After a grim first few months of last season, Plymouth Argyle took League One by storm – and almost secured a play-off spot in their first campaign back in the third tier.
The Pilgrims are now settled back into League One life, and we reckon they could be serious promotion contenders in 2018-19. Here’s why…
Excellent new buys
Boss Derek Adams doesn’t seem to have had much time to watch the World Cup action – with the Argyle gaffer having already pulled off a string of impressive buys.
Powerful forward Freddie Ladapo featured in the Premier League and EFL Cup for Crystal Palace last term. And the promising hitman’s arrival at Home Park is something of a coup.
So too the addition of Joe Riley. The versatile defender has plenty of experience, having played in each of England’s top three tiers. He’s also racked up a total of five assists in his three prior League One campaigns, and scored in each season.
At centre-back, Niall Canavan has arrived from Rochdale. Despite injury problems last term, the giant Irishman offers defensive steel. Further up the pitch, there’s pace and creativity from young Everton loanees Conor Grant and striker Calum Dyson.
Last season’s recovery
It took Argyle some time to adapt to life in League One. In fact, they looked like relegation certs after the opening 12 games, having picked up just five points.
But Adams’ side finished the campaign just three points off the playoffs, grabbing 63 of them in the following 34 games (or 1.85 points per game). If they’d managed that over the whole campaign, Plymouth would’ve eased into fourth place.
And it seems they’re set to keep onto last season’s star man. Graham Carey scored 14 and set-up 13 goals in League One in 2017-18, and looks likely to stay at Home Park beyond the summer.
Adams knows what it takes
The Argyle boss oversaw promotion from League Two in 2016-17, as the Devon club finished second in the table. But that’s far from his only pedigree in the field.
As boss of Scottish side Ross County, Adams’ two stints with the Dingwall club helped take them from third-tier to Premiership. He did that with far smaller resources than he’s had at Plymouth – which bodes very well for Pilgrims fans.
When the crunch point of the season comes, if Argyle are still firmly in contention, there are few better men to help get them over the line.
Ahead of the coming campaign, Plymouth are 25/1 to lift the League One title.
Click here for the latest League One odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing