The best of the rest
Notts County,Oldham, Walsall, Fleetwood, Port Vale, Rochdale, Scunthorpe, Barnsley and Coventry all remain from our coverage.
Personally, I would expect these teams to have a large spread across the mid-table ranging from a strong Barnsley and Coventry side up at the top of the mid-table right down to Notts County and Oldham just above the bottom four.
Oldham have brought in Jonathan Forte which holds positive signs for them in the attacking line alongside Daniel Philliskirk and Jonson Clarke-Harris however the departures of Jonathan Grounds, Korey Smith and James Wesolowski are key ones and could prove to be detrimental to their success this season.
Our Verdict? 20th
Notts County have used the loan market positively and have managed to secure a double deal from Wolves. This saw the signings of Zeli Ismail and Jake Cassidy come to the club, two exciting young prospects keen to make a reputation for themselves. Garry Thompson also signs from Bradford City to help the right-wing position have options for the Magpies. In the other direction leaving County went key players Gary Liddle and Alan Sheehan both to Valley Parade. Without Jack Grealish or Callum McGregor in the side this season, County could struggle but with two loan signings from Wolves who are strong it may compensate for the loss of the young talents. Derry will be excited to get this season underway with it being his first permanent season with the club.
Our Verdict? 19th
Walsall have lost Craig Westcarr who was a key player last season for the club and contributed with some key goals finishing their top scorer with 14 for the season in the league. With a strong side last season, the Saddlers finished 13th, however this season their side looks slightly weaker especially with the departure of the big leader Andy Butler to Sheffield United, a presence to be sorely missed at the back. Ashley Grimes however offers options up front as well as Tom Bradshaw who signed from Shrewsbury Town during this summer.
Our Verdict? 18th
With Fleetwood, Rochdale and Scunthorpe all coming up, they hold fresh hopes for the season in a division which they hold minimal pressure upon their shoulders. All the promoted teams will be able to enjoy playing free flowing football throughout the upcoming season and will look to flourish in League 1. With all clubs recruiting new faces each and releasing other players as well, they will all obviously have different upcoming campaigns ahead of them. Expect the unexpected from the Promoted clubs. Promotion,Relegation,Consolidation or Play-Offs. Not to forget transfers, managerial exits and appointments. These three clubs could finish anywhere. With Rochdale losing Scott Hogan as well, a key player in last campaign’s success, a high finish is unlikely.
This leaves Vale, Barnsley and Coventry who will be expected to maintain strong positions towards the higher end of the division. With each team possessing some fantastic players in their line-ups it isn’t hard to expect that they will have a strong season. Coventry will go into this season with plenty of money to spend from the Wilson sale but two brilliant signings from Bounemouth on loan helps to further justify their claims for a strong season. Barnsley although relegated last season have held onto players who have mainly a Championship pedigree and that will be vital in the upcoming season for them. If Vale’s Tom Pope has a season of rich goalscoring form then Vale may potentially aim for the Play-Offs and with a fantastic campaign last season behind them straight after promotion, it certainly is not beyond their capabilities.
Port Vale- 13th.