The English Football League season is just weeks away. 46 games of the highs, lows, jubilation and despair return. But for last season’s promoted sides of the EFL, will there be more to celebrate or will it be a one-season-wonder for some?
A ticket to the top flight or a fall into the EFL trapdoor is ever-present.
Here is a preview of last season’s promoted EFL sides and how they might fare this forthcoming season.
Jubilation or Despair For EFL’s Promoted Sides This Season?
Blackburn Rovers, Rotherham United and Wigan Athletic won promotion back to the EFL Championship at the first time of asking. But how will the trio fare in their returns to the second-tier?
For once, a grey cloud has been away from Ewood Park. Tony Mowbray guided Rovers back to the Championship last season, as they endured a prolific campaign.
Rovers finished second just behind arch-rivals Wigan Athletic last season. The likes of Adam Armstrong and Bradley Dack helped provide some firepower for the Lancashire club. Dack ended the season as Rovers’s top goalscorer, scoring 18 goals.
For Mowbray, he will be hoping that Rovers can continue in the same vein, especially in front of goal next season. While it may not be enough to see significant success, it can go a long way into staying in the second-tier.
League One play-off winners Rotherham United have a point to prove this forthcoming season.
Manager Paul Warne re-built a solid foundation at the New York Stadium. The former Millers player guided his side back to the Championship, which can potentially be a daunting task for the Yorkshire side once again.
Warne is said to be pleased with the progress of his summer signings during their pre-season tour. Clark Robertson, Kyle Vassell and Zak Vyner have all been said to have impressed the Millers boss so far ahead of their return to the Championship.
Last season’s League One champions return to the second-tier once again. This time, they want to make the most of their campaign.
While activity in the transfer window hasn’t been frequent, the Latics have confirmed the signing of Callum McManaman. The former West Brom player returns to a familiar stomping ground.
Paul Cook will be hoping that his side start this season as they finished last, as they will be among the favourites to face the drop this season.
EFL League One
Accrington Stanley, Coventry City and Luton Town are the sides beginning life as newly promoted sides in the third-tier.
League Two champions Accrington Stanley will continue to embark on their remarkable journey as they begin life as a League One side.
They are undoubtedly the favourites to struggle as they will come up against the likes of Sunderland and Charlton Athletic. Despite being in the third tier, there are a number of sides which on paper are considered powerhouses in the EFL.
Manager John Coleman will have one goal in mind: to survive in the division. While still obtaining one of the lowest budgets, this season will truly show what Stanley are made of.
Mark Robins has shown the Ricoh Arena the light after guiding Coventry City back to League One at the first time of asking.
After a nightmare five years, which saw the Sky Blues languish bottom two divisions, the club and its supporters are looking positively ahead of their League One campaign in a few weeks.
However, the future of the club off the field is still unclear.
The Hatters finished last season as the EFL’s most prolific side in front of goal. Now a League One side, Nathan Jones’ team will be coming up against some stern opposition, which will be a test of their character.
An opening day fixture away to Portsmouth followed by a home game against Sunderland reads an exciting yet tricky opener for the Bedfordshire side.
Back in the third-tier for the first time in over a decade, it will be an interesting season for the Kenilworth Road faithful.
EFL League Two
Macclesfield Town and Tranmere Rovers make their respective returns to the EFL. Both sides formerly regular sides for many years, but now they shall essentially be the newcomers upon their returns.
After being crowned National League champions last season, Macclesfield Town proved to be an efficient side, resulting in their return to the EFL.
Beginning their season away to Swindon Town, it could be the start of a long season for the Silkmen. They will no doubt be the punter’s favourites to struggle this season.
However, under the guidance of manager Mark Yates, Town have the right man to provide experience and knowledge when it comes to life as an EFL manager.
Finally, after a three-year exile from the EFL, Micky Mellon guided Tranmere Rovers back to the EFL via the play-offs. But how will they fare upon their return?
The forthcoming season could prove too tough, especially considering that this their return season to the EFL after three years in the National League.
But for manager Micky Mellon will also be looking to bring forth his EFL managerial experience, to ensure that Rovers can consolidate themselves this season.