Birmingham City boss Harry Redknapp says he expects up to 16 teams to be competing for promotion this term, picking out Fulham as one of the favourites to go up.
Speaking to the Daily Star, the former QPR boss says that although he sees Aston Villa as favourites, there are a number of teams who will be in with a realistic chance of reaching the Premier League.
He said: "I see Villa are favourites for the league but this year every team thinks they should be in the Premier League don't they?
"Middlesbrough will spend big money and will be right up there, maybe Sunderland, Leeds will be strong, Fulham again, Derby and Wolves will have a go.
"Every team is going to fancy their chances.
"Although it would be nice for rivalry it's not just going to be about Villa and us. There are going to be about 15 or 16 teams all thinking they are going to be there. But I'm sure both clubs will be there or thereabouts.
"Villa spent about £80m last season and still finished halfway so it shows how tough it is.
"There are lots of powerful teams and all the clubs seem to have big owners now.
"There are more and more foreign owners buying the clubs and spending. We are fortunate as we have owners who are ambitious and want to back the club.
"I met the owners the night after we stayed up and I saw the excitement they had.
"They want to be successful and I thought it would be fantastic to be a part of that. I have got to be bang up there this year. Nothing else will do for me."