Managerial Predictions for the 2015/16 League One Seasonby Jack Kitson / 30 July 2015, 10:58Tweet
The third installment of the Managerial Predictions series focuses on League One, which kicks-off in just over a week on Saturday 8 August. The third-tier was an enthralling affair last season, with title winning Bristol City and their boss Steve Cotterill lighting up the division, while Preston and MK Dons will join the Robins in the Championship next season.
Heading in the opposite direction are Millwall, Wigan and Blackpool, whereas Burton Albion, Shrewsbury Town, Bury and Southend United have replaced the relegated quad of Notts County, Crawley Town, Leyton Orient and Yeovil Town.
Below, The Sack Race makes a few predictions on next season's title winning manager, a managerial dark horse, and which gaffer will be axed first.
Title Winning Manager: Phil Parkinson (Bradford City)
Sheffield United have been getting a lot of attention at the summit of the outright winner market, which has also been the case in the build-up to the last couple of summers.
However, the Blades remain stuck in League One as they continue to struggle to escape from the clutches of the third-tier and end their frustrating bid to return to the Championship.
United once again look in a decent position to challenge for promotion, but there is once more a niggling danger that history will repeat itself, and they will fall short. For this reason we have instead selected Bradford, at 16/1 with Bet365, as the team to clinch the title next term.
The Bantams agonisingly missed out on the play-offs last season, finishing in 7th, just four points adrift of the top-6. However, despite this heartbreak, it was still an impressive standing, considering that the club also made it all the way through to the FA Cup quarter-finals.
This time around we are backing Phil Parkinson's men to conjure up a promotion challenge, with the club priced at 9/2 to return to the Championship for the first time since 2003/04.
Outside Bet: Scunthorpe @ 28/1 with Betfred
The Dark Horse: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Burton Albion)
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink enjoyed a stunning impact at Burton Albion last season, joining the club in November, before leading them to the League Two title. The Dutchman will now be gunning to further his rapidly growing reputation in the dugout, by inspiring another push for promotion this season.
If Burton can carry over the momentum into the 2015/16 campaign then they have a cracking chance of causing a stir in what will be their first ever season in League One. The Brewers have been handed odds of 9/2 to finish in the top-6, 11/1 to win promotion, while they are out at 33/1 to secure back-to-back titles (all with Coral Bookmakers).
First Manager To Depart: Neil McDonald (Blackpool)
Similarly to the Championship, this is always a difficult market to predict, especially considering that there are no odds on the League One Sack Race at the time of writing. However, given the continued furore surrounding the way Blackpool is run, it would come as no surprise to see the hugely unpopular Oyston family pull the trigger early on in the campaign.
Back in June Neil McDonald became the club's sixth boss since Ian Holloway departed in 2012. The former West Ham boss, who signed a one-year rolling contract, has a huge task on his hands, but whether he will be given time to steady the ship remains to be seen. Given the club's dramatic slide and on-going problems, they look decent value at 2/1 (with most major bookmakers) to suffer a second successive relegation.