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EFL League One And League Two Preview And Betting Tips

Sports streaming in March 2020

We may still be in July, but it is only a week or so until the new English Football season kicks off again, with the Community Shield taking place on Saturday 7th August, the same weekend that the Football League season gets underway.

The Premier League starts a week later across the weekend from Friday 13th to Monday 16th August.

This year, we are going to give you a preview not just of the Premier League action, but also on the three other divisions of professional football across England, starting this week with Leagues One and Two. Next week, we will preview The Championship, before we move on to our Premier League preview the week after.

For all of these articles, we are going to use the odds as offered by bet365 Sport and all odds shown were correct at the time that each article was written, though they may have changed in the run up to the start of the season.

We are going to give you a simple run down for each division, giving you some tips on who will win the division, who will get promoted (or in the case of the Premier League, a Champions League or Europa League spot), who will earn a spot in the playoff places and lastly, which teams could be the ones trying their best to avoid the drop.

We may also give you some tips, where available for other popular pre-season betting markets, such as who will be the first manager sacked, who will be the top goalscorer in the division and similar.

I’m going to start at the bottom of the professional league’s in England and work my way up to the Premier League which means we kick off this article with our preview of League Two.

League Two Preview

Season 2020/21 Recap

Champions – Cheltenham Town (82 pts)

Also Promoted to League One – Cambridge United (80 pts), Bolton Wanderers (79 pts), Morecambe (Playoff Winners)

Lost In Playoffs – Newport County, Tranmere Rovers, Forest Green Rovers

Relegated From League One – Rochdale, Northampton Town, Swindon Town, Bristol Rovers

Promoted From Conference – Sutton United, Hartlepool United

Relegated From League Two – Southend United, Grimsby Town

Current Odds To Win Division Outright

Last season’s League Two campaign was one of the tightest in recent memory with no team running away with the title and just twelve points separated Cheltenham

at the top of the table, down to Exeter City who finished 9th.

With Southend and Grimsby replaced by Hartlepool and Sutton United, the division does look very closely matched again, especially with the four teams dropping into the division from League One all likely to feature in the betting for the divisional winners.

Looking at those odds, it is easy to see why bet365’s choice as favourite here are Salford City. The club has comfortably the largest budget in the division, the backing of a billionaire and team of ex-Manchester United stars and they finished just outside the playoffs last season in 8th place.

They’ve signed some solid players too in forward Conor McAleny from Oldham, Liam Shepherd from Newport County and Josh Morris from Fleetwood.

As to who will challenge them, Tranmere Rovers are a team to look out for with their talisman manager Micky Mellon back in charge after spending last year with Dundee United. Rovers have made a number of changes to their squad too, with some eye-catching additions with the likes of Callum McManaman, Paul Glatzel on loan from Liverpool and Liam Feeney signing full time from Blackpool.

Bradford City, Exeter City, Forest Green, Carlisle United and Newport County should all be in the mix, while I don’t think Hartlepool United will do too badly either.

As for who will struggle, Crawley Town have struggled a fair bit over the last few years as have Stevenage, while I think both Barrow and Harrogate will find their second year in League Two a bit tougher than their first.

This is going to be a very tough and open division once again and as with last season, it may well go down to the wire to decide who gets promoted, who gets into the playoffs and who gets relegated.

League Two Tips

  • To Win League Two – Salford City (6/1)
  • To Be Promoted – Exeter City (10/3), Tranmere Rovers (7/2)
  • To Qualify For The Playoffs – Forest Green Rovers (11/8), Walsall (11/4), Mansfield Town (5/4), Carlisle United 15/8)
  • To Be Relegated – Barrow AFC (9/2), Crawley Town (11/2)
  • To Be Leading Scorer – Conor McAleny (Salford City) – 9/1

League One Preview

Season 2020/21 Recap

Champions – Hull City (89 pts)

Also Promoted To Championship– Peterborough United (87 Pts), Blackpool (Playoffs)

Lost In Playoffs – Sunderland, Lincoln City, Oxford United

Relegated From Championship – Wycombe Wanderers, Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday

Promoted From League Two – Cheltenham Town, Cambridge United, Bolton Wanderers, Morecambe

Relegated From League One – Rochdale, Northampton Town, Swindon Town, Bristol Rovers

Current Odds To Win Division Outright

After missing out on promotion in the playoffs, Sunderland are joint-favourites to win the division outright this time around with Ipswich, while the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth, Wigan Athletic, Charlton, Lincoln City, Oxford United and Rotherham are all rated to be in with a good chance.

I’d also include Wycombe Wanderers in that group too, despite their 20/1 odds, as I feel this is a team that has real potential to bounce back to the Championship. I also feel that the playoff positions are likely to come from this group of teams too.

The step up from League Two to League One is a big one and that is why the three newly promoted teams are ranked the lowest odds to win the division. I think Cambridge United will struggle for goals having let top scorer in League Two Paul Mullin leave for Wrexham in the Conference and the likes of AFC Wimbledon, Accrington Stanley, Burton Albion and Crewe Alexandra could all also find things tough.

One team to look out for is Doncaster Rovers. They are something of an enigma and at 33/1, they are a team that could be challenging hard right at the top of the table, or struggling at the bottom or any place in between. So if you like a gamble on a team that could literally finish anywhere, then Rovers are a solid option.

There is a bigger gap in the quality between the top and bottom teams in League One than in League Two and I think that this does make this division a little easier to predict in general. Though of course getting things spot on is never easy!

League One Tips

  • To Win League One – Sheffield Wednesday (10/1)
  • To Be Promoted – Wycombe Wanderers (13/2), Sunderland (9/4)
  • To Qualify For The Playoffs – Sunderland (4/6), Portsmouth (6/5), Rotherham (7/4), Doncaster Rovers (9/2)
  • To Be Relegated – Cambridge United (11/10), Morecambe (10/11), AFC Wimbledon (7/4)
  • To Be Leading Scorer – Joe Pigott (Ipswich Town) 12/1

Tune in next week to catch our preview and tips for The Championship 2021/22 season.

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