If you follow the general rule that the cream usually rises to the top in League One, Derby County fans could be in for a season to remember.
When the big teams come down, more often than not they don’t stay trapped for too long. It can sometimes take a while, especially if they’re relegated against a backdrop of chaos, but ultimately it always happens.
The bigger they are the harder they fall, but in a division seen as a giants’ rehabilitation center, once steady they usually soar. That’s not to undermine an always super competitive league, as we saw last year you need to get everything right if you are to put in a challenge – there’s no shortcut to success as Paul Warne knows that all too well.
After taking Rotherham United up no fewer than three times from the third tier of English football, Derby are well fancied to add another promotion to his CV. Sonny Bradley adds security at the back and Conor Washington should fill the scoring boots of David McGoldrick.
Derby start as title favourites, but Bolton are well backed after a productive summer. Peterborough United – still reeling from that play-off collapse at Sheffield Wednesday – will believe their first leg performance shows what they’re capable of. Expect a strong challenge this time.
Barnsley also don’t want to hear the Owls’ name anytime soon. That late sucker punch at Wembley killed their dream off and Tykes’ fans mood wasn’t helped when Michael Duff upped and left for Swansea.
Portsmouth and Charlton fans expect better this time around and the demands will be top six after a solid summer of recruitment.
Will what came down go back up? It looks a tall order. Blackpool, Reading and Wigan will all be playing in League One next term following their relegation from the Championship. The latter will start on minus eight points after failing to pay wages on time.
Reading, meanwhile, have had a torrid summer off the field and are playing catch up after a number of transfer embargoes were placed on the Royals. Although good signings have been made, it will be a tricky challenge to plot an instant Championship return.
Leyton Orient, Stevenage, Northampton and Carlisle all won promotion from League Two last season and will all be looking for survival before anything else. One thing is for certain with the EFL every year – life is never dull!
|Derby County||13/8 Bet365|
|Bolton Wanderers||2/1 Coral|
|Peterborough United||3/1 888sport|
|Barnsley||11/4 William Hill|
Their first season in League One ended in heartache, but it already seems difficult to see past Derby County and with a promotion specialist at the helm with his feet now firmly under the table, their chances are looking very good.
Our punters.pub bet of the day is Derby County to get promoted at 11/8
It’s been a very difficult few years for the Rams but finally things seem to have settled – and there’s a lack of fallen giants to compete with this time around.