We are now into the final fortnight before the start of the Football Season in England. Leicester will face Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley on the 7th August, and on the same weekend, action in the Football League’s three divisions, the Championship, League One and League Two will also get underway.

In the first of a three-part series of articles, the second of which will come next Thursday, we will be taking a look ahead to the 2021/22 season in each of the four divisions in English football, starting this week with a look at how things will pan out in League Two.

As always, the odds included in this article are provided by bet365 Sport and were correct at the time of writing the article (Wednesday 28th July). You can enjoy all the bets outlined in this article, and many thousands more across the football season with bet365’s excellent football betting service.

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So let’s take a look through the 24 teams competing in League Two this season and give you a quick rundown of each and a prediction for where they will finish in the table come May 2022. GD stands for goal difference.

League Two Preview

Barrow AFC

  • Last Season’s Record – 21st in League Two – (50 pts, -6 GD)
  • Manager: Mark Cooper
  • Top Players: Jason Taylor (DC), Matthew Platt (DC), Jamie Devitt (MR), Scott Quigley (AC), Ollie Banks (MC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 50/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Holker Street (5.045)

It’s going to be a bit of a struggle again this season for Barrow, but they should maintain their place in the division.

Prediction – 18th

Bradford City

  • Last Season’s Record – 15th in League Two – (59 pts, -5 GD)
  • Manager: Derek Adams
  • Top Players: Richard O’Donnell (GK), Liam Ridehalgh (DL), Yann Songo’o (MC), Andy Cook (AC), Abo Eisa (AMR)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 11/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Valley Parade (25,136)

I expect Bradford to do much better this season and if they can score goals as they did last season, the playoffs beckon.

Prediction – 7th

Bristol Rovers

  • Last Season’s Record – 24th in League One (relegated) – (38 pts, -30 GD)
  • Manager: Joey Barton
  • Top Players: James Belshaw (GK), Josh Grant (MC), Brandon Hanlan (AC), Paul Coutts (Mc)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 12/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Memorial Stadium (12,296)

Joey Barton will have this team fired up and while I expect them to challenge hard for the playoffs, I feel they may just miss out.

Prediction – 8th

Carlisle United

  • Last Season’s Record – 10th in League Two – (66pts, +9 GD)
  • Manager: Chris Beech
  • Top Players: Callum Guy (MC), Zach Clough (AC), Morgan Feeney (DC), Aaron Hayden (DC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 16/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Brunton Park (18,202)

I think Carlisle have taken a little step backwards this season and I think they are going to see a drop off in performance, though not enough to put them in danger of the drop.

Prediction – 17th

Colchester United

  • Last Season’s Record – 20th in League Two – (51pts, -17 GD)
  • Manager: Hayden Mullins
  • Top Players: Luke Chambers (DC), Cole Skuse (MC), Alan Judge (AMC), Freddie Sears (AC), Frank Nouble (AC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 20/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Colchester Community Stadium (10,105)

A very experienced squad but I do wonder about the legs in this team, hence a small improvement on last season but not yet pushing towards those playoff spots.

Prediction – 16th

Crawley Town

  • Last Season’s Record – 12th in League Two – (61 pts, -6 GD)
  • Manager: John Yems
  • Top Players: Jack Payne (MRC), Jordan Tunnicliffe (DLC), George Francomb (DC), Ashley Nadesan (AC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 40/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Broadfield Stadium (6,134)

I do feel Crawley could struggle this season. Not sure that they have made enough quality changes in the pre-season period to maintain their status in the division.

Prediction – 24th

Exeter City

  • Last Season’s Record – 9th in League Two – (70 pts, +21 GD)
  • Manager: Matt Taylor
  • Top Players: Jake Caprice (DR), Matt Jay (AMC), George Ray (DC), Nigel Atangana (MC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 14/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): St James Park (8,541)

I expect this Exeter team to push strongly for promotion but I feel they may just miss out and have to be content with a playoff spot instead.

Prediction – 4th

Forest Green Rovers

  • Last Season’s Record – 6th in League Two (Playoffs) – (73 pts, +8 GD)
  • Manager: Rob Edwards
  • Top Players: Kane Wilson (DR), Matty Stevens (AC), Jamille Matt (AC), Baily Cargill (DC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 14/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): The New Lawn (5,141)

Forest Green have been in and around the playoffs for the last couple of years, but I feel that this time they may just tail off in performance and miss out.

Prediction – 9th

Harrogate Town

  • Last Season’s Record – 17th in League Two – (57 pts, -9 GD)
  • Manager: Simon Weaver
  • Top Players: Josh Falkingham (MC), Aaron Martin (AC), Danilo Orsi (AMLC), Alex Pattison (MC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 33/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Wetherby Road (3,800)

I think Harrogate will have a slight improvement on their performance last season but I don’t see this as a top half of the table squad just yet.

Prediction – 15th

Hartlepool United

  • Last Season’s Record – 4th in National League (Playoffs) – (76 pts, +23 GD)
  • Manager: Dave Challinor
  • Top Players: Gary Liddle (DC), Mark Shelton (MC), Nicky Featherstone (MC), Olufela Olomola (AC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 40/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Victoria Park (7,858)

I think of the two newly promoted teams from the National League, Hartlepool will do the better as they have more players with key League Two experience.

Prediction – 14th

Leyton Orient

  • Last Season’s Record – 11th in League Two – (61 pts, -2 GD)
  • Manager: Kenny Jackett
  • Top Players: Darren Pratley (MC), Omar Beckles (DC), Harry Smith (AC), Ousseynou Cisse (MC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 14/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Brisbane Road (9,271)

I think Orient fans will be expecting lots with Kenny Jackett as the manager and while I predict a top half finish, I think they will just miss out on the playoffs.

Prediction – 10th

Mansfield Town

  • Last Season’s Record – 16th in League Two – (58 pts, +2 GD)
  • Manager: Nigel Clough
  • Top Players: Danny Johnson (AC), Jordan Bowery (AC), James Perch (DRC), Ollie Clarke (MC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 12/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Field Mill (9.186)

Mansfield have made some very good moves this off season and I think they are going to be serious challengers at the top of the table.

Prediction – 2nd

Newport County

  • Last Season’s Record – 6th in League Two (Playoffs) – (73 pts, +15 GD)
  • Manager: Michael Flynn
  • Top Players: Robbie Willmott (MR), Padraid Amond (AC), Mickey Demetriou (DR), Matt Dolan (MC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 20/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Rodney Parade (7,850)

The Welsh side have been there or thereabouts in the playoffs for a number of years now and I think they are going to have to settle for that once again this season.

Prediction – 5th

Northampton Town

  • Last Season’s Record – 22nd in League One (Relegated) – (45 pts, +26)
  • Manager: Jon Brady
  • Top Players: Sid Nelson (DC), Danny Rose (AC), Sam Hoskins (MRC), Nicke Kabamba (AC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 16/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Sixfields Stadium (7,798)

The Cobblers will be keen to bounce back after relegation last season, but I think they are going to find League Two a tougher nut to crack than they expect.

Prediction – 11th

Oldham Athletic

  • Last Season’s Record – 18th in League Two – (54 pts, -9 GD)
  • Manager: Keith Curle
  • Top Players: Carl Piergianni (DC), Hallam Hope (AC), Alan Sheehan (DLC), Nicky Adams (MRC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 33/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Boundary Park (13,512)

Oldham have lost a fair few key players from last season and I think as a result, they are going to struggle to improve much, if at all, on last season’s showing.

Prediction – 19th

Port Vale

  • Last Season’s Record – 14th in League Two – (59 pts, 0. GD)
  • Manager: Darrell Clarke
  • Top Players: Leon Legge (DC), Tom Conlon (MC), James Wilson (AC), David Amoo (AMLC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 16/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Vale Park (20,552)

Port Vale look to be several people’s favourites to do well. I don’t really see it myself and I think they will actually struggle at the other end of the table.

Prediction – 20th

Rochdale

  • Last Season’s Record – 21st in League One (relegated) – (45 pts, -26 GD)
  • Manager: Robbie Stockdale
  • Top Players: Eoghan O’Connell (DC), Aaron Morley (MC), Joe Dunne (DLC), Jake Beesley (AC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 20/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Spotland (10,249)

Rochdale are a decent enough side but it is always hard to bounce back after relegation, so I can see a season of consolidation in this league this time around.

Prediction – 13th

Salford City

  • Last Season’s Record – 8th in League Two (71 pts, +20 GD)
  • Manager: Gary Bowyer
  • Top Players: Conor McAleny (AC), Ian Henderson (AC), Ashley Eastham (DC), Josh Morris (AML)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 6/1 (favourites)
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Moor Lane (5,106)

No team has better financial backing or expertise than Salford in this division and for that reason alone, they are my tip to win the League Two title.

Prediction – 1st

Scunthorpe United

  • Last Season’s Record – 22nd in League Two (48 pts, -21 GD)
  • Manager: Neil Cox
  • Top Players: George Taft (DL), Ryan Loft (AC), Harry Bunn (AC), Manny Onariase (DC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 50/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Glanford Park (9,088)

Scunthorpe’s glory days under Brian Laws are long gone and I think next season will be another one of struggle for the Irons.

Prediction – 21st

Stevenage FC

  • Last Season’s Record- 13th in League Two (60 pts, 0 GD)
  • Manager: Alex Revell
  • Top Players: Scott Cuthbert (DC), Luke Norris (AC), Ben Coker (DL), Charlie Carter (MC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 50/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Broadhall Way (7,800)

Stevenage’s improved finish to the season moved them away from the drop zone, but I do feel they are a team that could well be in for a nasty surprise next season.

Prediction – 23rd

Sutton United

  • Last Season’s Record – 1st in National League (84 pts, +36 GD)
  • Manager: Matt Gray
  • Top Players: Dean Bouzanis (GK), Louis John (DC), Craig Eastmond (MC),Omar Bugiel (AC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 66/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Gander Green Lane (5,013)

Their first season in League Two is always a tough call for any team and I think Sutton will be no exception, but I am backing them to stay up – just!

Prediction – 22nd

Swindon Town

  • Last Season’s Record – 23rd in League One (Relegated) – (43 pts, -34 GD)
  • Manager: Ben Garner
  • Top Players: Brett Pitman (AC), Mathieu Baudry (DC), Dion Conroy (DC), Lewis Ward (GK)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 33/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): The County Ground (15,728)

Swindon performed very poorly last season but they have the quality to improve this season, though a lack of numbers in the squad means I think mid-table is the best they can hope for.

Prediction – 12th

Tranmere Rovers

  • Last Season’s Record- 7th in League Two (Playoffs) – (73 pts, +5 GD)
  • Manager: Micky Mellon
  • Top Players: Jay Spearing (MC), Kieron Morris (MRC), Corey Blackett-Taylor (AML), Callum McManaman (AMRL)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 16/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Prenton Park (16,567)

Micky Mellon’s return and a revamped squad that looks younger and stronger than last season means I expect Tranmere to go close here, but perhaps just fall short of the top two spots.

Prediction – 3rd

Walsall

  • Last Season’s Record – 19th in League Two – (53 pts, -8 GD)
  • Manager: Matthew Taylor
  • Top Players: Manny Monthe (DC), Ash Taylor (DC), Joss Labadie (MC), Mat Sadler (DC)
  • League Two Winner Odds: 25/1
  • Home Ground (Capacity): Bescot Stadium (11,300)

For me, Walsall could be the surprise package this season. A squad packed with experience and lots of goals, I think a playoff spot is not beyond them.

Prediction – 6th