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05/06: Preview:
The Census Explained

Each respondent was invited to predict their team's final placing. These have been summarised according to whether the prediction was for automatic promotion (1st-2nd), a play-off spot (3rd-6th), a top-half finish (7th-11th), mid-table (12th-16th), bottom half (17th-21st) or relegation (22nd-24th). The reported mean prediction is a straight average of these predictions, rounded to the nearest integer on the individual team pages. Where appropriate, the corresponding prediction in last year's census is listed for comparison purposes.

The Perfect Table
Each respondent was asked which three teams they would choose to be relegated from Division Two and which two teams they would want to accompany their side in promotion. The "perfect table" on each team's page summarises responses; the points which define a team's position consist of the number of nominations for promotion minus the number of votes for relegation from supporters of the club in question. Teams tied on points are separated by number of votes for promotion (in a positive "goals scored" kinda way). As ever, we allowed implausible nominations for local rivals being relegated three times. Again, where appropriate, the preferred position that each side occupied in the corresponding table after last year's census is listed.

Choice Signing/Weakest Link
Each respondent was invited to choose one Division Two player that their club should ideally sign, plus their club's weakest link. The most popular nomination(s) in each category are listed. More than any other categories these are sensitive to the timing of the survey. Last season's choices are also listed where possible.

The Starting Eleven
Each respondent was invited to pick their side's starting eleven for the opening game of the season on August 6th. This involved specifying both player names and the position in which the player should be fielded, thus allowing flexibility in terms of formations although this year as last, the club-by-club preference for 4-4-2 was unanimous.

The positions in the selected formation were then filled by selecting the player(s) with the most individual votes for that position. In the event of ties, nominations for alternative positions were taken into account. Where a player was the most popular nominee in more than one position, he was placed in the position that enabled the most popular alternative to be selected.

In several instances, due to timing, nominated players have either departed the club concerned, or not been recruited as hoped. In these instances, most popular deputies are also named.

As ever, timing of polling plays a part here.