We assess the best picks for the 2021/22 League Two title, relegation and more ahead of the season getting under way on Saturday.
Just eight of the last 40 clubs to be relegated into League Two have gone straight back up, so you should concentrate on teams that were in League Two last season in this market.
And after back-to-back bottom-nine finishes, Mansfield look in good shape to do the business.
Danny Johnson comes in from Leyton Orient after bagging 17 league goals last season, and is joined by target man Oli Hawkins and winger Rhys Oates, whose 17 goals helped fire Hartlepool back to the EFL.
The steady presence of manager Nigel Clough should prove invaluable, too.
Clough took over at Mansfield in November last year with the club bottom of League Two and his vast experience in the fourth tier means that his side can go well.
Bradford City were another underperformer last season, finishing 15th, but the appointment of Derek Adams should ensure a significant improvement this time around.
Adams joins having just won an incredible promotion to League One with Morecambe, who were perennial strugglers and had never been higher than the fourth tier in their history.
That was a fourth career promotion for the Scot and a second from League Two, having taken Plymouth to League One in 2016/17. He has a 42.5 per cent career win ratio from 577 matches.
Adams has brought in nine new signings over summer, including holding midfielder Yann Songo’o, who was in his Morecambe team, and striker Andy Cook, who top-scored with eight goals for the Bantams while on loan last season despite only joining in January.
Bradford won’t be aiming any lower than the three automatic promotion spots this season.
TOP-SEVEN FINISH: Newport
Despite losing key players Josh Sheehan and Joss Labadie over the summer, this feels like a generous price for last season’s losing play-off finalists to make the top seven again.
Newport finished fifth in 2020/21, ranking in the top four for xG against and in the top 10 for xG for, and have otherwise kept most of the same squad together for 2021/22.
Most importantly, though, the Exiles have managed to retain the services of manager Michael Flynn.
Flynn has taken the club into two successive play-off campaigns and is proficient in getting a team to perform to a level that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Last season, Scunthorpe finished third-bottom and were saved by virtue of League Two having fewer relegation spots than any other division in the EFL.
This year, they are unlikely to be as lucky.
Aside from a run of four straight victories in January, inexperienced manager Neil Cox did little to convince that he has what it takes to drag the Iron away from the bottom end of the table.
Scunthorpe netted just 41 goals last season – no side that stayed up scored fewer – and with their best attacking players Abo Eisa and Alex Gilliead both leaving for Bradford, they are in trouble.
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