It is not long now until the new football season will get underway across England. The same weekend as the Community Shield between Manchester City and Leicester City, the three divisions of the Football League will also get underway.
In this post, we are going to take a look at the bottom two divisions in the English football league, League One and League Two, starting with the lower of those two divisions, League Two.
We will bring you a quick preview of the division, as well as tips for the key positions in the league table at the end of the season, as well as a tip for who will finish as the top scorer in the division this season.
Of course, if you fancy a bet on any of the markets and options shown here, then check out the odds available with bet365 Sport. The site offers a fantastic range of bets on English football throughout the season including extensive In Play betting as well as plenty of pre-match markets and outright winner bets across multiple popular markets.
And remember too, if you want to bet on the outcome of these leagues and you are based in the United States, then BetRivers Sportsbook has an excellent selection of soccer bets throughout the season and from leagues and competitions all over the world.
Let’s now take a closer look at some of the top bets available for fans of teams in the two lower leagues of professional football in England, League One and League Two, starting with the latter.
League Two – 2020/21 Data
- Champions – Cheltenham Town (82 pts)
- Also Promoted to League One – Cambridge United (80 pts), Bolton Wanderers (79 pts), Morecambe (Playoff Winners)
- Lost In Playoffs – Newport County, Tranmere Rovers, Forest Green Rovers
- Relegated From League One – Rochdale, Northampton Town, Swindon Town, Bristol Rovers
- Promoted From Conference – Sutton United, Hartlepool United
- Relegated From League Two – Southend United, Grimsby Town
League Two – 2021/22 Season Preview & Tips
League Two is arguably the most competitive of all four divisions in English football in terms of each team having similar resources, abilities and personnel. As such, this tends to be a very closely fought division and the top teams tend to lose and draw more games in this division than in the other three divisions in England.
Most teams have very little financial clout, Salford City perhaps the main exception, but even so picking up consistent results at this level even for the top teams is tough. That is why League Two is usually the most closely contested division out of the four English professional leagues.
That said, let’s now take a look at some of the tips for the main markets you can bet on for League Two this season.
League Two – Outright Winners – Salford City (6/1)
Money talks at this level and no team in League Two has more of it than Salford. The Manchester team have made a number of good signings and look a very good bet to improve on their 8th place finish last season. I expect the likes of Exeter City, Bradford, Mansfield Town, Tranmere Rovers and Carlisle United to push them hard, but I think their strength in depth and financial clout at this level will be the decisive factor.
League Two – Promoted – Exeter City (10/3), Tranmere Rovers (7/2), Mansfield Town (3/1)
We’ve already mentioned the names of some teams that we think will challenge for the top spot in the table and I expect a number of those to claim the two other automatic promotion slots, plus one to win the playoffs. I fancy Exeter and Trannmere Rovers to claim the two automatic places, while an improving Mansfield Town should make it into the playoffs and I think will be the team celebrating promotion at Wembley.
League Two – Playoff Places – Mansfield Town (5/4), Forest Green (11/8), Carlisle United (15/8), Walsall (11/4)
We’ve already mentioned that Mansfield Town are our pick to land the playoff promotion slot at Wembley. I expect competition for the places in the playoff alongside them to be tough and I think from a very wide selection of teams that Forest Green, Carlisle United and Walsall could be the teams that contest the playoffs with the Stags.
League Two – Relegated – Crawley Town (11/2), Stevenage (9/2)
Looking at who will drop down into the Conference this season, I think Stevenage have been hovering in or around the drop zone for a few seasons now and I think their luck will run out. The same goes for Crawley Town who don’t seem to have made much progress over the last few years. I think teams like Barrow, Harrogate and Sutton United will also be near the drop zone.
League Two – Leading Goalscorer – Danny Johnson (Mansfield Town) 10/1
Salford duo Ian Henderson and Conor McAleney are the popular picks here but I think Danny Johnson should get plenty of chances to shine in what looks like a very attack minded Mansfield side and as such, he looks a good bet for the top goalscorer honours.
League One – 2020/21 Data
- Champions – Hull City (89 pts)
- Also Promoted To Championship– Peterborough United (87 Pts), Blackpool (Playoffs)
- Lost In Playoffs – Sunderland, Lincoln City, Oxford United
- Relegated From Championship – Wycombe Wanderers, Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday
- Promoted From League Two – Cheltenham Town, Cambridge United, Bolton Wanderers, Morecambe
- Relegated From League One – Rochdale, Northampton Town, Swindon Town, Bristol Rovers
League One 2021/22 Season Preview And Tips
League One is a very tough division. It is the meeting point between the teams from League Two, who tend to be smaller clubs with generally fewer resources, less financial power and smaller squads, but it is also where some big clubs that have hit hard times, such as Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday and Portsmouth ply their trade.
As such, you do tend to find in this division that the teams with most resources tend to occupy the top half of the table, with those with fewer resources tend to struggle. Occasionally, you can get a team that breaks that mould, Lincoln City being a good example of that last season, but generally the greater disparity in finance between the top and bottom clubs in this division does make it more clearly delineated than League Two.
As such, that can make things a little easier to predict in terms of the teams likely to be embroiled in battles at the top and bottom of the table come the end of the season, so let’s take a closer look at some of my tips for how League One will turn out this coming season.
League One – Outright Winners – Sheffield Wednesday (10/1)
There’s no way that a team as big as Sheffield Wednesday (or Sunderland for that matter) should be in League One. Given the quality of players that the Owls possess and the fact that they were relegated ostensibly due to a 12-point penalty they incurred at the start of last season (without which they would have stayed up and Derby would have gone down), I fully expect the Owls to make a quick return to the Championship.
League One – Promoted – Sunderland (9/4), Wycombe Wanderers (13/2)
Sunderland missed out once again the playoffs last season but the size and quality of the club means that they are always going to be in amongst the favourites for promotion and I think this time they will achieve it through the playoffs. I fancy Wycombe Wanderers to have a good season after relegation too and I fancy them to be the closest challengers to Sheffield Wednesday and to clinch the second automatic promotion spot.
League One – Playoff Places – Charlton (11/8), Sunderland (4/6), Rotherham (7/4), Portsmouth (6/5)
I’ve already said that Sunderland will win the playoffs this year but I think the teams likely to join them in the playoffs will be Charlton, Rotherham and Portsmouth witg the likes of Wigan Athletic, Ipswich Town, Bolton and Lincoln City also pushing hard.
League One – Relegated – Cambridge United (11/10), Morecambe (10/11), Gillingham (5/2)
I think it could be a short stay in League One for Cambridge and Morecambe as I think they are going to find this step up in class very difficult to cope with, especially with both teams losing a number of key men over the end of the season period. I also feel Gillingham could be the surprise strugglers in this division and they may just lose out to AFC Wimbledon and Accrington Stanley in avoiding the drop.
League One – Leading Goalscorer – Jayden Stockley (Charlton) 20/1
I was quite surprised Ipswich let Stockley go. He is a proven goalscorer at this level and I think he is a very astute signing for Charlton Athletic and I think he will be chasing for top scorer honours with a number of other players such as Charlie Wyke (Wigan), Joe Pigott (Ipswich), Matt Taylor (Oxford) and Mo Eisa (MK Dons).
Remember to check back next week for our more detailed analysis of how things will turn out in The Championship this coming season.