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10 EFL Manager Predictions: Featuring a juicy 571/1 title treble

Can Paul Cook up a storm this season?
Can Paul Cook up a storm this season?

From the obvious to the ambitious, here are 10 EFL manager predictions ahead of the new season…

1. Paul Cook to bag a fourth title

Ipswich arguably have the best squad and the best manager in League One as they bid to wipe away the cobwebs and secure promotion back up to the Championship.

It’s been a huge summer of change at Portman Road as Paul Cook has been fully-backed to create an exciting side capable of winning the third-tier title; something he’s done before with Wigan, while he lifted the League Two equivalent on two occasions with Pompey and Chesterfield.

The Suffolk side can be backed at 7/1 to claim the spoils, a decent bet given the squad quality and expertise of the main man at the helm.

 2. John Terry will get his first job

John Terry has already slipped into the betting for a couple of Football League manager markets since he left Aston Villa and stated his intent to become a manager.

Betting was suspended on him getting the Swansea job - he didn’t - while he’s currently an 8/1 shot to become the next MK Dons manager. We’ll have to wait and see on the latter, but regardless of whether he rocks up at Stadium MK or not, expect JT to crop up in an EFL dugout at some point this season.

3. Wigan deserve some fortune and they’ll get it

Out of administration, with cash to splash, and a heroic manager at the helm in Leam Richardson. Wigan deserve a slice of fortune this season and with Richardson orchestrating affairs from the touchline there’s every chance he could continue on his inspirational journey by piecing together a promotion push.

Richardson did a remarkable job in leading the Latics to safety last season and in a division where things can change very quickly he’ll now have set his sights on roaring up that league table. He’s made a combination of high-profile and crafty signings, and can be backed at 4/1 to win Wigan their third League One promotion in seven seasons. 12/1 for the title could potentially attract some interest too.

Three EFL managers to keep an eye on

4. Nathan Jones to continue on his upward curve

Nathan Jones’ stint at Stoke was a disaster but Nathan Jones at Luton has proved to be a perfect fit across two spells.

The Welshman led Luton to League Two promotion then got them into the League One automatic places, before departing for Stoke. Luton lifted the League One title under Mick Harford, only for Jones to return at the backend of the 2019/20 season to save the club from the drop in miraculous fashion. An impressive top-half finish followed last season.

Momentum is massive in football, particularly in a division like the Championship which throws up many surprises, including Barnsley’s 5th place finish under Valerien Ismael last term and Huddersfield’s play-off success under David Wagner.

Jones can be the latest second-tier boss to thrive by claiming a play-off place this term at 8/1 with Bet Victor. For the more eager among you Luton are 14/1 for promotion, and a juicy 50/1 for the title!

Nathan Jones is in fine form back in familiar surroundings
Nathan Jones is in fine form back in familiar surroundings

5. Carlos Corberan to feel the heat

Carlos Corberan has registered just 12 wins from 49 games since his appointment last summer. That’s a 24.49% win rate. 

The former Leeds coach came under pressure at various points in his debut season, with Huddersfield ending the campaign down in 20th. The 71 goals leaked in was a league-high, while a meagre three wins from 25 games in the New Year tore apart the promising work that was on show in the first-half of the season.

Fans are back which should hopefully galvanise the Terriers, but at the same time a slow start will see thorns of frustration directed towards Corberan who certainly has the potential to make his mark in management, however he needs to produce on a consistent basis before it’s too late.

6. A 74/1 promotion sizzler in League Two

What a title race/promotion contest we have in store over in League Two.

There are at least a dozen managers who will feel they have what it takes to elevate their respective clubs up into League One. Few would have expected Mark Bonner to win automatic promotion in his first full season, or Derek Adams’ Morecambe to make history and secure a place in League One for the first time ever!

Basically, anything can happen, so we’ve whipped up a sizzling 74/1 promotion treble featuring promotion-specialist Derek Adams (now at Bradford), highly-rated young boss Rob Edwards (Forest Green Rovers), and Matt Taylor (Exeter) who has been banging at that promotion door in each of his three seasons.

Who will win the League Two title race

7. Stephen Robinson to steer The Shrimps to survival

It’s quite rare you see a club change manager after winning promotion, but Morecambe were forced to seek out a new boss after their League Two play-off conqueror Derek Adams left for Bradford.

In came Stephen Robinson who is tasked with steering The Shrimps to safety in their first ever outing in League One. They are the bookies’ favourites to make a swift return to the fourth-tier, however the club will have absolutely no plans on halting their fairytale journey anytime soon.

Momentum is on their side while they've made a shrewd appointment in Robinson, rejuvenated following his cracking spell up north of the border at Motherwell. Keeping new club Morecambe up at the first time of asking would be a brilliant achievement. 

Robinson features in more detail in our piece on three League One managers to keep an eye on this season.

8. Lincoln will have to fight to keep hold of Michael Appleton

First of all, it’s great to see Michael Appleton back in work following an operation to remove a tumour after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

After a difficult and topsy-turvy start to his managerial career, Appleton bounced back in style with Oxford. He’s since gained invaluable experience as an assistant at top-flight Leicester, then propelled Lincoln into the League One play-off final last season.

The 45-year-old has been linked with a multitude of jobs over the course of the last six months, including Championship clubs West Brom, Swansea, Preston, Bristol City, Sheffield United. He was favourite for most of them too.

It surely won’t be too long until he’s back on in the second-tier dugout, and the Imps are likely to endure a battle to keep hold of their manager throughout the season. He’s remained loyal so far though.

Michael Appleton: A man in demand
Michael Appleton: A man in demand

9. Mark Hughes to return to the dugout

His days prowling the Premier League touchline may be over, but Mark Hughes has expressed his desire to return to management. 

His experience, contacts, and unwavering confidence could make him a suitable option for a Championship or League One club as soon as a vacancy arises next term.

Should Tony Mowbray depart Blackburn, then who knows, could an Ewood Park return be on the cards? The Welshman previously led Rovers to a top-six Premier League finish, UEFA Cup qualification, and three domestic semi-finals.

10. A tantalising 571/1 title-winning treble

We end with our three picks for the three EFL titles. We’re backing…

- Marco Silva to restore his reputation at Fulham by lifting the Championship title. 

- Paul Cook to strike gold with Ipswich in League One.

- Derek Adams to add a fifth promotion to his CV, courtesy of the League Two title, with new club Bradford.

Combine these selections together in a tantalising treble and you receive juicy odds of 571/1, via Bet365.

Championship Outright Odds

Sunderland
WIN PROB: 35%
1
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7/4
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7/4
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6/4
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6/4
Wigan
WIN PROB: 17%
1
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5/1
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9/2
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9/2
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4/1
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4/1
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4/1
Rotherham United
WIN PROB: 15%
1
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5/1
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5/1
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5/1
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5/1
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3/1
Wycombe Wanderers
WIN PROB: 11%
1
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8/1
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8/1
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7/1
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7/1
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7/1
Milton Keynes Dons
WIN PROB: 3%
1
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Sheffield Wednesday
WIN PROB: 4%
1
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Plymouth Argyle
WIN PROB: 5%
1
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Oxford United
WIN PROB: 2%
1
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Ipswich
WIN PROB: 3%
1
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Portsmouth
WIN PROB: 1%
1
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Bolton Wanderers
WIN PROB: 1%
1
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Lincoln City
WIN PROB: 1%
1
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Burton Albion
WIN PROB: 1%
1
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Cheltenham
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Accrington Stanley
WIN PROB: 1%
1
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AFC Wimbledon
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Fleetwood Town
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Charlton Athletic
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Cambridge United
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Morecambe
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Gillingham
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Shrewsbury
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Crewe Alexandra
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Doncaster Rovers
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Odds correct as of 2021-10-21 03:55 Odds subject to change.
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