Football Conference champions Mansfield Town face a difficult start to life back in the Football League when they head up the M18 to face the side that finished 21st in League One last season – Scunthorpe United.
Paul Cox’s side start life back in the League after five seasons away as rank outsiders against Brian Laws Iron side and can be found at 12/5 to upset the applecart at Glanford Park. Unsurprisingly, Laws’ men are odds on favourites at 10/11.
Newport County begin their league season against perennial strugglers Accrington Stanley, in one of the Football League’s 125th Anniversary celebration games. The experience of manager Justin Edinburgh will be invaluable as The Exiles look for a solid start amongst the elite 92 clubs boasting Football League status. At a price of 6/5, County head the market for a League Two debut victory.
For Stanley, however, the managerial inexperience of James Beattie could prove to be the undoing of the famous East Lancashire club this season, and is reflected in the match betting markets with Stanley at 9/5 to emerge from Rodney Parade with all three points.
Just four years ago, Portsmouth were playing in the Premier League, whilst this summer’s big movers Fleetwood Town were plying their trade in the Conference North – a gap of six divisions.
This term they find themselves on an equal footing, with Pompey welcoming Oxford United while Graham Alexander’s Fleetwood host a Dagenham & Redbridge side who narrowly avoided relegation last season.
Guy Whittingham’s Pompey can be backed at 8/11 to start their campaign in the bottom division of League football with a victory, with Oxford a massive 3/1 to leave with the points.
The price for the Daggers to be victorious at Highbury reflects their realistic chances considering the squad strengthening undertaken by Town’s manager. At 4/1, Wayne Burnett’s men face a monumentally difficult task against a side boasting players of the ilk of former Bury captain Steven Schumacher and former Notts County midfielder Jeff Hughes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing