From Ipswich To Wrexham, Five EFL Stories To Keep An Eye On This Season

The Championship returns tonight!
13:00, 04 Aug 2023

Finally, after months and months of waiting, the EFL returns tonight as Sheffield Wednesday host Southampton. It’s been a long old summer, with a whole host of transfers, but now we can get into the action. Up and down the Football League there are key stories to look out for this season, and we’ve picked out five of the best for you to keep an eye on this term. 

Can Ipswich Town go back-to-back?

Big things are expected of the Tractor Boys this season. Back in the Championship after four years in the third tier, they have been listed as the fifth favourites to win the league, and for good reason. In Kieran McKenna they boast one of the highest rated managers in the entire EFL. The former Manchester United academy coach implemented a dominant style of football last term, which saw Town score an insane 101 goals and finish with a goal difference of +66. 

Only Manchester City had the same level of dominance in England last season and having added Jack Taylor and George Hirst, as well as Omari Hutchinson on loan, they could take the second tier by storm. It’s a big step from League One however, so it will be well worth keeping an eye on the boys from Suffolk. If they are flying, Premier League clubs may come in for McKenna. 


Will Neil Warnock save Huddersfield Town again?

The greatest manager in Championship history, Neil Warnock, came in to save Huddersfield Town in unlikely circumstances last term. They were 23rd when he took over, but finished 18th, which was one hell of an achievement given how bad they were under the previous two managers. 

Many thought Warnock would walk away after a job well done, but he surprised everybody by signing a one-year deal for this season. With limited resources and only free transfers coming in, it is expected they will struggle again, but can Warnock work his magic over a whole season? He might call it quits for good if things aren’t going his way. 

Will Barnsley collapse after key exits?

Down to League One and to the losing play-off finalists. They came within touching distance of the Championship before a last-gasp Josh Windass winner dashed their dreams. Since that goal, they’ve experienced a summer from hell. First, talented  manager Michael Duff left to join Swansea City to replace Russell Martin. Then they sold star centre-back Mads Andersen to Luton Town and to make it a hat-trick, forward James Norwood departed for National League side Oldham Athletic. 

It feels a long time since Barnsley's top six finish in the Championship
It feels a long time since Barnsley's top six finish in the Championship

They’ve also lost both their goalkeepers from last term in Harry Isted and Brad Collins, so its been a tough start for new boss Neill Collins. After losing in the Championship play-offs in 2021, the club were relegated the following season. Could another disaster be on the cards at Oakwell?

Can Wrexham live up to billing as League Two favourites? 

I guess we have to talk about Wrexham. The club that has more worldwide attraction than any other League Two side has ever had are favourites for the title, but it feels like they could suffer from their pre-season adventures. 

They’ve spent the summer doing a tour of the USA, playing against big name Premier League sides and doing so has led to star striker Paul Mullin puncturing his lung. It’s not ideal preparation for their first season at this level since 2008, and the Hollywood stars, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney may be in for a rude awakening in the fourth tier. 

Can Crawley Town survive? 

Things are looking bleak for Crawley Town in League Two. The owners, WAGMI United, claimed they wanted to transform Crawley into ‘the internet’s team’ but instead they look destined to take the club out of the EFL. The Red Devils are favourites for relegation, have not even officially released this season’s kit yet, and their owners reportedly banned one fan after he leaked it! 

On the pitch things are looking bleak, and relegation could be terminal for one of the smallest clubs in the Football League. This is a template of ‘how not to run a football club’. Survival would be a major success this term. 

*18+ | Be Gamble Aware

Suggested Searches:
The Sportsman
Manchester United
Manchester City
Premier League
Sportsman HQ
72-76 Cross St
Manchester M2 4JG
We will not ask you to provide any personal information when using The Sportsman website. You may see advertisement banners on the site, and if you choose to visit those websites, you will accept the terms and conditions and privacy policy applicable to those websites. The link below directs you to our Group Privacy Policy, and our Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at: [email protected]

All original material is Copyright © 2019 by The Sportsman Communications Ltd.
Other material is copyright their respective owners.