The Football League releases its fixtures for the new season on Wednesday morning – with Aston Villa the 8/1 favourites to win the Championship and Blackburn at 6/1 to secure the League One title. However, the shortest priced favourites are Mansfield in League Two, at best price 11/2 with William Hill having been backed in from 10/1 since the end of last season.
Manager Steve Evans, who made his name by bringing Boston United into the Football League and the Football League into disrepute, also took Crawley Town up from the Conference and to the brink of promotion to League One, before securing back-to-back promotions at Rotherham.
The fiery Scot was in demand this summer, but has opted to remain at Field Mill and has acted swiftly to bring in a dozen new signings – most of them with experience of League One and of gaining promotion from League Two.
Zander Diamond was instrumental in Northampton’s title winning season two years ago and will form an experienced defensive partnership with David Mirfin, who was signed from Scunthorpe. Goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik, midfielders Will Atkinson and Paul Anderson and strikers Lee Angol and Jimmy Spencer are other key additions.