League Two 1-24 Predictions 2023/24: Are Wrexham Promotion Contenders This Term?

Wrexham are favourites to go up in League Two
08:00, 05 Aug 2023

The League Two season has arrived and all eyes will be on Hollywood owned Wrexham to see whether they can live up to the billing as pre-season favourites. Here’s how we think the table will finish. 

24th: Crawley Town

The biggest mess in the EFL. Owners WAGMI United have taken the club to the brink after some reasonable investment early on. Now the club is falling apart at the seams, and with no quality additions this summer, it looks to be the year Crawley fall through the trap door. 

23rd: Newport County

Another club who are seemingly regressing. Newport have Graham Coughlan in charge and finished 15th last term, but the fan-owned club announced a fairly large financial loss at the end of last season. As a result, they may not be able to sustain a competitive League Two squad this term and have already lost the experienced Mickey Demetriou and Cameron Norman. It is going to be a season of struggle in south Wales. 

22nd: Morecambe 

Derek Adams is a quality operator at this level but everything about this Morecambe side, relegated from League One last term, screams danger. They’ve lost star goalscorer Cole Stockton among a whole host of other departures and their replacements are far weaker than the players they have come in for. If Adams stays long enough, he can keep them up. 


21st: Crewe Alexandra

A mid-table finish last term may have papered over the cracks for a struggling Alex outfit. The main reason for that finish was striker Dan Aygei who this summer left for Leyton Orient. What he leaves behind is a poor squad, reliant on youth talents to come into the first team and keep them up. They’ll manage it, just. 

20th: Tranmere Rovers

Negativity has infiltrated its way into the walls at Prenton Park. Ian Dawes’ appointment left the fanbase frustrated but he was seen as the cheap option for many match goers. They’ve lost both key full-backs over the summer and although they’ve brought in the likes of Conor Jennings, it feels as though they’ve been left with a squad that lacks pace and dynamism. It’s likely to be a season of major regression for Tranmere. 

19th: Accrington Stanley

Stanley lost their League One status last term and their best performers last term were, on the whole, loanees. Now they’ve departed, John Coleman is left with his weakest squad in several years. If they didn’t have his steady hands at the helm, I’d be predicting another relegation scrap.


18th: Harrogate Town

With only two relegation places and Simon Weaver still in charge, it feels as though Harrogate can hang onto their EFL status for a little while longer. The longest-serving manager in the Football League has repeatedly overperformed to keep this side in League Two, and with Luke Armstrong remaining at the club up front, he should be able to do it again. 

17th: AFC Wimbledon

Having avoided the drop by the skin of their teeth last term, I’m predicting a slight improvement this time around, but not a season that will get fans out of their seats. Ethan Chislett has departed for League One and intriguingly, Johnnie Jackson has made major moves in the transfer window. They’ve got an entirely different core, and should be striving towards mid table this time around. 

16th: Sutton United

Matt Gray has been in charge since 2019, and with him at the helm, you don’t really have to worry about Sutton. There’s been a few changes this summer with Omar Bugiel departing, but the arrivals of Scott Kashket and Harry Smith are relatively exciting. They’ll be fighting way above their weight once more. 

15th: Swindon Town

I’m not sure what the plan is at the County Ground anymore. I was a huge admirer of the work Michael Flynn did at Newport, but that was a very different set of circumstances to the one that he has now at Swindon. They were trying to bring in young players under a technical director for the entirety of last summer and yet now they’ve handed all responsibility to Flynn. What that has left is a mishmash of a squad, with several young technical players that aren’t suited to the Welshman’s system. It could work brilliantly, but it probably won’t. 

14th: Forest Green Rovers

There’s almost no remnants left of the FGR side that stormed to the League Two title under Rob Edwards. Since then, they’ve experienced a woeful League One campaign and now have to rebuild under David Horseman. After the media attention of Darren Ferguson and Hannah Dingley, perhaps this is exactly the kind of season they need. With Amadou Bakayoko, Matt Stevens and Jordan Garrick, they should score goals so perhaps can strive for the play-offs. 

13th: Walsall

Mat Sadler is still an unknown quantity, but there is seemingly a case for optimism for Walsall. They endured a poor season last term but their summer business is positive. The surprise departure of Liam Kinsella may limit their progress this term, but they’ve brought in the experienced Chris Hussey and Danny Johnson, along with some genuinely exciting young talent. A top half finish would be a success.

12th: Colchester United

Finally things look to be looking up for Col U. They enjoyed a strong finish to last season and under Ben Garner, have a manager with huge potential at this level. They’ve shedded the old Ipswich guard in the form of Cole Skuse and Freddie Sears and can now build on a summer of change. There’s a whole host of loans through the door and in Noah Chilvers they have a League Two star on their hands. 

11th: Grimsby Town

Grimsby finished 11th last term under Paul Hurst, which was a phenomenal effort. They went deep into the FA Cup which sapped their energy and had a late start to the season having come up through the play-offs, so you can expect the league to take more of a focus this time around. They’ve addressed their goalkeeping issues by bringing in Jake Eastwood and if they can become more clinical, it wouldn’t be out of the question for them to challenge the top seven.

10th: Doncaster Rovers

They were truly poor last term, but now Grant McCann has returned. He’s proven in the Championship and League One, so it’s quite the coup that he has come back to Rovers. Richard Wood has come in to bring proven experience and Joe Ironside is a dangerous striker at this level. They should be strong. 

9th: Barrow

Pete Wild. He’s the main reason I’m so positive about one of the smaller clubs in the division. Wild is an elite coach who is phenomenal at guiding sides out of possession and that could be good enough to carry them into the play-offs. The personnel comes secondary to the system for Barrow and that means, if they can find the goals that deserted them last term, they could be in for an excellent 2023/24.

8th: Wrexham

The league favourites. However, there are some concerns for me that mean they will miss out on the play-offs, just. I don’t think a pre-season in the USA playing teams like Chelsea and Manchester United was the best way to prepare for a League Two season. Paul Mullin’s collapsed lung will see him miss the start of the season and it feels like there’s more hype than substance around this Wrexham team. They were incredible last term, setting the points record in the National League, however their summer business hasn’t set the world alight. They’ve brought in Will Boyle from Huddersfield and that’s it. Added to this, no side has gone from the National League to League One in two seasons since Bristol Rovers in 2016. Still an 8th place finish would be an impressive return to the EFL. 

7th: MK Dons

MK Dons were tipped for promotion in League One last term but what followed was the most disastrous season in their recent history. Now back in League Two, they’ve turned to Graham Alexander to get them immediately back up, but I’m not keen on them challenging for the automatic places. Craig MacGillivray and Alex Gilbey are handy pick-ups, but it is the host of attacking talent that makes me believe they will cling onto a top seven place. If Alexander gets things right, they could be tough to stop. 

6th: Bradford City

Mark Hughes and Bradford relied heavily on Andy Cook last season, and they might well do so again. However, with this squad and this manager, they have to finish in the top seven this season. Richie Smallwood, Sam Stubbs and Cook provide a brilliant core, and that should carry them to the play-offs. It simply has to. 


5th: Mansfield Town

Mansfield have consistently pushed for the play-offs in League Two but it feels like the Stags will be strong again. This time they can make the top seven under Nigel Clough, if he can sort out the defence, an issue he has addressed this summer. Baily Cargill and Aden Flint should be a solid duo, while George Williams and Aaron Lewis are solid full-back issues ahead of Christy Pym. With those additions, the Stags can have another crack at promotion. 

4th: Salford City

The joint-top scorers in the division came within a penalty shootout of Wembley last year, unfortunately losing out to Stockport County. Given Stockport are one of the favourites to go up having lost that play-off final, it feels as though Salford are being slightly overlooked. Neil Wood had a positive first campaign, and Salford still have one of the biggest budgets in the league. Importantly Elliot Watt remains at the club while Curtis Tilt has come in from Wigan and is a great addition. They will go close again. 

3rd: Gillingham

Neil Harris and Gillingham picked up the second most points in the division after the January window shut and that gives us some indication on how good they could be this term. Harris himself is a key asset, Jonny Williams joins along with former loanee Conor Masterson and they look like they can build on the positivity of 2023. Promotion beckons. 

2nd: Notts County

Having Notts County going up automatically ahead of Wrexham may raise a few eyebrows given they were beaten to the National League title by the Welsh side last season. However, the summer business has transformed Luke Williams’ team into title contenders. Bringing in David McGoldrick to play alongside Macaulay Langstaff feels like a cheat code at this level while Dan Crowley could shine at Meadow Lane. Play-off hero Jodi Jones has returned on a permanent deal and this looks like one of the strongest teams in the league.

1st: Stockport County

Stockport probably should have got promoted last season. They lost the play-off final on penalties and that came after a sluggish start saw them languishing in mid-table. After the halfway mark they were arguably the best team in the league and in Dave Challinor, they have a promotion specialist at the helm. Nick Powell’s arrival should steer what is already the best team in the league to the title.

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