Npower League 2 – Swindon the Promotion Pick for 2012

By Billy Blakeman on 09/07/2011 14:34

The football season is soon to be upon us and it is time to consider which teams are likely to be celebrating promotion from the lower leagues come next May.

League 2 by necessity of it’s status, does not enjoy the media coverage of the higher leagues but than can only lead to more opportunity for the punter, with the lesser focus on League 2 allowing a much greater scope for finding a value opportunity. My advice to football bettors this season is to keep watching ValueChecker for previews and betting advice on all the leagues this season.

On to the 2011/12 campaign and it is essential to have an interest on the year as a whole. My personal preference is not to back a team to win the division as this is nobody’s goal. It is worth remembering that promotion is the goal and to finish top is just a nice bonus. With that in mind, I am selecting SWINDON as the most likely to be promoted and the 9/4 widely available looks more than fair.

Just two seasons ago, Swindon contested the League 1 play-off final at Wembley but the Championship place went to Millwall after a 1-0 scoreline. Last year did not go well though, with inconsistent results leading to manager Paul Hart being sacked with two games left. Paolo Di Canio is now in charge and although a number of players have been released to remain in League 1, five new signings have been made pre-season. There is an air of expectation that the side can bounce straight back up to League 1 and the 9/4 generally available looks perfectly fair.

Northampton Town are also worth a mention as the Cobblers have recruited no less than 9 new players for this season. If respected manager Gary Johnson can get the squad to gel early on, then his team could well surprise some better fancied rivals.

Of the rest, newly promoted Crawley are very short favourites to my mind, despite arriving on the crest of a wave and I can’t be a backer at the odds. Both Bradford and Plymouth were on my list early on but financial troubles are definitely off-putting for Plymouth and Bradford have not fared as well as they intended in terms of recruiting new blood to the squad.

Recommendation: Promotion - Swindon at 9/4 (widely available) & Northampton at 5/1 (Victor Chandler)