Football | 2019-20 Football League | Season Preview and Odds

Football is nearly back, and on 2nd August Luton Town and Middlesbrough will raise the curtain on the 2019/20 EFL season.

As some of the most unpredictable leagues in the world, the EFL divisions are incredibly exciting, and nearly anything can happen.

Our football betting expert guides you through the best bets from the upcoming EFL season.

The Championship

With some of the most exciting players moving on to pastures new, and the relegated teams in a significant state of rebuild, this is one of the most wide-open Championship seasons in recent memory.

Leeds United are worthy 9/2 favourites after impressing under Marcelo Bielsa last season, but came unstuck when it mattered most, and that could have a damaging effect on them as they prepare to tackle the summit again.

However, I think Cardiff could be making a swift return to the promised land, as they haven’t really lost any talent, and Neil Warnock is a master at getting promoted from the Championship. They are 9/1 to win the league.

One team that has invested intelligently this offseason has been Brentford. They have so far managed to keep hold of prized asset Neal Maupay, whose 25 league goals were a catalyst for this exciting young team.

They have significantly strengthened their defence as well, with goalkeeper David Raya joining Pontus Jansson and Ethan Pinnock in a new-look defensive unit, and this could be enough for them to really compete at the top end of the table.

Brentford are 4/1 to get promoted with, and in a wide-open league, they could offer very good value.

The bottom half of the table looks a lot weaker, with a number of teams laying claim as favourites to go down. My pick to go down is perhaps surprising, but I think Wigan could be in real trouble this season.

Losing influential playmaker Nick Powell would be damaging to any team, but to lose him on a free is particularly galling for the Latics. He hasn’t really been replaced, and Paul Cook’s side struggle to score anyway, with only five teams scoring less goals than Wigan last season. Two of these have since gone down.

It could be a tough slog for them this season, and they are 3/1 to be relegated.

League One

Last season saw an excellent title race go down to the wire in League One, and an incredibly dramatic Play-off Final saw Charlton Athletic win it with effectively the last kick of the game.

Sunderland were the unfortunate opponents that day, and saw their Wembley hoodoo extended, losing twice at the national stadium  last season. The Black Cats enter this season as 4/1 favourites, but the loss of Lee Cattermole cannot be understated, and I think another season of heartbreak awaits for them.

Portsmouth were top of the league for over half the season last year, and the loss of some key loan players proved too much for them to overcome. Kenny Jackett’s side have lost star centre-half Matt Clarke, but have added plenty of firepower across the pitch as they look to return to the second tier for the first time since 2012. Pompey are 7/1 to win the league, which could offer good value.

Peterborough have had an exceptional transfer window, bringing in some exciting players to compliment an already talented squad. The Posh only missed out on the play-offs by a single place last season, but look so much better this season, and are 3/1 to get promoted with

Relegation could be a tricky subject in League One this year, as two teams, Bury and Bolton are experiencing severe financial problems, and have already experienced point deductions. This leaves us looking at a shoot-out for the final two relegation spots, and one could end up being filled by Wycombe.

The Chairboys have consistently improved under Gareth Ainsworth, but their squad hasn’t improved, and they are still overly reliant on Adebayo Akinfenwa to score goals. Wycombe are 3/1 to be relegated.

League Two

After last season’s title favourites Notts County went down, the favourites this time round look set to compete at the right end of the table. Bradford, Plymouth and Scunthorpe have all just come down, while Salford have experienced of a number of promotions in recent years, but I think defeated play-off semi-finalists Mansfield Town are the team to watch this season.

The majority of the squad from last season have remained, and have added a touch of class to the side with the signings of Nicky Maynard. The Stags are 9/1 to win the league, which looks very good value.

Scunthorpe United have had a mixed window since being relegated, obviously losing some important players, but have recruited shrewdly, and look poised to bounce back at the first time of asking.

The Lincolnshire side should have a good season under Paul Hurst, who despite a blip at Ipswich is a talented manager, who achieved impressive results with Shrewsbury. The Iron are 2/1 to get promoted from League Two.

Macclesfield had a tough season last year, and only the impressive managerial debut of Sol Campbell, and a dramatic final day, saved them from the drop, and potentially obliteration. The financial problems have piled up, and with players not being paid on time, pre-season hasn’t quite gone to plan.

Clubs are never a happy place when financial problems are afoot, and this could have a severe impact on their season. Macclesfield are 7/2 to be relegated from the Football League.

Take a look at how the English Football League pyramid system works here.
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