Rivals Out To Blunt Blades League One Title Bid

Nigel Clough’s Sheffield United propelled up the League One table in the second half of last season, with the Blades just missing out on a play-off spot but the Steel City outfit will head into the 2014/2015 campaign with aspirations of gaining promotion back to the Championship in what looks like a league oozing quality.

Clough masterminded a real late surge last season at Bramhall Lane and if United can hit the ground running, then they will be a tough contender to stop and that is why William Hill have installed them as the 11/2 favourites to lift the title at the end of the season and with a squad filled with quality third tier talent then they have to be the team that the other 22 teams must surpass.

They will face a tough start to their season as they welcome Bristol City to Bramall Lane and the Robins have been etched in as 8/1 second favourites with Betfred, as the West Country side look to bounce back from what has been a couple of poor seasons at Ashton Gate following relegation from the Championship, but under Steve Cotterill, they look to have the personnel to cause a stir this time around.

Cotterill took over the reins when City were bottom of the league half-way through last season, but the former Cheltenham boss managed to edge them gradually up the table and a 12th placed finish was deemed a success, however, having had the chance to bring his own players in, Cotterill will now look to ignite a promotion push and with the additions of Luke Freeman and Korey Smith they could well have a lot more attacking midfield threats to team up with the prolific attacking duo of Sam Baldock and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

Leyton Orient flew out of the traps 12 months ago, winning their first eight games, but the O’s dropped into the play-offs and their heartache continued with a penalty defeat to Rotherham United at Wembley, which ensured they had another season in League One but they showed last year that they are a top notch team and many will enjoy snapping up the 11/1 available.

Preston North End were another team who were a constant figure in the top-six, but their play-off hoodoo continued and they were knocked out by the aforementioned Rotherham, however, Simon Grayson has a decent squad heading into this season and they are 17/2 shots to bridge the gap from fifth to first and land the coveted title come May.

Peterborough United will be hoping that frontman Britt Assombalonga will stay at the club and he will be an integral member of their squad if they are to be a factor, but their frailties in defence often hinder their progression and they are rather skinny at 12/1 with Ladbrokes, whilst Barnsley, who were relegated from the Championship last season, will be another looking to solidify their rearguard, and for the same reason it’s tough to back them at 16/1.

Fleetwood Town and Chesterfield are a brace of new arrivals into League One and it will be no shock to see one of those sides notch back-to-back promotions and the former look an appealing bet at 25/1, as they are side still on the upgrade progressing through the Non League ranks and they could be the surprise package this season.

MK Dons (18/1) will be another team who some will feel they could cause a stir this season, but the betting market certainly has it correct as we embark on another cracking season of football and if Sheffield United can sparkle as they did in the second half of last season then they will be a tough nut to crack and at 11/2 are worth backing.

Overall, it’s Sheffield Unite who stand out as the team to beat but in this unpredictable division, there are plenty of contenders who could well blunt the Blades!

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