble down Blackpool as runners up. I love Ollie to death and they are managing to keep hold of crucial, talented young players like Matt Phillips at the moment.

‘The brand of football they play is really exciting and I think they will continue to progress as a side.

‘My dark horse would be Brighton who might not be far away.’

After admitting that he was looking forward to ribbing the likes of panellist Phil Thompson on the show once again – a perk of the job he says – Stelling found it difficult to hide his jealous at the monetary clout afforded to Micky Mellon at Highbury.

‘In League Two, another one from the North-West – Fleetwood Town. They could do a Crawley and go straight through.

‘They’ve signed Jon Parkin! How much are they paying?! As a Hartlepool fan, if we could afford that type of player I’d be absolutely ecstatic.’

Jeff Stelling was speaking on behalf of the free to play Sky Sports Soccer Saturday Super 6 game. Correctly predict six scores for this Saturday`s fixtures for the chance to win the weekly £100,000 jackpot.