And League 2….
Title: There are no surprises for finding Mansfield but they were fourth last season, lost only on penalties in the playoffs, and conceded the least goals in the division. With Andy Cook and Nicky Maynard there to fire in the goals they can take the beating if they don’t have too much of a hangover from that. Scunthorpe suffered what was a shock relegation but they have recently returned back to League One at the first time of asking and much of the squad from last season is still there, with Paul Hurst having experience at this level.
Advice: 2 pts each/way Mansfield (9/1 Sportinglife, 8/1 general), 1 pt each/way Scunthorpe (12/1 general)
Relegation: Macclesfield only survived by three points last season, and were the fifth worst side in the second half of the last campaign when two of the three sides that finished below them went down in the end. They now have a thinner squad, with the scorers of 19 goals between them last season having departed. Cambridge United were one of those teams that had a weaker finish – they won just 2 of their last 15 games – and registered the fourth-fewest goals across the whole EFL – firing 20 blanks and notching two goals or more in just 11 fixture
Advice: 2 pts Macclesfield (3/1 general), 2 pts each/way Cambridge (6/1 general)
Top Scorer: Nicky Maynard scored 21 goals for Bury last season and should be aiming for around that total playing for Mansfield, who are well fancied. Bradford’s trio of James Vaughan, Clayton Donaldson and Eoin Doyle might well share the goals around. It is a big if, but should Nicky Ajose manage to keep fit, then he can have a fruitful campaign for Exeter.
Advice: 2 pts each/way Nicky Maynard (11/1 Betway, 10/1 general), 1 pt each/way Nicky Ajose (33/1 general)
Handicap: Salford have secured four promotions in five seasons and are already stocked with players who have League experience. The additions of Kyle Letheren and Richie Towell to the roster underline the sort of player that Graham Alexander has at his disposal and they will be aiming to make a bold bid again. Newport have kept Michael Flynn, which suggests they are aiming to match or better their tally of 71 last year. That was an improvement on 64 points the year before and they are of interest. Having recommended them for the title, Mansfield and Scunthorpe are surely worth backing again?
Advice: 1 pt each/way Salford +1 (18/1 Bet365), 1 pt each/way Mansfield +4 (18/1 Bet365), 1 pt each/way Scunthorpe +7 (18/1 Bet365), 1 pt each/way Newport +18 (18/1 general)