Crawley Town stormed their way to the Blue Square Premier title last season and Steve Evans’ team have been installed as strong favourites to achieve a double promotion by winning League Two this term.
The Red Devils were massively impressive last season and actually gave Manchester United a game at Old Trafford in the FA Cup after beating Swindon Town and Derby County in earlier rounds. The 5/1 odds available at the start of summer have long gone and there is now 3/1 left (bet365 – £200 free bets) for those that want to pile in.
Town probably stand the best chance out of any League Two side of gaining promotion, especially with the firepower of Matt Tubbs (7/1 bet365), although they are naturally stepping up a division and their success story has taken the spotlight away from other sides that could also challenge at the top of the table.
Rotherham are one such team and the Millers are now managed by Andy Scott who was inexplicably sacked by Brentford last season having previously steered the Bees to League Two success in 2009. William Hill’s 20/1 about the south Yorkshire side looks a cracking each-way price and there are others that also make appeal.
Swindon Town (12/1 William Hill) are not one of those and there appears to be plenty of hype surrounding Paolo Di Canio taking charge at the County Ground despite the Italian clearly lacking managerial experience and this could be another ‘John Barnes managing Tranmere’ sort of occasions which are doomed to end in failure.
Bristol Rovers are probably a more solid pick and the Pirates were guilty of dispensing with Paul Trollope too early last term and then spiralling under Dave Penney to the extent where survival in League One was impossible. Once again, Hills go a best price 12/1 about the Gas, while the same price is available about Shrewsbury Town.
Some of us have had their fingers burnt backing the Shrews in previous seasons, with Paul Simpson spending a fair bit of cash four seasons ago to recruit players like Grant Holt only for the Shropshire side to fail too much on the road. However, they look as though a top six finish could be on the cards under Graham Turner.
Perhaps Port Vale are the other team to watch, with Micky Adams having signed local lad Tommy Pope and let’s not forget how well the Valiants were faring before Adams made that ill-fated move to Sheffield United only to be welcomed back at Vale Park. William Hill’s 28/1 could be a good each-way wager.