The three promoted teams take up prominent spots in the market here but it would be unwise to focus only on them. In 11 of the last 19 seasons all three clubs who came up for League One have managed to stay up and only nine clubs since 2000 have gone straight back down after coming up from League One.
Wigan, responsible for two of those, managed to survive last season, an impressive feat given that they suffered a huge injury crisis over the Christmas period, but they will do well to stay up again given their summer in the transfer market. 13 players have left including Nick Powell – by far their biggest asset – and having just three replacements leaves them hugely vulnerable.
Birmingham managed to defy a nine-point deduction to stay up last season but they might find themselves in the thick of a relegation scrap once again and the 4/1 on them slipping into League One does make appeal.
The sacking of Garry Monk in midsummer was a big blow and former assistant Pep Clotet has some giant shoes to fill, a job that will be made so much harder without Jota, Che Adams and Michael Morrison. Che Adams’ 22 goals in particular leave a huge hole to fill and whilst the addition of Ivan Sunjic is a quality addition in midfield, overall it’s impossible not to see this as a weaker outfit with a far more unproven manager this season who could easily find themselves in huge danger.
QPR managed to fight off relegation concerns for the last two years but they have had a nightmarishly turbulent summer and their luck could run out. The loss of star playmaker Luke Freeman and Massima Luongo are body blows for Mark Warburton and whilst they have signed a whole host of players, that means a huge amount of player turnover – and no side has had more changes to their squad. Warburton must get them settled quickly and even then there’s a dearth of quality going forward which is ominous for a defence that has conceded 70 goals in the last two seasons.
Advice – Relegation
3 pts Birmingham (4/1 Hills)
2 pts Wigan (4/1 SkyBet)
2 pts QPR (10/3 general)
Advice – To Finish Bottom
1 pt Birmingham (14/1 general)
1 pt Wigan (11/1 SkyBet)
1 pt QPR (16/1 Ladbrokes)