The new League One season gets underway on Saturday August 9th. We preview the opening day fixtures of this very competitive and exciting league.
Sheffield United v Bristol City K.O: 12:15 (Sky Sports)
This is the first match of the new League One season, so there’ll be extra pressure on the players. The game takes place in United’s Bramall Lane. Both of these team had decent ends to last season so should be confident heading into the game. Bristol City have a serious goal threat in the form of Sam Baldock, their captain, who scored 24 goals in 44 games last season.
However in George Long, United have one of the best keepers in the division. They also have their own threats going forward in Jose Baxter, the former Everton player, and Jamal Campbell-Ryce, one of the fastest in the league.
Barnsley v Crawley K.O:15:00
Barnsley were relegated from the Championship last season and will harbour high hopes of bouncing straight back first time round. The Tykes, who been able to hold onto a lot of their squad from last season, should be in good shape for their opener and they can even boast a former Bayern Munich player, Dale Jennings, in their ranks.
Crawley caused many problems to the teams above them last season, yet they never really threatened to make the Play-offs. They should be competitive but expect Barnsley to come through.
Prediction: BARNSLEY 1-0
Fleetwood v Crewe K.O: 15:00
This should be a very interesting tie as the sides look evenly matched. Fleetwood, having been promoted from League Two via the Play-offs, will still be on a high heading into this season’s opener. In Steven Schumacher and Antoni Sarcevic, who scored a stunning free-kick to win the play-off final, Fleetwood have two very good midfielders.
Crewe, as per usual, have a very young squad as they tend to promote academy players instead of buying in experience. In Mathias Pogba, the younger brother of Paul Pogba, they have an powerful 6ft 3’’ striker who is very good in the air.
Prediction: FLEETWOOD 2-1
Leyton Orient v Chesterfield 15:00
Leyton Orient will be strong contenders to go up directly, as they have a very strong squad, full of experience, goals and speed. David Mooney and Kevin Lisbie make up one of the strongest strike partnerships in the League, between them they scored nearly 40 goals last season.
Chesterfield won League Two by three points and are relatively unknown. This is a tough opening assignment for them and they’ll do well to get anything from the game.
Prediction: LEYTON ORIENT 3-0
Rochdale v Peterborough 15:00
Rochdale like Chesterfield are an unknown quantity. They finished third in the table behind Scunthorpe and The Spireites. They are up against a Peterborough side who can score lots of goals on their day but also vulnerable at the back. They have the joint top scorer Britt Assombalonga in their ranks who will cause problems for defenses. If Rochdale manage to get something from this game it’ll be an upset.
Prediction: PETERBOROUGH 3-1
Yeovil v Doncaster K.O: 15:00
Both these teams got relegated last season, both have good managers and are hard to beat at home. Yeovil won this fixture last season 1-0, expect this clash to be another tight affair that could be decided by a stroke of genius or a mistake.
Swindon v Scunthorpe K.O: 15:00
Swindon didn’t create many waves last season with their lacklustre performances and Scunthorpe shouldn’t have much to fear from them in this one. The Iron have what looks like a squad that could cause the bigger teams problems during the season and with the likes of Gary McSheffrey in midfield and Sam Winnall upfront they shouldn’t be lacking goals. At the back is goalkeeper Sam Slocombe, who is a very safe pair of hands between the sticks.
Prediction: SCUNTHORPE 2-1
Jack McCann, Pundit Arena