League One 2020-2021 Season Preview: Back Posh for goals and Cod Army for title

Fleetwood manager Joey Barton can expect another title push from his team

Alan Dudman posted a profit of +16.45 in League One last term and he is backing Peterborough and Fleetwood for the title ahead of the new season...

"They made the playoffs under Joey Barton, and were certainly one of the more attractive teams to watch last term alongside Coventry and Oxford."

Back Fleetwood Town to win League One @ 15.014/1

League One Winner Market

The annual game of avoiding Sunderland in the ante-post market once again commences - and quite why the Black Cats are priced up as favourites for another season in the third tier is another of life's great mysteries.

When you hear the term "value" mentioned alongside a price; there won't be many who agree that Sunderland look a good bet at 8.07/1 in the title market.

Manager Phil Parkinson is a steady hand at the tiller, and probably what is needed with the pressure that goes with the job, but his brand of football is robust and direct and there are more inventive and attacking teams priced at longer odds. Parkinson is a good fit considering his experience at Bolton, but with talk of a takeover still remaining just that...talk, it's hard to enthuse about backing them as favourites. I would want around 16.015/1, and that isn't going to happen for a while.

Moving onto my first bet, and the Peterborough tractor beam has worked its Star Wars magic by persuading me to go with Peterborough at 10.09/1. Posh came off the worst with the playoff formula of the Covid-hit season, and as usual, we should expect a fast start from Darren Ferguson's men.

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Replacing star forward Ivan Toney could be nigh on impossible following the 24-year-old's move to Brentford - a move well deserved for a real talent. Toney scored bundles of goals (49 in 94), but what I admired most about his play when seen in TV was his willingness to track down and defend from the front. His hold-up skills were excellent too.

His sale to Brentford gives Ferguson some spending power, and it will be interesting to see how former Bristol Rovers striker Jonson Clarke-Harris slots into the team. I wouldn't rate his hold-up game as anywhere near Toney's, but he knows the division well and averaged over a goal-a-game at the Mem - and Rovers were a fairly poor team last term.

Ferguson desires attacking football at pace, with the team urged to press high in their 3-4-3. If they can get a deal for Bristol City's Sammie Szmodics over the line, their front-foot play should see them towards the top. Posh do possess a lot of attacking options alongside plenty of talented youngsters coming through, but Szmodics made them tick during his loan spell at the club and he could make the difference.

They scored the most goals at home last season (41) too, therefore it might be worth considering the Sportsbook bet for Peterborough to be the Highest Scoring Team at 5/1. That looks a reasonable bet at the price.

I am also interested in Fleetwood Town at 15.014/1.

They made the playoffs under Joey Barton, and were certainly one of the more attractive teams to watch last term alongside Coventry and Oxford. However, it all went horribly wrong against Wycombe in the first-leg when they lost 1-4. It was a crushing blow at the time, but Barton and his team would have learned a lot from that.

joey barton 2 1280 .jpg

Goalkeeper Alex Cairns had a shocker in that game, so the arrival of Joel Coleman looks an upgrade. The former Huddersfield man should blend in nicely to the way Barton likes his team to play from the back.

I suspect there might be a few late deals for some experienced players, and if they can get Charlie Mulgrew, that would be a minor coup. Barton will need to replace loanees Harry Souttar and Lewis Gibson from last season, but they're a good side to watch who are hard to beat at home so we should get a good run for our money with the Cod Army.

Do watch the Promotion market once there is a bit more liquidity.

Relegation Market

Things are looking gloomy for MK Dons after the departure of their prized asset Rhys Healey, and it's difficult to see how a quick re-build can get them going again. Losing Healey was the blow of all blows in the summer.

His 12 goals in 21 last term sounded the cash-rich Toulouse klaxon, who moved to snap up the striker recently. That sort of scoring ratio is so difficult to unearth in League One, and rookie manager Russell Martin will have to re-invest the cash wisely. The Dons have also lost Alex Gilbey to League One rivals Charlton, and the squad looks threadbare ahead of the new season.

With Martin describing his team as a "soft touch" when he took over in November, their price of 16/5 in the Sportsbook Relegation market is a bet that looks more appealing than the shorter prices of Rochdale (8/11) and AFC Wimbledon (11/10).

Alan Dudman's League One P&L
2017/18 to 2019-2020: +42.24

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