League Two Round-Up: 04/08/2018

League Two Round-Up: 04/08/2018

The League Two season is upon us again and we have all the information to get you prepared for the big day. Check out our previews and predictions of all of Saturday’s games below.

Bury vs Yeovil Town

Bury have had to overhaul their squad after a dismal 2017/18 campaign led to relegation from the third-tier, despite previous manager Lee Clark splashing the cash in the summer on many well-known, distinguished players at League One level. They’ll be aiming to go straight back up, whereas Yeovil on the other hand will be aiming for survival and needing goals from Francois Zoko and Alex Fisher to stay in the EFL. Bury will expect to win this one, as they look to shake off the losing habit from last season.

Recommended bet: Bury win best priced at 5/6 with Betfair

Cheltenham Town vs Crawley Town

Gary Johnson’s Cheltenham will meet Harry Kewell’s Crawley in an intriguing opening day clash, with both sides hoping to be the dark horse of League Two this season. Kewell has made some very shrewd signings this summer; Romain Vincelot and Filipe Morais, in particular, looking like additions that could propel a side up the table in the fourth-tier. Johnson has had to contend with the departures of Mohamed Eisa to Bristol City and Carl Winchester to Gloucestershire rivals Forest Green, but has done his best to strengthen the squad with no less than 11 new signings in a busy summer. Both sides will be hoping to get off to a strong start, but I reckon Crawley may edge this one.

Our Tip: Crawley win best priced at 29/10 with Bet365

Crewe Alexandra vs Morecambe

Two sides who narrowly avoided the drop last season in Crewe and Morecambe will meet on the opening day of the 2018/19 season. Morecambe are one of the favourites for the drop this season after some final day heroics kept them up by the skin of their teeth. Crewe will be wary of the danger of experienced striker Kevin Ellison; a player that’s been giving defenders nightmares in the lower-leagues for years. This one is tough to call and may well end in an opening day draw.

Our Tip: Draw best priced at 27/10 with William Hill

Exeter City vs Carlisle United

Exeter are preparing for the post-Paul Tisdale era and will be aiming to start it with three-points against John Sheridan’s Carlisle team. The Grecians have strengthened all areas by bolstering the defence with Aaron Martin and James Oates, the midfield with Nicky Law and Lee Martin and up front with Jonathan Forte and Tristan Abrahams. Carlisle have appointed the much- travelled Sheridan as their new boss and will probably prove to be sturdy opposition with experience like Jason Kennedy and Gary Liddle in their ranks.

Our Tip: Draw best priced at 12/5 with SkyBet

Grimsby Town vs Forest Green Rovers

Grimsby endured a miserable campaign last time out under Russell Slade, but there’s now renewed optimism with Michael Jolley at the helm. Grimsby have added some sought-after players to their squad in Elliott Whitehouse and Jordan Cook and will be a totally different force to the one we witnessed last season. Forest Green should be rejuvenated as well after learning some much-needed lessons about EFL football last season. They’ll be hoping new signing George Williams, Reuben Reid and star man Christian Doidge can fire them to success. However, I predict that Grimsby will prevail in this one.

Our Tip: Grimsby win best priced at 13/10 with Ladbrokes

Mansfield Town vs Newport County

Mansfield narrowly missed out on a play-off spot last season after Steve Evans walked out on the club to join Peterborough with the Stags just two points adrift of the automatic-promotion spots. Now, under ex-Swindon boss David Flitcroft, Mansfield must have another go and getting themselves out of League Two. They’ve added Craig Davies, Otis Khan and Tyler Walker to in an attempt to go one better this season. They’ll be hoping to get off to a good start, but Newport often prove to be a tough nut to crack at this level. I can see this one ending in a draw.

Our Tip: Draw best priced at 12/5 with SkyBet

Northampton Town vs Lincoln City

Northampton crashed back down to League Two football after a disastrous campaign under Justin Edinburgh and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink led to relegation back down to the fourth-tier of English football. Dean Austin has been installed as the permanent manager ahead of the new season, but with the club up for sale and in a long-running dispute with the council, off-field matters are threatening to distract the club. Lincoln will be hoping to improve on their impressive performance last season and have added Shay McCartan and John Akinde to their squad in an attempt to do so. This is a close one to call, but I think Northampton will take some time to shake off that losing habit.

Our Tip: Draw best priced at 5/2 with William Hill

Notts County vs Colchester United

Kevin Nolan’s side were in the top-three for a large part of last season but fell away at the final hurdle, leaving them in League Two for another season. They’ve gone all out in an attempt to one further this season, though, with the additions of Kristian Dennis and Kane Hemmings up front as well David Vaughan in midfield and Andy Kellett in defence. Colchester have spent money as well and pulled off a bit of a coup by signing goalscoring midfielder, Harry Pell, from Cheltenham Town for an undisclosed fee. Notts County will want to hit the ground running in their bid for promotion and I expect them to do so, but Colchester won’t take it lying down.

Our Tip: Notts County win best priced at 21/20 with SkyBet

Oldham Athletic vs MK Dons

This was a League One fixture last season but MK Dons and Oldham are set for life in the fourth-tier of English football for a season at least; both under new management. Paul Tisdale put down his crown as the longest-serving manager in the EFL by quitting Exeter City and taking on a new challenge with MK Dons, whereas Oldham have turned to club legend Frankie Bunn in an attempt to change their fortunes. On paper, the Dons have one of the strongest squads in the division and I anticipate them having the edge over the Latics; despite a couple of shrewd signings in Jose Baxter and Chris O’Grady from the new boss.

Our Tip: MK Dons win best priced at 7/4 with UniBet

Port Vale vs Cambridge United

Port Vale have bolstered their squad with a number of handy players at this level as they look to shift themselves up the table, whereas there’s renewed optimism at Cambridge under new boss Joe Dunne. Ricky Miller is likely to be the star man up front for Vale this season and he’ll out to prove a point after a tough spell with Peterborough. I can see Vale edging this one, but don’t write Cambridge off just yet. There could well be something happening at the Abbey Stadium this season.

Our Tip: Draw best priced at 12/5 with Bet365

Stevenage vs Tranmere Rovers

Newly-promoted Tranmere will travel to Stevenage on the opening day for their first taste of EFL action since 2015. They couldn’t keep front-man Andy Cook, who signed a two-year deal with League One Walsall in May, but have held onto James Norwood; who scored 20 league goals for Micky Mellon’s side last season. Stevenage have made some good signings this summer, though. Scott Cuthbert, Michael Timlin and Alex Revell are all likely to perform well at this level. I fancy them to win this one.

Our Tip: Stevenage win best priced at 28/17 with UniBet

Swindon Town vs Macclesfield Town

Macclesfield, who are under the stewardship of Mark Yates after the departure of John Askey, will play their first game back in the EFL since 2012 against Swindon Town; a club desperate to get moving again after going from League One play-off finalists to mid-table in League Two in just a few years. Phil Brown is the man tasked with bringing the good times back to the County Ground and has bolstered his squad with good players such as Jermaine McGlashan and Michael Doughty. They’re likely to give Macclesfield some problems and should have too much for the Silkmen; who have a squad that is inexperienced at this level.

Our Tip: Swindon win best priced at 8/11 with BetVictor