Swindon Town manager Richie Wellens has led his team to the top of EFL League Two and the Robins look to have a great chance of winning the title and promotion to League One. Photo By @Official_STFC (Twitter)
- Swindon lead the betting to win the EPF League Two title at +125
- Exeter trail them by just three points and offer value at +300
- A crazy five-way tie for third place
Before a ball was kicked, the two favorites to win the EFL League Two title were Plymouth and Scunthorpe – both relegated from League One last season – but currently, they lie 5th and 15th, neither looking likely at this stage to be lifting the trophy in May.
Instead, it’s Swindon and Exeter, neither of whom were even featured in the opening betting, who have made it a two-way battle for the title. Both are still plus-money but we’ll have a look to see if there’s also value elsewhere in the league.
EFL League Two 2019/20 Winner Odds
|Team||Odds at Bovada|
|Forest Green Rovers||+4000|
Odds taken on Jan. 16
Unexpected Top Two in Box Seat for Automatic Promotion
Current league leaders Swindon did little last season to suggest a title challenge was imminent and ended the season in 13th place after winning just 16 of their 46 games. Well, his time around they have already equaled that number of wins, after just 27 games, as well as having scored 49 times compared to 59 in all of last season. A summer overhaul of the squad, which saw an influx of free transfers and loan signings has reinvigorated the club and they look on course for automatic promotion.
One. Final. Push.
— Swindon Town FC (@Official_STFC) January 11, 2020
Exeter City, like Swindon, did nothing last season to suggest an automatic promotion charge was on the cards but they were only three points away from the playoff places. A few tweaks to Matt Taylor’s squad over the summer have seen them transform from playoff hopefuls to genuine title contenders and a six-point lead over third-placed Cheltenham is a healthy one at this stage of the season.
Just four defeats so far for The Grecians shows they can sneak draws from games they look like losing – an invaluable quality in a promotion push. The game between the top two at Swindon’s County Ground on February 1 looks massive.
🎥 HIGHLIGHTS: City 2️⃣ @CambridgeUtdFC 0️⃣
— Exeter City FC (@OfficialECFC) January 12, 2020
Five Tied in Third as Race Hots Up
Where it gets really interesting in the current table is below Exeter, who have 50 points, where there are no less than five teams tied in third place on 44 points.
Leading the charge on goal difference is Cheltenham whose 11-11-4 record has set them up nicely for a promotion charge down the final straight. The big factor in their favor is a sound defense, having conceded just 21 goals in their 26 games – the best record in the division. The negative however is their current form, which shows no wins in their last three games. They need to get back winning ways as soon as possible.
A few tweaks to Matt Taylor’s Exeter squad over the summer have seen them transform from playoff hopefuls to genuine title contenders.
One place behind Cheltenham is Crewe Alexandra, who crucially have a game in hand on all of the teams above them and have won more than half of the games they have played (13 from 25). Lessons have been learned from their disappointing 2018/19 season when they finished 12th, and they’ve scored 47 goals – second only in the goalscoring charts behind Swindon. They’re worth keeping an eye on.
— Cheltenham Town (@CTFCofficial) January 11, 2020
2020 English Premier League Trophy Odds Tracker
Argyle and Bradford in the Chasing pack
Plymouth Argyle also has a game in hand on those around them and, on paper, still have arguably the best-equipped squad in the division. They also look to have cleared their heads from a tricky start to the season and have found some form, winning four of their last five games. Another team that’s worth keeping an eye on as the second half of the season unfolds.
Bradford City is another team in the chasing pack and at -1200 will be tempting to those who like a longshot. The Bantams were relegated from League One last season having finished bottom but came down with a squad that still looked strong enough to be competitive in League Two. That hasn’t changed and Gary Bowyer’s team, as the best-supported in the division, will be there or thereabouts in the final shake-up.
📺 REACTION | Get the views of City manager Gary Bowyer following this afternoon's game against @crawleytown.
— Bradford City AFC (@officialbantams) January 11, 2020
Forest Green Looking for Playoffs Again
The other team in the 44-point club are Forest Green Rovers, who last season managed to make it to the playoffs, only to lose out to Tranmere Rovers at the semifinal stage. They are however the lowest scorers in the top ten and this may count against them in the second half of the season.
Northampton and Colchester United are the two other teams in touch with the leading pack but while both may have a say in the race for the playoff places, I’m not expecting either to challenge for the title.
Pick: 1st Swindon; 2nd Plymouth; 3rd Exeter
Once just a sports fanatic, fan-turned-writer Gary Gowers has been featured on European television and radio networks to discuss several professional football clubs. His work can be found in an assortment of publications like The Metro, MyFootballWriter.com, and BBC Radio Norfolk.