We’re not far away from the kick of the League One season which gets underway on the 6th of August. We’ll take a look at some of those teams who will be challenging at the top of the table.
As well as a promotion betting tip we’ve found some bets for League One including a top six finish and a team to finish in the top half that are set to out perform expectations in the English third tier.
Sheffield United will look to finally get promoted from League One this season.
It’s no surprise to see Sheffield United at the top of the betting for League One promotion. Similar to Portsmouth in the division below, the Blades are a big club and have been languishing at this level for a number of seasons now. There has been far too much inconsistency in the past couple of campaigns with neither Nigel Adkins nor his predecessors being able to guide them back to the Championship.
Chris Wilder is the latest man tasked with that brief. The former Northampton man is an experienced head and is fresh from guiding Northampton to League One. He also claims to be a boyhood Blades fan.
Wilder seems to build sides with tremendous spirit and purchase players who will play for one another. ‘Good Eggs’ appear to be the name of the game. But then Leon Clarke arrived…
I’ve been impressed with the recruitment with Chris Hussey, John Fleck, Jack O’Connell appearing improvements on the outgoing clientele. Mark Duffy stood out for Burton last season whilst James Wilson will sure up the backline. If the new boss can get the best out of the aforementioned Clarke, Billy Sharp and the sought after Che Adams, they could be hard to keep out.
I think Sheffield United will give you a good run for your money this season and will make the play-offs at least. However, they are too short for me to back knowing their mentality of falling short each campaign.
Of the three relegated sides, I’m struggling to see any of them bouncing back immediately. MK Dons struggled for goals last season and although Nicky Maynard has signed a new deal, they haven’t address that issue. Paul Downing is a good signing though and should replace the outgoing McFadzean.
Charlton have recruited sensibly but still look a little short on quality players. Russell Slade has a reputation for playing reasonably direct football, but will that suit the likes of Ricky Holmes who has joined from Northampton. At the time of writing (28th July) they’ve lost both goalkeepers and only have the inexperienced Dillon Phillips between the sticks. They look good offensively though with Novak and Ajose very powerful additions. Andrew Crofts always performs at this level, but their defence is a worry.
Bolton have got a good man in charge with Phil Parkinson, but are they still too much of a basket case to touch at around 4/1? Mark Beevers is a solid addition to the backline and Jamie Proctor will get you around 15 goals a season, but they might struggle to hold onto Zak Clough before the transfer window closes. Darren Pratley should be a key figure if he stays with the club. Out of the three, I’d prefer to take the Trotters for a return to the Championship.
Millwall should be in and around the right end of the table again and Neil Harris’ side have added sensibly with Gregg Wylde and David Worrall adding some width with Shaun Hutchinson adding some extra competition at the back. I like Neil Harris and I think they are building something special at Millwall. But, they need to pick themselves up after the Play-Off disappointment of last season. It’s unfortunate that they bumped into a Barnsley side on an incredible roll and I think they should face less competition this time around. Millwall to be promoted to the Championship is my first League One betting tip at 7/2 with Bet365.
At bigger prices, there are some interesting options. I’ve been impressed with Graham Alexander’s time at Scunthorpe so far. He’s given them momentum and the players appear to enjoy working with him. They’ve added Josh Morris, Sam Mantom and Duane Holmes which gives them plenty of options in the middle of the park. I worry about an over reliance on Paddy Madden though although Luke Williams had a productive end to the last campaign. I think they could be a lively outsider. My next prediction is Scunthorpe to finish in the top 6 at odds of 5/2 with 888Sport.
Looking at the other sides, Coventry have sold Romain Vincelot and there are still plenty of negative feelings towards SISU. Mowbray is a shrewd operator, but he needs to get players in fast.
Northampton will probably finish somewhere between 9th and 14th whilst Walsall always surprise, but once again they’ve had the heart of their side ripped out with Sawyers, Downing, Mantom, Lalkovic and Bradshaw all leaving.
I think Oxford could be interesting. Plenty of firepower with the addition of Kane Hemmings, but they have lost Kemar Roofe and Danny Hylton. They look a little short for me. Bristol Rovers will be largely relying on the same bunch of players who achieved promotion last season with Peter Hartley and Byron Moore appearing sensible signings. The Gas should surprise plenty of sides this season. Have a bet on Bristol Rovers to finish in the top 6 of League One at odds of 10/3 with Betfred.
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And one final bet for us – Shrewsbury were at the wrong of the table last season. They were involved in some high scoring games. Defensively they were all over the place though. They’ve recruited heavily with AJ Leitch Smith and Louis Dodds arriving from Port Vale. They’ve added Adam El-Abd and Olly Lancashire to plug the gaps at the back with Joe Riley and Ryan McGivern providing support. Jim O’Brien is a player who should have a big impact whilst Antoni Sarcevic is capable of much more than he showed at Fleetwood last season. I don’t think they will be as far down the table this year. My final League One prediction for this season is Shrewsbury to finish in the top half of the table at 2/1 with Sky Bet.
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