Monday’s play-off final at Wembley brought an end to the Sky Bet League Two campaign for the 2017/18 season. However, the next isn’t far away, and league sponsors Sky Bet have revealed the odds ahead of that.
Therefore, we take a look at who is expected to battle for promotion into Sky Bet League Two, something which Accrington Stanley, Luton Town, Wycombe Wanderers and Coventry City have all recently experienced. League Two is also the trap door to non-league football, so we’ll see who is tipped to struggle as well.
Firstly, let’s take a peak at who is backed to win the League Two title outright? (All odds are based on winning the league title outright)
MK Dons (7/1), Lincoln City (8/1), Mansfield Town & Northampton Town (9/1), Bury & Swindon Town (10/1)
Paul Tisdale of Exeter City may become the next MK Dons manager, and he is tasked with guiding them to the league title at the first time of asking. They are expected to challenge. Lincoln almost achieved back-to-back promotions last season, but just came up short. They’ll believe they can compete having had a year back at this level. Mansfield always have big ambitions, whilst Northampton tend to impress when dropping to this level. Bury had a season to forget last season, and relegation at least may give them a chance to experience winning some games. Swindon are a big club at this level and they too should fancy their chances and look towards the top end.
Many other clubs will believe they can make the play-offs at least. We’ll take a look at those right now.
Oldham Athletic (11/1), Notts County (12/1), Carlisle United (14/1), Exeter City (16/1), Cambridge United (20/1), Colchester United (22/1), Cheltenham Town & Newport County (25/1), Stevenage (28/1)
Oldham were relegated and they’ll believe they can contest near the top end of the table for a change. Notts County reached the play-offs and have the framework to build upon to possibly go one step better this time around. Carlisle are regulars in the top half and did make the play-offs two years ago, so they shouldn’t be far away. Exeter just lost the play-off final, but they regularly sell their better players and still manage to compete. Cambridge shall look to improve upon some mid-table finishes, whilst Colchester were in League One not that long ago, and will want to return ASAP. Cheltenham have been extremely busy in the transfer market already to signal their ambition. Newport were possibly distracted by the FA Cup last season and shall give all focus to the league campaign. Stevenage are one of many clubs in the middle tier that shall look to try and make an impression.
Who is tipped to struggle? Let’s take a look.
Crewe Alexandra & Port Vale (33/1), Forest Green Rovers, Grimsby Town, Macclesfield Town & Tranmere Rovers (40/1), Crawley Town, Morecambe & Yeovil Town (66/1)
Crewe have the ability to finish high in the table but consistency hasn’t been their friend. Still, they’ll hold decent aspirations. Port Vale are a big club at this level and they’ll have to look up, rather than just keep their heads above water. Forest Green have an ambitious manager and chairman, but survival would be another good campaign for them. Grimsby will have their first pre-season under Michael Jolley, who’ll look to yield some improvement upon the Mariners. Macclesfield and Tranmere have both come out of the National League, but the market doesn’t hold many high hopes for them. Crawley, Morecambe and Yeovil are among the smaller clubs in the league and that will be reflected in their budgets.