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Looking at the favourites for relegation from League One

Looking at the favourites for relegation from League One

Looking at the favourites for relegation from League One

Burton Albion

As the English football season gets firmly underway, we’re already seeing the brutality of life in the second, third and fourth tiers. Indeed, the divisions are renowned for their competitive nature, with anyone capable of causing an upset on the right day, and the difference between a shot at the play-offs and flirting with relegation often boils down to a matter of a few points. 

Form is everything in the Football League, especially in League One, which unlike the Championship, will continue running throughout the duration of the World Cup. Games come thick and fast and there’s no time for sides to enjoy the festivities when there are valuable points to be won. The opening games have gone some way to suggest who will finish where come the business end of the season, but it’s still too early to pick a nailed-on favourite for either promotion or relegation.

With that being said, the fight for survival in League One is always interesting, with four teams heading down should they fail to perform. Read on, as we take a look at some of the sides tipped for relegation to League Two ahead of some poor form in the early stages of this season. 

Burton Albion

It’s been a strange start to the season for Burton Albion. Perhaps overachieving the last two terms with consecutive 16th-place finishes, the Brewers have found results away from the river Trent hard to come by since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s appointment, and after conceding 12 goals in their opening four games, the worst in the division by some distance, the former Chelsea striker will want to plug some gaps in his side before the transfer window closes. 

Calum Butcher, Victor Adeboyejo and Davis Keillor-Dunn represent clever business so far, but with none of the players carrying a transfer fee, it might be time for the Burton board to invest in the club or risk a slip into League Two, which, having maintained their third-tier status for so long would be disappointing. 

Cheltenham Town

Fresh off their 7-0 hammering at the hands of Exeter City, Cheltenham Town arrive at a crossroads. Winless in the league at the time of writing, you wonder how much longer the board can remain patient with manager Wade Elliott, who is experiencing a tough start to life as a professional manager, having worked as an assistant at Whaddon Road for the last two years. 

Not for a want of trying, Elliott is navigating a sinking ship, one that is leaking goals at a concerning rate. And you wonder how many experienced coaches would want to take the job if he is dismissed, knowing relegation is all but inevitable even this early on. The Robins look a disjoined outfit and you wouldn’t be surprised to see them head down come May.  

Oxford United

Despite upsetting Swansea City in the League Cup, Oxford United have started the season poorly, and have been thrown in the hat for relegation as a by-product when it comes to League One predictions. Karl Robinson will do his best to look more favourably in the coming weeks, with his transfer business much stronger than those sides around him

Experience has been the order of the day in terms of new arrivals, with the likes of Jodi Jones from Coventry City and Cardiff City pair Ciaron Brown and Josh Murphy making their way to the Kassam this summer. This current crop of Oxford players lack consistency, and while they won 10 games last season to record a surprising eighth-place finish, the 14 draws demonstrated their lack of cutting edge, something that could drag them into a relegation battle if it isn’t nipped in the bud before the turn of the year.