Last season may have ended with the disappointment of relegation for Livingston, but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest the Amber Machine can bounce back this time out and challenge for an immediate return to the Ladbrokes Championship. Here’s why…
Firstly, they look set to retain the services of Liam Buchanan – one of the finest strikers outside of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The former Sligo Rovers hitman netted 11 times in last season’s Championship campaign, including goals against Rangers and Falkirk, so he could pose plenty of problems for League 1 defences.
Rookie boss David Hopkin has also done an excellent job of recruiting talented players with League 1 experience this summer.
The 45-year-old has brought in four men from Airdrieonians, including solid centre-back pairing Sean Crichton and Alan Lithgow, as well as neat midfielder Sean Byrne, who helped keep Dunfermline’s midfield ticking over as they won promotion last season.
And Hopkin’s transfer policy so far has given the Lions a potent mixture of young talent – like Byrne and Hibernian youth product Jordan Sinclair – as well as dependable squad players like imposing keeper Gary Maley, brought in from junior side Broxburn United.
However, Hopkin’s positive influence at the club has been visible since he took the Livi job in December. Five of their eight Championship wins last year came under his stewardship, including impressive victories over Rangers and Falkirk, as well as a consummate 4-1 thrashing of St Mirren.
If the West Lothian outfit can keep their crowds up, that will be another string to their bow. Keeping par with last season’s average crowd of 1,765 in the Ladbrokes Championship would certainly make them one of the third tier’s best-supported sides, and could be just what Hopkin and co. need to spur them onto title glory.
On that evidence, the 10/3 for Livi to win next season’s Ladbrokes League 1 title could prove an excellent bet.
Keep an eye out for the next installment, as we run the rule over another side looking to bounce back in the Ladbrokes SPFL. But who will it be?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.