CITY boss Phil Parkinson believes Sheffield United are "overwhelming favourites" to win promotion from League One this coming season.

The Blades finished one place outside the play-off spots and also reached the FA Cup semi-finals last term.

Now Parkinson reckons City's Yorkshire rivals are ready to go all the way – and the bookies back up his theory.

Nigel Clough's men are 5-1 favourites to go up and Parkinson said: "I think Sheffield United are going to be the overwhelming favourites.

"I can't look beyond them. They finished last season well and have got bigger resources than any other team in the division.

"You would expect them to win the league this season, given the business Nigel has done and the squad he has got at his disposal.

"I think they will be very short-priced favourites."

Parkinson is also wary of the threat posed by Peterborough, who were beaten play-off semi-finalists last season, and Bristol City.

"Peterborough are always up there, knocking on the door, and I'm sure they will be up there again," said the Bantams boss.

"The expectancy will be the same because they have been in the Championship and will expect to be competing again.

"Bristol City underachieved last year but they're a big club and will be up there this season."

Parkinson is also looking forward to the trip back to his old club Colchester, who he guided to promotion from the third tier in 2006.

"I always look forward to going back to Colchester," he said.

"I was pleased to go back there and win last season because it was the first time I had been there as a manager and won.

"I'd had a couple of draws and been beaten, so it was good to go back and get the three points."