The League One season kicks off on Friday night. This blog takes a look at the season ahead and the chances of the teams plying their trade in the division.
After back to back relegations, Wolves have to be favourites. Now under the guidance of Kenny Jackett, the midlands club will hope of bouncing back at the first time of asking.
The club has only bought in Sam Ricketts but have Leigh Griffiths returning on loan from Hibs, where he banged in goals all season. Griffiths could be key for the team as they look for promotion.
The other two relegated teams Peterborough and Bristol City must also be favourites to go up. Peterborough have the know how to get promoted under Darren Ferguson. The team remains fairly the same but expect the club to continue to spend after selling Dwight Gayle to Crystal Palace for a fee believed to have been around £5 million. Bristol City, unlike the others, have signed players impressively including Jay Emmanuel Thomas and Frank Fielding.
Brentford missed out on promotion in the last seconds of the last game of last season before losing the play off final. Uwe Rosler has made a number of signings at the London club look to make that extra step this time around. David Button and Will Grigg have both joined aswell as impressive loan signings Conor McAleny and George Saville from Chelsea.
Other teams who will hope to push for promotion are Preston and Sheffield United, both now experienced League One sides. The latter now under the management of former Everton defender David Weir. Preston have signed experienced England international Kevin Davies.
There will be a number of mid table teams, including Notts County, MK Dons, Swindon and Tranmere will hope to push for the play off spots. All have experienced changes this summer. Notts County replaced the likes of Alan Judge and Jeff Hughes with Danny Haynes and Mark Fotheringham. MK Dons will look to improve on last season after a poor season last time around. Karl Robsinson is a young manager who continues to learn about the game. Swindon have been blessed with a number of players on loan from Spurs, including Massimo Luongo and Ryan Mason.
Coventry‘s financial situation could see them struggle as they move out of the Ricoh Arena and into Northampton.
The suprise package could come from one of the promoted teams. League Two champions Gillingham have acquired an exciting front pair in former players Adebayo Akinfenwa and Cody McDonald. Play off winners Bradford City could continue their push up the league after finally managing to get out of League Two last season. They showed their credentials last season during their epic Capital One Cup run to the final. Phil Parkinson has only bought in two players in Jason Kennedy and Mark Yeates but have impressive youngster Nahki Wells who will be looking to impress at a higher level. Rotherham have made some impressive signings, including young Richard Brindley and Michael Tidser and Rob Milsom from Scotland. The final of the promoted teams, Port Vale, are the most likely to struggle. The club has strengthened in midfield and defence bringing in the likes of Carl Dickinson and Chris Lines but will heavily rely on whether Tom Pope can make the step up.
The likes of Crawley, Leyton Orient and Crewe look set for another mid table finish. Crawley have lost momentum after back to back promotions and with only Andy Drury and James Hurst arriving at the club they could see themselves being dragged down the table this time around. Leyton Orient’s lack of signings could also see them looking down rather than up with just 3 new additions including Shaun Batt from Millwall. Crewe may have lost Luke Murphy, but their conveyor belt of young talent will surely produce new stars to fill his shoes. They have brought in the likes of Anthony Grant and impressive youngster Vadaine Oliver from Lincoln.
The bookies favourites for the drop are Colchester. The Essex club have been slowly falling down the league in previous years and after narrowly avoiding relegation last time around, look set for more trouble this term. The signings of Sanchez Watt and Craig Eastmond may provide fans of the club some hope of brighter times.
Shrewsbury have also been tipped to go down. The club have resigned James Tavernier and Awasi Asanta on loan. Stevenage are also favourites with the bookies to make the drop. After missing out in the playoffs in 2011/12, the club found life tougher last season and this fall is predicted to continue. The club has signed mainly from League Two with the likes of Simon Heslop and Luke Jones and the club will be hoping they can adapt at a higher standard.
League One stalwarts Carlisle, Oldham and Walsall may also struggle but will hope for a mid table finish. Oldham have lost a number of key players including goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis, Lee Croft and Matt Smith, who has joined Leeds. They have loaned in Mark Oxley from Hull and signed former Norwich midfielder Korey Smith. Carlisle have stuggled with signing managing only 3 permanent players, including Lewis Guy and David Amoo. Walsall may have problems replacing top scorer Will Grigg after his departure from the club. They hope Troy Hewitt and loan signing Milan Lalkovic may provide more options in the final third.