League One Analysis: Who Will Stay the Course and Reach the Championship 


The season is really starting to take shape in League One with the contenders moving into position for a big promotion push. The financial rewards for any team that gets promoted will be significant.

Who will take the top two automatic places and who will have to settle for the playoffs? You can see the latest title and promotion odds on Sun Bets if you fancy a flutter on the League 1 promotion race.

The Big Clubs are Moving into Position

Sheffield United have been one of the giants of League One for several seasons now. They are making yet another promotion push after missing out on numerous occasions. Currently third in the table after a bad start to the season, they are just two points behind Bolton Wanderers.

It seems clear that home attendances could play a big part in who goes up and who doesn’t. Three of the best-attended clubs in the division (Bolton, Bradford and Sheffield United) are currently in the top four places.

Scunthorpe have done well to be top of the league approaching Christmas. However, we shouldn’t be totally surprised by this as they have been promoted to the Championship before.

They have pedigree when it comes to getting promoted from the third tier despite their modest resources. Scunthorpe United could well upset the big clubs yet again and are currently six points ahead of third-placed Sheffield United.

Showing their Pedigree

Scunthorpe United fall into the category of teams that punters tend to overlook when they assess who the likely promotion candidates are at the start of the season. We can see that the combination of Scunthorpe United’s recent promotions from League One and the three big clubs immediately behind them are a dominant factor.

The situation seems to indicate that no big surprises are likely this season when It comes to who the promoted clubs will be. It is looking increasingly likely that the final shake-up will include the current top four clubs with the rest having to make do with the playoffs.

The scrap for the playoffs is a fascinating one. Peterborough United currently sit in 6th place on 29 points, and there are no fewer than ten clubs all within three points of them. In fact, even lowly Northampton Town, who look more likely to be in a relegation fight, are still only five points off the playoff spots. So it’s going to be tough to predict who will make the playoffs outside of the current leading four clubs in the division.

Who Could Survive in the Championship

Getting promoted is one thing, but surviving in a higher division is something else. The current leaders Scunthorpe have struggled to survive in the Championship in the past. Clubs with larger stadiums and better infrastructures are more able to withstand the demands of playing in a tough league like the Championship.

This is where teams like Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United have an edge having spent numerous successful seasons in that league.

In fact, Bolton and United have been established Premier League clubs for several seasons. Even Bradford City have had experience in the top division.

If you are looking for a value bet on who will be promoted, it seems unwise to choose any team that is outside of the current top four as it stands. If you fancy a punt on a playoff candidate, then selecting a team like Walsall could offer value.

They are currently in 16th place but are only three points outside the playoff positions. Any team that puts a few good results together is going to shoot up the table very rapidly. The problem comes with finding which team it will be because the league is incredibly tight right now.


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