With the season getting ever closer, you often see fans posting on social media with their 1-24 with the usual rival teams in the relegation places with their team sitting pretty at the top end of the table, writes Samuel Rowson.
So I will attempt to do the same and at the same time the impossible- predict the final table before a ball has even been kicked. I will most likely be miles off, but as Gary says, it’s a bit of fun, so let’s have a go!
- Ipswich Town
- Sheffield Wednesday
— — — — — — — — —
- MK Dons
- Oxford United
- Derby County
— — — — — — — — —
- Bolton Wanderers
- Charlton Athletic
- Plymouth Argyle
- Accrington Stanley
- Bristol Rovers
- Cambridge United
- Lincoln City
- Port Vale
- Shrewsbury Town
- Cheltenham Town
- Forest Green Rovers
— — — — — — — — —
- Exeter City
- Burton Albion
- Fleetwood Town
Ipswich to top League One and finally regain championship status after a 4 season hiatus.
The impressive signing of Freddie Ladapo from Rotherham is one of the contributing factors in this decision. As the former Argyle and Miller striker has netted on average 14 goals per season when he has played in League One. His best was at Argyle when he netted 18 times in the 2018-19 season which subsequently earned him his move to South Yorkshire. This coupled with a strong mid table side from last term could be the difference between 2nd and 3rd tier football.
Morecambe suffer second season syndrome
The hardest thing to do for any newly promoted side is to stay in League One for more than two seasons. On average (as Gary alluded to in an article in April), clubs spend on average three seasons in League One, with the other half being relegated in the first or second season. Morecambe last year were almost single-handedly kept up by the goals of one forward in Cole Stockton scoring 23 out of the teams 57 goals in the league. A staggering 40% of all goals scored. Now, unless Cole produces another blinding season, this could be a very disappointing season ahead for the Shrimps.
Forest Green survive and add half a star to 2023 home kit.
Out of the surviving promoted teams I have placed Forest Green the lowest. This is because in the summer window they have lost a number of key players and the promotion winning manager. And with the step between the 4th and 3rd tiers getting harder each year Dale Vince will have to put his green hands in his pockets to help secure safety.
Accrington continue to punch above their weight in League One
Stanley are becoming part of the League One furniture with every passing season. They are always capable of a good result away from home no matter who they are playing, and nobody enjoys going away to the tightly packed Crown Ground. Add to that a manager who has always created a competitive team on a shoestring budget and it makes this position every year seem even more impressive.
Considering the gulf in budget between them and the likes of Ipswich Town 13th would be an impressive finish. The loss of Colby Bishop to Portsmouth could be damaging enough to see them finish nearer the relegation zone, but the money raised from his sale will no doubt go back into a potential future Stanley Star and naturally keep them afloat in League One for a 6th season running!
The Imps finish the season a place better than before
Nothing would please me more to see us finish higher up in the table this year and to be distancing ourselves from relegation fears. However given the increased budgets of the teams within our division my head tells me the 16th is about the right position for us. It all hinges on how fit and injury-prone our players are this term, with major injuries to key players being one of the main factors for last season’s woes. The late arrival of Montsma will be an important morale boost when he returns from his lengthy spell on the side lines later in the year. As well as second chances for players such as Sanders, Sorenson and Adelukan who could really make an impact if they take their opportunities if given to them by Kennedy.
Rams barge their way to a Play-Off Campaign
Derby, after a summer of turmoil, finally gained stability and security when the club completed the long awaited takeover back at the start of July. Since then they have made up for lost time by bringing in 11 players so far. Notable names include David McGoldrick from Sheffield United and Conor Hourihane from Aston Villa. However bringing in key marquee signings doesn’t guarantee you play off football. You just have to look at the predictions regarding Ipswich Town from last year as a prime example. Only time will tell on this one, if the players gel and perform as expected 6th place will be the lowest they should finish.