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In The Mixer: Experts combine for a 357/1 EFL winners treble
Gareth Freeman
Gareth Freeman
July 26, 2022
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Sports Journalist at FST, Gareth qualified as a journalist after graduating from university and spent over a decade as a freelance broadcast journalist, commentator and tipster before joining FST. Now living in Manchester, he is a long suffering Bolton Wanderers fan who also enjoys boxing, the NBA, tennis and rugby league.

In The Mixer is FST’s weekly column where we catch up with seven experts in football betting and get their opinion on the hot topic of the week.

With the new Football League season set to begin this weekend, we asked our experts for their best bets for the winners of each league.

Understandably there were a few disagreements but three teams stood out for the Championship, League One and League Two champions and we’ve put the most popular selections into one 357/1 treble, which you can back below.

Mark Langdon

Head of Sports Content at Spotlight Sports Group

The Championship looks a tricky puzzle to solve but Burnley are a fair bit bigger than their fellow relegated outfits and are of most interest under Vincent Kompany. They were better than Norwich and Watford last term and if Kompany continues to call upon his contacts the Clarets could surprise a few this season.

Sheffield Wednesday are rock-solid in League One. The Owls went close last term and bringing in Michael Smith from Rotherham is enough to push them to top spot.

Mansfield knocked on the door last term and Nigel Clough is always about gradual progression. A settled team can quickly get over last term’s playoff hurt.

Liam Flin

Sports journalist at Racing Post

Norwich have won the Championship in each of their previous two seasons in the division and, given Dean Smith also knows what it takes to get out of the second tier, they are the obvious bet.

Their East Anglian rivals Ipswich are also worth looking at to win League One, having improved significantly under Kieran McKenna in the second half of last season and added talented forwards Freddie Ladapo and Marcus Harness to their ranks.

As for League Two, I fancy Mansfield to bounce back from last season’s playoff heartache and finish top of the pile. Nigel Clough is a top manager to have at this level and they have kept the bulk of their squad together, adding Hiram Boateng and Scott Flinders on permanent deals.

Joe Casey

Sports journalist at Racing Post

The teams dropping back to the Championship from the top flight all have question marks against them and it may be worth chancing Sheffield United at a bigger price.

The Blades’ squad looks balanced and new centre half Anel Ahmedhodzic could prove a cut above this level.

In League One, Ipswich got going too late last season after a poor start but look primed to go close this year under progressive young coach Kieran McKenna.

Salford have gone off a short price to win League Two in each of the last three seasons but given their financial backing, success looks likely to come sooner rather than later.

New coach Neil Wood left his position with Manchester United under-23s to try and steer Salford to the third tier.

Aaron Rogan

Sports journalist at FST

I can’t look past Norwich in the Championship, given they’ve won the title in their previous two campaigns at that level. The Canaries have great depth and plenty of promotion experience, so back them to win the division again.

Only MK Dons had a better League One record in 2022 than Sheffield Wednesday, with the Owls winning 15 of 23 games. That’s seen the Owls come into this term as favourites for the title and they look good for top spot.

Mansfield lost last season’s playoff final and they finished only eight points shy of top spot. They’ve made solid signings this summer and Nigel Clough can take them up.

Gareth Freeman

Sports journalist at FST

Norwich bossed the Championship last time they were in the division and still have most of that squad intact. Dean Smith is a very capable manager at this level, and indeed in the Premier League having been somewhat harshly dismissed by Aston Villa. The Canaries look worthy favourites to win the league as they look to bounce back at the first attempt.

In League One, I think Peterborough are perhaps being overlooked and they stand out at 10/1. Posh won three of their final five games in the Championship last season under Grant McCann and there are plenty of goals in this team so I fancy them to finish top of the pile.

Mansfield could be the team to beat in League Two after coming close last season. The Stags finished up in seventh spot but they were only eight points behind winners Forest Green. Mansfield were awesome at Field Mill last year and if they can replicate that home form again they should be there or thereabouts come the end of the campaign.

Jack Ogalbe

Sports journalist at ICS

The combination of Norwich and Dean Smith looks like a match made in heaven in the Championship. You can’t help but think Smith’s appointment last November was made with an eye on bringing them back up and the Canaries should go well.

After going close last term, Sheffield Wednesday look set to kick on in League One. Only a poor autumn halted the Owls last term and the addition of Michael Smith only adds to the feeling that they are ready for the Championship.

I’m also going to make my annual prediction that this is Bradford’s year to finally get their act together and go up from League Two. They have a good manager in Mark Hughes and the Welshman’s profile has clearly aided their recruitment, with the experienced Richie Smallwood a fine replacement for Elliott Watt.

Rob Eddy

Sports journalist at ICS

The “been there done it” vibe around Norwich makes them obvious favourites for the Championship title, even if I would like a slightly bigger price.

Keeping hold of most of their better players is a big boost, while Dean Smith may feel he has something to prove following his Aston Villa exit and subsequent demotion with the Canaries. They had a good record against both Watford and Burnley last season and can do so again.

Sheffield Wednesday, like Norwich, are understandable favourites, having gone close last year while Darren Moore looks to have done some fine summer business to boot. Last year’s beaten playoff semi-finalists have that as motivation and they look certain to be there or thereabouts.

Northampton narrowly missed out on automatic promotion last season, denied by Bristol Rovers’ last-day heroics, and boasted the best defence in the division. The acquisition of Danny Hylton looks a shrewd one and they can perhaps surprise a few at a bigger price.

The Verdict

And there we have it – with five out of seven votes going their way, Norwich City are our experts’ pick to win the Championship, while Sheffield Wednesday and Mansfield were both selected by four members of our team to win League One and League Two respectively.

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