2013-14 Sky Bet League One Preview (Part 1 of 3)
Ahead of the Football League season kicking off at the weekend, Vital Posh takes a look at all the teams competing in League One.
Part one looks at teams from Bradford City to Crewe Alexandra.
Bradford City had a whirlwind season last year getting to Wembley twice and earning promotion to League One.
I`m sure they`ll want to forget the first time they reached Wembley as they got trounced 5-0 by Premiership Swansea City in the final of the Capital One Cup. However, the second time was a much happier occasion for the Bantams as they beat the Cobblers 3-0 in the League Two Play-Off Final after narrowly beating Burton 5-4 on aggregate in the semi-final.
City have the prolific Nahki Wells leading their frontline and a lot of pressure will be put on his shoulders to fire City to a safe position as they look to consolidate themselves in League One. The "big man, little man" pairing of Wells and James Hanson is likely to cause many League One teams a problem this season.
Bradford has only brought in two players since their promotion but they are two decent players in Jason Kennedy from Rochdale and Mark Yeates from Watford.
Current Odds: 28/1
Not being one of the promotion favorites last season, many teams would be pretty pleased with narrowly missing out on automatic promotion then losing out in the play-off final, albeit a tad unfortunate. However, they were a spot-kick away from being automatically promoted but in remarkable circumstances not only did they miss the spot kick in the dying moments of the final game of the season, their opponents, Doncaster Rovers then went straight up the other end to score the only goal of the game and in doing so were promoted themselves!!
Just as Posh suffered heartbreak in the final match of last season, it will be interesting to see how the Bees bounce back.
Doncaster Rovers have snapped up one of their best players in Harry Forrester but Brentford manager Uwe Rosler has bolstered his squad by signing the free-scoring Will Grigg from Walsall. Grigg is one of seven new faces to arrive at Griffin Park which includes overseas pairing of Javi Venta and Czech international Martin Fillo!
Rosler has proved to be an excellent manager in his time at Brentford and he should take this team close again.
Current Odds: 10/1
Sean O`Driscoll has certainly ringed the changes down at Ashton Gate following their relegation from the Championship last season. Eleven players have departed the club with seven players coming in. All of the incoming players have good pedigree and have come from Premiership or Championship clubs.
If O`Driscoll can mould his squad into a tight-knit pack, they should have a very good season and won`t be too far off the top come May.
Verdict: Automatic Promotion although my colleague in Vital Posh doesn`t believe this will be the case.
Current Odds: 11/1
Brunton Park have seen seven players depart since the end of last season as they look to improve on their lowly finishing position from last season. Although they were always in the mid to low-mid regions of League One they always had to keep one eye over their shoulder to ensure they kept a safe distance away from the relegation pack.
With just three players coming into the club, one of which on loan, it is hard to see how they can improve on last season and it could be a season of struggles for them this season.
Verdict: Relegation Contenders
Current Odds: 80/1
The U`s only maintained their League One status last season when winning their final match of the season away at Carlisle United. Manager Joe Dunne will be hoping fortunes will be in their favor this season as it could end in tragedy for Dunne should results go against his team.
He has brought in the two Arsenal players he had on loan last season on permanent deals while two Chelsea players have come in on loan this time. Much could depend on how these players adapt to life in League One as to how well Colchester fair this season.
Verdict: Just outside the relegation places
Current Odds: 100/1
It`s going to be an interesting season for the Sky Blues as they are currently set to play out of the Sixfields Stadium in Northampton!
With all the talk surrounding the location of where they`ll play and also the ownership and debt, you have a feeling City could fall the same way as Portsmouth. Seven players have departed City since the end of last season while NO players have come in.
Last seasons top scorer for the Sky Blues was David McGoldrick with 18 goals and sadly for them, he was only on loan from Ipswich. They did have two of their own players hit double figures in the form of Carl Baker (15 goals) and Leon Clarke (10 goals) but it looks like manager Steven Pressley faces a season long up-hill struggle.
Verdict: Relegation contenders
Current Odds: 33/1
The Red Devils gave Posh a good challenge in pre-season last year but ended up finishing 10th in League One. They`ve only brought in two players, both of whom I`ve never heard of, while six players have departed Broadfield Stadium.
Crawley do boast three ex-Posh players in goalkeeper Paul Jones and midfielders Sergio Torres and Josh Simpson. Jones was an ever-present last season while Torres only made 28 appearances (17 of which were from the subs bench!). Simpson played the majority of the season as he featured 42 times.
It`s hard to see how Crawley are going to progress this season and it looks like another mid-table finish for the West Sussex side.
Current Odds: 50/1
The Railwaymen finished in 13th last season but could struggle to reach those heights this season.
They`ve lost the talented Luke Murphy to Leeds United while four other players have departed the club. Manager Steve Davis seems to be reliant on the conveyor belt the club have built over many years for bringing in young talent while he`s also delved into League Two to bring in two of the three signings he`s made this summer.
The club still has a cloud hovering over them after seven players were arrested over a rape allegation during their pre-season training camp. This controversy could hang over the club for a while and disrupt their season.
Verdict: Mid - Lower reaches of the table. However, my Vital Posh colleague believes they will be relegation contenders as they have lost their best players.
Current Odds: 50/1
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