League One Club-by-Club Preview for 2017/2018: Explaining the Format

This is a short post explaining exactly what the format for my League One previews for the coming season will be.

Club Order: The first thing you will notice right from the outset tomorrow is that the clubs are not in any order whatsoever: not alphabetical, not reverse alphabetical, not in any order of predicted finish or where they came last season. No order. I even used random.org to help me generate a truly random list; the reason for that is ostensibly to keep people a) guessing and b) coming back!

Best Blog or Account to Follow: Every club preview will have a link to a Twitter page, podcast and/or blog of a supporter or group of supporters of that side. I want to try to ensure that others benefit from my writing and hopefully, you’ll find different perspectives from them and at least some other content to your liking.


Record Last Season + Quick Summary: As it says on the tin with a little bit of meat, e.g. was Charlton Athletic’s eventual final position of 13th ‘better’ vis-à-vis their expectations before 2016/2017 commenced than, say, MK Dons’ 12th place.

Top Goalscorer: Self-explanatory.

Top Creator: Number of assists.


Manager/Head Coach: An attempt to profile the current manager/head coach of the club in question.

Ins: Lovingly lifted from Scunthorpe United’s excellent transfer tracker.

Outs: As above. All will be present and correct at the time of writing.

Predicted First XI & Shape: The further into the previews I get, the likelier the accuracy of them will be higher. As I write this blog on my own, it’s necessary to start nearly three weeks before a ball is kicked to ensure enough scope and depth is dedicated to each one. They will be presented visually via the tried-and-tested cut and paste job from Lineup Builder.

Tactics: As above.

Predicted ‘Area’ of Finish: Stating an ‘area’ rather than exact finishing position a) gives me some degree of leeway if any major transfers happen after my prediction and b) prevents people deducing with, say, three or four previews left the remaining clubs’ finishing places and (hopefully) retaining interest. The areas will still be reasonably specific and as follows:

  1. Gunning for automatic promotion
  2. Play-off chasers
  3. Comfortably mid-table
  4. Safe but sorry
  5. Circling the relegation drain


However, there will be more than two teams for group #1, more than four for #2 and more than four for #5. Currently, I think it’s quite difficult to discern one side much stronger or weaker than the others in the third tier. The league as a whole looks to have improved ‘on paper’ and it should make for an extremely compelling 2017/2018.

I hope this makes it clear what to expect. If you have any positive or negative feedback regarding the format once the previews and predictions are complete, I’d love to hear from you via a blog comment, Facebook or Twitter.