Toughest looking L1 for over a decade
This season’s L1 line up only underlines what a golden opportunity was missed last season. I thought last year’s league was weak, but that is not the case this time around with the additions of teams such as Rotherham, Sheffield Wednesday and Bolton plus the renewed ambition of Ipswich and Wigan added to sides like us, Sunderland and Portsmouth who each have their own reasons that they ‘should’ be playing at a higher level.
I actually think The Championship is less competitive than League One this season, not in quality, but in the equity of the sides. On paper this is most difficult L1 for over a decade and it will not be an easy division to get out off this season with what I estimate 12 teams having an respectable ambition of promotion. Add a lesser recognized name that always surprises then that is over half of the league fighting for 6 play-off places and 3 promotion spots.
I and many others have been a critic of our passive inaction in the transfer market, but we are nowhere near alone, and with almost a month left of negotiations which without any doubt finances due to Covid nervousness has caused as well as the delayed trickle down affect of Premier League sides late to finalize their first team squads, I think we will see a busy few weeks of permanent and loan transfers.
Therefore it is doubly hard to access the competition, but I will take a stab at it, but will come at my annual review of the L1 teams, from a different angle.
I will start if I may with those teams that have the greatest statistical chance of promotion, i.e. taking the bookies word for it. Most of them by the way have 14 teams listed at 10/1 or less for promotion. In contrast picking teams for the four relegation places is much clearer it appears.
Part I of my 2020/21 L1 preview to follow shortly.