SkyBet League One Preview: Team-by-Team Guide


So – we move into League One! Burton, Shrewsbury, Bury and Southend were promoted from League 2, while Blackpool, Millwall and Wigan dropped down from the Championship. It is a much more even competition this season, with some of those going up last season being so much better than a lot of the teams. Anyway – here is our 24 team preview:


Manager: Lee Johnson
2014/15: 11th
Odds: 4/1 (Promotion), 7/4 (Top 6)

Transfers In: Ryan Williams, Marc Roberts, Ben Pearson, Alfie Mawson, Marley Watkins, Dan Crowley, Callum Evans, Joe Rothwell
Transfers Out: 12 Out, including Dale Jennings

Barnsley look like a solid mid-table side who have potential to get promoted, and with a talent like Dan Crowley coming in from Arsenal on loan, who is seen as a potentially better version of Jack Wilshere. Sam Winnall is going to be a key goalscorer, and bagged 12 in 34 last season. Josh Scowen is a very good young midfielder, and scored 63 in 200 for Wycombe before moving, and has 4 in 21 so far. They should be pushing for the top 6, but I don’t think they will go up. 4th favourite for the division, but overpriced in my opinion.

Bradford City

Manager: Phil Parkinson
2014/15: 7th
Odds: 5/1 (Promotion), 9/4 (Top 6)

Transfers In: Luke James, Tony McMahon, Nathan Clarke, Mark Mashall, Steven Davies, Paul Anderson, Josh Morris
Transfers Out: 7 Released

Bradford were just outside the top 6 last season, and will be disappointed to have missed out. In Phil Parkinson they have an excellent manager, and have signed some promising players such as Luke James, who has not progressed since leaving Hartlepool. Key to their chances is their defence – Rory McArdle was brilliant last season, while upfront Billy Clarke bagged double figures and James Hanson has the potential to do the same. They could make the top 6 this season, but I don’t think they will.


Manager: Neil Macdonold
2014/15: 24th (Championship)
Odds: 2/1 (Relegation)

Transfers In: Mark Cullen, Colin Doyle, Jack Redshaw, Kwame Thomas, Clark Robertson, John Herron, Lloyd Jones, Bradley Potts, Jim McAlister
Transfers Out: 19 Released

Blackpool are looking like they could do a Portsmouth – they have added a lot of League 2 and SPL players, which for me won’t do it in League One. Jack Redshaw and Mark Cullen are decent, but I don’t think will do it this season. 2/1 for Relegation looks good odds, due to the reasons above. Too many changes in one go, team may struggle to gel in time for the new season and much like last season will be playing catch-up.

Burton Albion

Manager: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
2014/15: League Two Champions
Odds: 9/2 (Relegation)

Transfers In: Darius Charles, Tom Naylor, Anthony O’Connor, Calum Butcher, Jerome Williams, Callum Reilly, Zeli Ismail, Timmy Thiele, Mark Duffy
Transfers Out: 9 Released

Under the tutelage of footballing legend Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink – Burton won last seasons League Two with ease at the end. They do not have a great deal of goalscorers, but a lot of their midfield chip in. I cannot pick out any key players really, but their defence will be the key aspect. Keep clean sheets and they will do well. Don’t – I see them going down. 9/2 is a high price, but potentially good value.


Manager: David Flitcroft
2014/15: 3rd (League Two)
Odds: 13/2 (Promotion)

Transfers In: Christian Walton, Tom Pope, Leon Clarke, Danny Pugh, Peter Clarke, Jacob Mellis
Transfers Out: 4 Released

They key strength for Bury this season is goalscorers – and they have them in abundance! Tom Pope (69 in 196 – Port Vale), Leon Clarke (23 in 34 in 13/14 season for Coventry) as well as Ryan Lowe who is a proven scorer, and then Danny Nardiello who has a record of 16 in 48 for Bury. From midfield there is Tom Soares – 16 goals in 90 games. They should be a highscoring team this season, and for this reason I reckon they will stay up and push for the top 10.


Manager: Dean Saunders
2014/15: 6th (lost in playoffs)
Odds: 7/2 (Top 6)

Transfers In: Sylvain Ebanks-Blake, Rai Simons, Jake Orrell
Transfers Out: 2 Released, Sam Clucas (£1.25m), Tedayi Darikwa (£600k)

Chesterfield have lost three players who led them to 6th last season. Eoin Doyle left in January, and then Sam Clucas and Tendayi Darikwa have both left this summer. With only Ebanks-Blake of note coming in, I don’t see them near the top 6 again this season. Top 10, yes, but not quite top 6. Ebanks Blake has a great record at this sort of level, with 61 in 177 for Wolves, while Jay O’Shea is a goalscoring midfielder – 21 in 100 league games.


Manager: Tony Hughes
2014/15: 19th
Odds: 1/1 (Relegation)

Transfers In: Richard Brindley, Joe Edwards, George Elokobi, Matt Briggs, Kieran Bailey, Elliot Parish
Transfers Out: 8 Released

Colchester narrowly avoided relegation last season, but this time around I feel they will suffer it this time around. Chris Porter and Gavin Massey are key forwards, but neither will score enough to cover the amount they will concede. Poor defence + average signings = relegation.


Manager: Tony Mowbray
2014/15: 17th
Odds: 7/2 (Top 6)

Transfers In: Adam Armstrong, Ruben Lameiras, Sam Ricketts, Romain Vincelot, Chris Stokes
Transfers Out: 8 Released

Coventry have made a terrific signing – Adam Armstrong has come in on loan from Newcastle for 6 months and big things are expected from the North-east side, with the 18 year old bagging 9 in 9 England under 18’s and making 15 appearances for the North-east big dogs. They also have Reda Johnson, a very good defender in their squad and a youngster of their own – James Maddison, who is another great prospect and highly thought of in the higher leagues – certainly one to keep an eye on! I believe with their squad they could push for the top 6, and if Armstrong stays for the season it’s a real possibility!


Manager: Steve Davies
2014/15: 20th
Odds: 11/10 (Relegation)

Transfers In: David Fox, Ben Nugent, Billy Bingham, Dave Richards, Adam King
Transfers Out: 9 Released

Crewe looked certs to go down last season, but somehow escaped after looking dead in the water. They have signed some decent players, Ben Nugent for one – but for me not enough to stay up. George Cooper is a highly rated youngster they have on their books, while Adam King has come in on loan from Swansea – an under 21 Scottish international central midfield. They lack a real goalscorer, so in my eyes are a good price to be relegated.


Manager: Paul Dickov
2014/15: 13th
Odds: 3/1 (Top 6)

Transfers In: Richard Chaplow, Dany N’Guessan, Andy Williams, Aaron Sinclair, Thorsten Stuckmann
Transfers Out: 7 Released

Doncaster have a real chance of promotion this season. On their books they have Harry Forrester – an immensely talented midfielder who never quite fulfilled his potential. He had trials with Ajax earlier in his career, which shows his pedigree! Andy Williams has also come in from Swindon after scoring 21 in 46 games last season, while another key player is James Coppinger – the veteran midfielder has spent nearly 12 years with Donny after leaving Newcastle as a youngster, and over 400 career appearances with 45 goals. His experience will be vital! 3/1 for top 6 looks good value in my eyes.

Fleetwood Town

Manager: Graham Alexander
2014/15: 10th
Odds: 3/1 (Top 6)

Transfers In: Declan McManus, Lyle Della Verde, Jimmy Ryan, Bobby Grant, Amari Bell, Vamara Sanogo, Eggert Jonsson
Transfers Out: 15 Released

Graham Alexander has a good squad on his hands at Crawley after a fairly large clearout. Vamara Sanogo and Declan McManus will look top provide the goals, with Sanogo coming in from the French lower divisions, and is said to be very quick, powerful and can cause defenders a lot of problems. McManus scored 20 goals in 33 games for Morton last season in Scotland, and could translate that form to the Engish leagues. Not quite promotion material, but easily mid-table and looking up rather than down.


Manager: Justin Edinburgh
2014/15: 12th
Odds: 4/1 (Top 6)

Transfers In: Max Ehmer, Brad Garmston, Ben Williamson, Rory Donnelly, Jordon Houghton, Ryan Jackson
Transfers Out: 8 Released

Gillingham were one of those sides last season that could score a hatful, but still lose. Their defence was an issue, but up-front they had a trio of excellent players – Bradley Dack, who scored a handful – John Marquis, who has returned to Millwall – and Cody MacDonald – who bagged a load, 33 in 87 for the Gills. Dack and Macdonald will be vital this season, with Rory Donnelly coming in from Swansea – a good signing and someone who bagged a load of goals in Ireland before his big move. Outside chance of a top 6 finish, but will fall short most likely.


Manager: Neil Harris
2014/15: 22nd (Championship)
Odds: 5/4 (Top 6), 7/2 (Promotion)

Transfers In: Mahlon Romeo, Tony Craig, Joe Martin, Jordan Archer
Transfers Out: 17 Out – expensive Championship wages off the book

Millwall are one of the favourites for the league, but could struggle in my opinion. After losing so many players, they may need time to adapt to their new squad and league – but have some decent players returning from loan spells. Fred Onyendinma was excellent for Wycombe last season in League Two, while John Marquis scored 8 in 21 for Gillingham, so will be very useful for them. Lee Gregory bagged 9 in 35 last season, so will be a good player in this league I would think. Finally, Shaun Williams scored 19 in 108 games for MK Dons at this level, so will be another key player this season. Top 6 is a strong possibility, but I think they will need a 2nd season to get out of this league.


Manager: Darren Kelly
2014/15: 15th
Odds: 4/1 (Relegation)

Transfers In: David Dunn. George Green, David Cornell, Lee Croft, Jake Cassidy
Transfers Out: 5 Released

Oldham have signed what was expected to be England’s new Wayne Rooney. George Green was signed by Everton 4 years ago from Bradford for £300k, rising to £2m. However he never fulfilled his huge potential and is another on the list of ‘next big things’ that have come and gone down the years, with Everton have quite a few of them! David Dunn adds vital experience, and Jake Cassidy could be a good loan signing from Wolves. Rhys Murphy bagged 14 in 41 last season and will be needed again if Oldham are to stay in the league. Could drop, but most likely in and around the same position again.


Manager: Dave Robertson
2014/15: 9th
Odds: 7/4 (Top 6), 9/2 (Promotion), 14/1 (Winner)

Transfers In: Lee Angol, Joe Gormley, Souleymane Coulibaly, Kieran Sadlier, Andrew Fox, Jack Collison
Transfers Out: 4 Released

Peterborough are my pick for Top 6 this season – 7/4 is amazing value and they should really be up there, and at 14/1 are a great value bet! They have brought in quality – Joe Gormley scored 85 in 133 games for Cliftonville and seems a natural finisher. Marcus Maddison remains from last season having scored 7 in 29, and in the number 10 role could really push on and hit double figures this season. Coulibaly was chased by all the European giants after his exploits at the under 17 championships where he scored a hattrick against Brazil, but failed at Spurs. Conor Washington and Kyle Vassell are good goalscorers that should be enough to cover them for the season, while possibly the biggest signing is Jack Collison – over 100 appearances for West Ham in the Premier League and released after some fitness issues. Brilliant midfielder and at this level should be one of the best in the league! However, with his knee injuries, his availability may be limited – he is managing their under 21 team as well as playing, but fitness is a big question mark.

Port Vale

Manager: Rob Page
2014/15: 18th
Odds: 5/4 (Relegation)

Tranfers In: Remie Streete, Ben Purkiss, Sam Kelly, Anthony Grant, AJ Leitch-Smith, Sam Foley, Uche Ikpeazu, Ryan Inniss
Transfers Out: 9 Released

Port Vale are one of three or four who could really struggle. Massive lack of a goalscorer after Tom Pope left, while incomings are mainly youngsters and loans. Remie Streete the most impressive – he won the Wor Jackie Award at Newcastle a few seasons ago and was expected to start to push for their senior team, only to fall victim to many injuries. Now in his 20’s, he has been released and has rejoined Port Vale after a 5 game loan spell. A very good shout for relegation, and at 5/4 I fancy it.


Manager: Keith Hill
2014/15: 8th
Odds: 9/2 (Top 6)

Transfers In: Donal McDermott, Jim McNulty, Lewis Allesandra
Transfers Out: 5 Released

Rochdale look a solid side for this season. Lewis Allesandra is a great signing from Plymouth, with creativity and goals over the last few seasons he should do well for them (25 goals in 100 league games). Matt Lund is another good player – the ex-Stoke player has bagged 11 from 63 from midfield. Rhys Bennett also looks a good centre back for them, and can score a few too. 5 in 94 over the last couple of seasons. Not going to go up I’d think, but a similar finish to last season. 8th-12th I’d plump for.


Manager: Mark Robins
2014/15: 16th
Odds: 3/1 (Top 6)

Transfers In: Stephen Dawson, Scott Laird, Isaac Assenso, Jack King, Tom Hopper, Jamie Ness, Scott Wiseman, Darius Henderson, Luke Williams
Transfers Out: 8 Released

Scunthorpe’s squad is taking shape nicely – some good players coming in such as Tom Hopper, who scored 4 in 6 for them on loan last season, as well as Jamie Ness and Scott Wiseman, who are steady, reliable players at this level. Paddy Madden is a key man – 22 in 75 for them over the last couple of seasons, while Darius Henderson is vital, 8 in 23 last season after he joined. Another I think will do okay, but not threaten the top 6.

Sheffield Utd

Manager: Nigel Adkins
2014/15: 5th
Odds: 9/2 (Winner), 7/4 (Promotion)

Transfers In: Martyn Woolford, Connor Sammon, Billy Sharp
Transfers Out: 6 Released

Sheff Utd are overwhelming favourites for the title this season @ 9/2, and with Billy Sharp, Matt Done, John Brayford and many other quality players – you can see why. 7/4 for Promotion is shockingly good value and is certainly a certain pick from me when it comes to my acca!


Manager: Micky Mellon
2014/15: 2nd (League Two)
Odds: 7/1 (Relegation)

Players In: Matt Sadler, Abu Agogo, Junior Brown, Shaun Whalley, Martyn Woods
Transfers Out: 5 Released

Shrewsbury are a huge 7/1 for relegation this season, and the only reason I see why is that there are worse teams out there. They have very little quality to their lineup, with James Collins and Jean Akpa-Akpro their only real goal threats. I see them struggling, but luckily, like mentioned – there are four or five a lot worse off than they are. Bottom 8, easily!


Manager: Phil Brown
2014/15: 5th (Playoff Winner, League Two)
Odds: 4/1 (Relegation)

Transfers In: Dave Mooney, Anthony Wordsworth, Noel Hunt
Transfers Out: 8 Released

Southend have lost their lead scorer Barry Corr, to their surprise. He left after a lot of confusion over a new deal, to the dismay of fans and the club themselves. They have replaced him with Leyton Orient’s Dave Mooney, who has scored 38 in 140 for them. Noel Hunt is a good acquisition, and Jack Payne is a good midfielder who will score a few goals over the course of the season. 4/1 for Relegation, but I think much like Shrewsbury, they will steer clear of all that.


Manager: Mark Cooper
2014/15: 4th (Playoff Loser)
Odds: 2/1 (Top 6)

Transfers In: Kevin Stewart, Drissa Traore, Brandon Ottewell, Fabian Robert, L Vigouroux, Jordon Williams, Jordon Turnball
Transfers Out: Massimo Luongo, Ben Gladwin + 10 Released

Swindon have lost two key players in Luongo and Gladwin, while not bringing in anyone of note – a few Liverpool loanee’s and a Lorient B striker who scored 2 in 13 for Doncaster last season. 2/1 for Top 6 is a little much for my liking – looking at their squad I’d say the best they can hope for is 7-10th. Jonothan Obika is a key striker for them, while Michael Smith has it in him to push them towards the top 6.


Manager: Dean Smith
2014/15: 14th
Odds: 5/1 (Top 6), 11/1 (Promotion)

Transfers In: Milan Lalkovic, Neil Etheridge, Jason Demetriou
Transfers Out: 4 Released

Walsall are a good shout for a playoff place. They have a very underrated squad, lead by Tom Bradshaw, who scored 20 in 37 last season. Along with Captain Adam Chambers and a few other players, I think they have a good chance at at least the top 10 and pushing towards the top 6. Possibly a dark horse for promotion, but will not win it.


Manager: Gary Caldwell
2014/15: Relegation from League One
Odds: 9/4 (Promotion), 5/6 (Top 6)

Players In: Will Grigg (£1m), Craig Davies, Max Power, Craig Morgan, Reece James
Players Out: 17 Released

Wigan have a real shot of going straight back up, but with strong competition they need to hit the ground running. Will Grigg scored 20 last season for MK Dons, on loan from Brentford and at £1m is a steal! Max Power (best name ever) is a decent signing from Tranmere where he scored 13 in 32 for them. Grant Holt could be a revelation at this level even at 32, after a few seasons of Premier League football he will be very good in League One! 5/6 looks decent value for top 6, I’m not so sure about Promotion.


That’s league one done – onto our Top 10 Signings and 10 To Watch this afternoon – probably around 6-8pm for both! Here are my picks for the four main market:

Winner: Sheff Utd @ 9/2
Promotion: Sheff Utd @ 7/4 (Peterborough @ 7/2 next)
Top 6: Peterborough @ 7/4
Relegation: Port Vale @ 5/4
Top Scorer – Will Grigg @ 8/1 (Tom Hopper @ 40/1)


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