Premier League old boys hoping for swift League One escape
Southampton lead a clutch of former Premier League clubs vying for promotion from League One this season.
Alan Pardew’s side are 9/4 to win the title, and their summer signings have strengthened what was already a potentially league-winning squad.
Former Crystal Palace full-back Danny Butterfield is the latest player to move to St Mary’s, having signed a one-year contract.
The 30-year-old, who played 271 matches for the Eagles, follows former Leeds defender Frazer Richardson to the South Coast.
These defensive reinforcements will be a welcome addition to a squad already bursting with goalscoring potential.
Rickie Lambert was the League One top scorer with 31 goals last season, and the former Bristol Rovers forward is 9/2 to be the division’s leading marksman again this term.
One of Lambert’s main competitors for this award could be Clinton Morrison, who is one of a host of canny new signings made by Sheffield Wednesday manager Alan Irvine.
Morrison joined Wednesday on a two-year deal following his release from Coventry, and the Republic of Ireland international is 14/1 to be the League One top scorer.
Wednesday may have lost goalkeeper Lee Grant to Burnley, but Irvine has more than compensated with the signings of seasoned campaigners Gary Teale and Paul Heffernan.
Former Motherwell midfielder Giles Coke, and ex-Manchester City goalkeeper Nicky Weaver have also moved to Hillsborough, and Irvine’s side are 5/1 to win the title.
Wednesday’s promotion rivals Charlton have been unable to make such inroads into the transfer market, with boss Phil Parkinson lamenting a “difficult summer”.
Key midfielders Jonjo Shelvey and Nicky Bailey have left for Liverpool and Middlesbrough respectively, while Leeds have snared the Addicks’ academy product Lloyd Sam.
Having signed experienced defender Gary Doherty and striker Pawel Abbott, however, Parkinson seems to have kick-started the rebuilding process at the Valley, and his Charlton side could rise again as 10/3 promotion contenders.
Who do you think will go up this season? Peterborough are 11/4 to make an immediate return to the Championship. See the full League One 2010/11 Betting Odds market.