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League One and Two Preview
Start of the new campaign gets fans excited
Posted Aug 02, 2011 by Chris White
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It may not seem like too much more than five minutes since the final whistle blew at Wembley in May as Swansea sealed promotion to the Premiership in the final Football League match of the 2010/11 season, but believe it or not, the Football League….IS BACK.
This weekend, the Championship, League One and League Two have their first matches of the season, with all 72 clubs fighting it out for promotion, play off places or avoiding relegation.
This feature takes a look at leagues One and Two and the teams likely to be pushing for promotion or fighting for their lives at the bottom, as well as all of this weekend’s fixtures.
In League One, we are assured of some fantastic matches, with some of the biggest names in English football unfortunately finding themselves playing in the third division, such is the quality of the top two. Both Sheffield United and city rivals Sheffield Wednesday will be serious title contenders this year, with the Blades looking for an immediate return to the Championship.
Huddersfield Town must be thinking this is their year. Having missed out on promotion through the playoffs last year to Peterborough United, Lee Clark’s men will be looking to go one further in 2011/12. MK Dons also missed out on promotion in the playoffs last year and they will be contenders again, along with Charlton, Bournemouth, and another relegated side, Preston North End.
At the bottom, it could be a difficult first year in the third tier for Stevenage, and Exeter, Tranmere, newly promoted Bury, Carlisle and Walsall could be set for a season scrapping at the bottom – purely because of the strength of the teams also in the division.
League Two is set to be a cracking division once again, with so many results that could go either way, and a number of top players developing in the lower leagues. Plymouth Argyle will be among the favourites for promotion, having been relegated last year and suffered from terrible financial issues. Dagenham, Swindon and Bristol Rovers were also banished to the bottom division, but I can’t see any of them pushing for an immediate return. Crawley Town will be contenders for back-to-back promotions – in their first season in the Football League – as will Shrewsbury and Gillingham.
As for the bottom, it could be a difficult first year for AFC Wimbledon, while Hereford, Barnet and Morecambe could also be in for a difficult year.
This weekend’s fixtures – kick off Saturday, 3pm unless stated –
LEAGUE ONE: Brentford v Yeovil, Carlisle United v Notts County, Charlton Ath v Bournemouth, Huddersfield v Bury, MK Dons v Hartlepool, Oldham v Sheffield United, Preston v Colchester, Sheffield Wednesday v Rochdale, Stevenage v Exeter, Tranmere v Chesterfield, Walsall v Leyton Orient, Wycombe v Scunthorpe.
LEAGUE TWO: AFC Wimbledon v Bristol Rovers (12.45), Bradford v Aldershot, Gillingham v Cheltenham, Macclesfield v Dagenham & Redbridge, Morecambe v Barnet, Northampton Town v Accrington Stanley, Port Vale v Crawley Town, Rotherham v Oxford United, Shrewsbury v Plymouth Argyle, Southend v Hereford, Swindon Town v Crewe Alexandra, Torquay United v Burton Albion.