Who will be the main challengers to the U’s promotion bid this season?
Favourites must be Portsmouth who have the support and financial backing to ensure they are near the top, however the same was said last year and they found the league difficult. In Paul Cook they have an experienced manager who has during the summer revitalised the squad by bringing in new players. One of these being Jayden Stockley who was on loan at the Abbey last year.
Oxford are another team that have re-built during the summer. It will be interesting to see if the Eastleigh Chairman Stewart Donald becomes more involved at the club having bought a 10 per cent holding during the summer. Manager Michael Appleton is asking for a strong start and much will depend on them doing that. The goals of Ryan Taylor signed from Portsmouth in pre-season will be critical for the club to progress.
Plymouth like Portsmouth are a team that probably should have done better last season than reaching the Play Offs. They have the resources but do they have ability to change from a team that has underachieved to promotion chasers. Their new manager is Derek Adams who led Ross County to the Scottish Premier League. He may have the a similar affect as Alex Neil at Norwich. Wycombe who beat them in the Plays Offs will have had their chance. Bristol Rovers are on a high having won promotion and if they start the season well could be an outsider for a promotion spot. Luton on paper should do well. They have signed a proven goal scorer in ex Scottish International Craig Mackail-Smith, however will they end up beating themselves with their own expectancies and if results don’t go to plan turn upon themselves.
Teams who will struggle
Accrington and Carlisle will again be among the strugglers. Outsider for relegation is Morecombe who started so well last season and then faded.
Relegated from League One last season Yeovil could go either way. Will they continue to struggle having been relegated twice in successive seasons. Stopping that slide could be a difficult one since it may have set in.
It won’t be until next May we can find out what happens.
Who do you think will be promotion challengers?
Who do you think will be relegation favourites?
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