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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 August 2006, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
League One form guide
League One


Nickname: The Seasiders
Ground: Bloomfield Road
Capacity: 11,295
Last season: 19th
Manager: Simon Grayson (November 2005)

In: Rhys Evans (Swindon,), Adrian Forbes (Swansea), Danny Graham (Middlesbrough), Wes Hoolahan (Livingston), Michael Jackson (Tranmere), Paul Tierney (Livingston)

Out: Stuart Anderson, Tony Butler (Forest Green), Rob Edwards, Kevin Lee (Southport), Les Pogliacomi (Oldham), Matt Shaw, Danny Warrender, Neil Wood (Oldham)

BBC Sport verdict: After they narrowly avoided the drop last season, Latvian millionaire Valeri Belokon's arrival has raised the level of expectation at Bloomfield Road.

Boss Simon Grayson has made some shrewd signings, but they must improve on last term's total of just three away wins.

They should have a better season - but the play-offs could be beyond them.

Key man: Keigan Parker. On his day, a handful for any defence at this level.


Nickname: The Cherries
Ground: Dean Court
Capacity: 10,200
Last season: 17th
Manager: Sean O'Driscoll (August 2000)

In: Danny Hollands (Chelsea), Tareq Khalil (Cardiff), Conal Platt (Liverpool), Daryl Taylor (Walsall)

Out: Adam Griffiths (Brentford), James O'Connor (Doncaster, 130,000), Dani Rodrigues (New Zealand Knights), James Rowe, Jason Tindall, Jamie Whisken

BBC Sport verdict: After losing several key players from 2004/05, it was no surprise that Sean O'Driscoll's side struggled last term.

However, the experience his young team will have gained from 2005/06 should stand them in good stead this season.

If the new signings gel quickly, they can hope for at least a mid-table spot.

Key man: James Hayter. Bournemouth are reliant on his goals, so tying him to a new contract was a masterstroke.


Nickname: The Bantams
Ground: Valley Parade
Capacity: 25,136
Last season: 11th
Manager: Colin Todd (June 2004)

In: Matt Clarke (Darlington), David Graham (Sheffield Wednesday), Eddie Johnson (Man Utd), Jermaine Johnson (Tivoli Gardens), Ben Parker (Leeds)

Out: Steve Claridge, Andy Cooke (Shrewsbury), Lee Crooks, Lewis Emanuel (Luton), Danny Forrest (Halifax), Darren Holloway, Tom Kearney, Craig Mawson (Halifax), Owen Morrison (Dunfermline), Bobby Petta, Jake Wright (Halifax)

BBC Sport verdict: Boss Colin Todd has been carefully recruiting for another play-off push.

Darlington's Matt Clarke will bolster the defence - but Todd has struggled to fill the left-back slot in pre-season.

Todd has done well to beat Blackpool to sign striker David Graham, but former Manchester United man Eddie Johnson's pre-season injury is an early blow.

Key man: Dean Windass. The old warhorse is vital to the Bantams' chances.


Nickname: The Bees
Ground: Griffin Park
Capacity: 12,763
Last season: 3rd
Manager: Leroy Rosenior (June 2006)

In: Adam Griffiths (Bournemouth), Matt Heywood (Bristol City), Jo Kuffour (Torquay), Chris Moore (Dagenham & Redbridge), Thomas Pinault

Out: Ademole Bankole (Milton Keynes Dons), Michael Dobson (Walsall), Marcus Gayle (Aldershot), Eddie Hutchinson (Oxford), Junior Lewis, Ricky Newman (Aldershot), Isaiah Rankin (Grimsby), Sam Sodje (Reading, 350,000), Jay Tabb (Coventry, undisclosed) Michael Turner (Hull, 350,000)

BBC Sport verdict: The Bees face an uphill struggle if they are even to match their top-six finishes from the last two seasons.

Their inspirational manager Martin Allen walked out, while key players, including impressive centre-backs Sam Sodje and Michael Turner, were sold.

New boss Leroy Rosenior should be happy if they can rebuild and consolidate.

Key man: Jo Kuffour. A lively striker from Rosenior's old club Torquay.


Nickname: The Seagulls
Ground: Withdean Stadium
Capacity: 6,960
Position last season: 24th Championship (relegated)
Manager: Mark McGhee (October 2003)

In: Alex Revell (Braintree)

Out: Seb Carole (Leeds), Jason Dodd (Eastleigh), Mark McCammon, Chris McPhee (Torquay), Alexis Nicolas, Federico Turienzo

BBC Sport verdict: Brighton may struggle to repeat their 2004 success when they bounced straight back after relegation to this division.

Having sold Leon Knight in January, the Seagulls lack a cutting edge in attack.

Skipper Charlie Oatway's long-term injury has left them short in midfield, while their stadium problems remain like a millstone around their neck.

Key man: Guy Butters. Still an imposing - and vital - figure in defence.


Nickname: The Robins
Ground: Ashton Gate
Capacity: 21,479
Last season: 9th
Manager: Gary Johnson (September 2005)

In: Liam Fontaine (Fulham, tribunal), Phil Jevons (Yeovil), Jamie McCombe (Lincoln, nominal), Enoch Showunmi (Luton), Chris Weale (Yeovil)

Out: Nathan Abbey (Torquay), Ollie Barnes (Bristol Rovers), Clayton Fortune, Ryan Harley, Matt Heywood (Brentford), Dave Partridge (Leyton Orient), Steve Phillips (Bristol Rovers), Bas Savage, Jamie Smith (Milton Keynes Dons), Luke Wilkshire (FC Twente)

BBC Sport verdict: Having been relegation contenders last autumn, a good spring run almost handed City an improbable play-off berth.

But boss Gary Johnson will settle for nothing less than promotion this term.

City have the squad and the financial backing to achieve it - but fans will be impatient for the club to finally deliver after several near misses.

Key man: Phil Jevons. Needs to show the form he had under Johnson at Yeovil.


Nickname: The Cumbrians/Blues
Ground: Brunton Park
Capacity: 16,651
Last season: 1st League Two (Promoted)
Manager: Neil McDonald (June 2006)

In: Kevin Gall (Yeovil), David Raven (Liverpool)

Out: Lee Andrews (Torquay), Brendon McGill (Gretna), Glenn Murray (Stockport)

BBC Sport verdict: After back-to-back promotions, Carlisle have been brought back down to earth after losing much-admired manager Paul Simpson to Preston during the summer.

New boss Neil McDonald's main task will be to stabilise them in League One.

Having kept most of Simpson's squad, they should be secure in mid-table.

Key man: Karl Hawley. He and Michael Bridges should score enough goals to banish any thoughts of the drop.


Nickname: The Robins
Ground: Whaddon Road
Capacity: 7,407
Last season: 5th in League Two (promoted via play-offs)
Manager: John Ward (November 2003)

In: None

Out: Gary Bradshaw (North Ferriby United), Scott Musgrove (Stamford), Michael Taylor (Halifax)

BBC Sport verdict: Town will be many people's favourites to make a quick return to the basement - as when they were promoted in 2002.

But boss John Ward, clutching his new five-year contract, will hope they can punch above their weight this time.

It may be a long, hard season at Whaddon Road - but staying up would be a major achievement for the Robins.

Key man: Steve Guinan. Play-off hero is staying, after a change of heart.


Nickname: The Spireites
Ground: Saltergate
Capacity: 8,960
Last season: 16th
Manager: Roy McFarland (May 2003)

In: Kevan Hurst (Sheffield United), Michael Jordan (Arsenal), Phil Picken (Man Utd), Paul Shaw (Rotherham)

Out: Ashley Foyle, Colin Heath (Macclesfield), Carl Muggleton (Mansfield), Tcham N'Toya (Notts County)

BBC Sport verdict: Year on year, Roy McFarland's Spireites continue to hold their own in this division against wealthier opponents.

However, their home form last term was statistically the worst in League One.

Despite McFarland's transfer market expertise, they still look destined for another season in lower mid-table.

Key man: Kevan Hurst. Local midfield man is back at his home town club for a third loan spell from Sheffield United.


Nickname: The Railwaymen/Alex
Ground: Gresty Road
Capacity: 10,046
Last season: 22nd Championship (Relegated)
Manager: Dario Gradi (June 1983)

In: Julien Baudet (Notts County), Neil Cox (Cardiff), Darren Kempson (Morecambe), Ryan Lowe (Chester)

Out: Andrew Bond, Majid Bougherra (Sheffield Wednesday), Justin Cochrane (Rotherham), Stephen Foster (Burnley), Steve Jones (Burnley,), Kenny Lunt (Sheffield Wednesday), Chris McCready (Tranmere), Alex Morris, Adie Moses, Pavol Suhaj, Anthony Tonkin, Juan Ugarte, Richard Walker (Port Vale), Kyle Wilson

BBC Sport verdict: Having spent most of last season in the relegation zone, Crewe are back at this level for the first time since 2003.

Several players have moved on, but Burnley-bound striker Steve Jones is the biggest loss for boss Dario Gradi.

Their hopes of bouncing back may depend on how his replacements fare in attack.

Key man: Neil Cox. The new central defender will be a key bulwark against the division's more physical teams.


Nickname: Rovers
Ground: Belle Vue
Capacity: 10,550
Last season: 8th
Manager: Dave Penney (March 2002)

In: Bruce Dyer (Sheffield United), Jonathan Forte (Sheffield United), Kevin Horlock (Ipswich), Adam Lockwood (Yeovil), James O'Connor (Bournemouth, 130,000), Gareth Roberts (Tranmere)

Out: Mark Albrighton (Boston), Alun Armstrong, Leo Fortune-West (Rushden & Diamonds), Simon Marples (Chester), Phil McGuire (Aberdeen), Michael McIndoe (Barnsley, undisclosed), Richard Offiong, Jermaine McSporran (Chester), Dave Mulligan (Scunthorpe), Neil Roberts (Wrexham)

BBC Sport verdict: Free-spending Doncaster flirted with the play-offs last season, while also reaching the Carling Cup quarter-finals by beating two Premiership clubs.

However, a top-six place should be their minimum aim this time around.

Having invested heavily in players again, and with a new stadium on the horizon, promotion would cap it all.

Key man: Kevin Horlock. His experience in midfield will be vital this term.


Nickname: The Gills
Ground: Priestfield Stadium
Capacity: 10,952
Last season: 14th
Manager: Ronnie Jepson (November 2005)

In: Mark Bentley (Southend), Clint Easton (Wycombe), Kelvin Jack (Dundee), Duncan Jupp (Southend), Dean McDonald (Ipswich), Gary Mulligan (Sheffield United), Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu (Cardiff)

Out: Jason Brown (Blackburn), Darren Byfield (Millwall), Paul Crichton (Cambridge United), Akwasi Fobi-Edusei (Welling), Gavin Grant (Millwall), Chris Hope (Rushden & Diamonds), Richard Rose (Hereford), Paul Shields (Livingston), John Wallis (Hereford)

BBC Sport verdict: Boss Ronnie Jepson earned a new deal after lifting the Gills to safety.

However, they have since lost some key players - including goalkeeper Jason Brown and top scorer Darren Byfield.

Jepson has made a number of new signings, but can be reasonably optimistic of a top-half finish.

Key man: Dean McDonald. Energetic young striker has a point to prove after being released by Ipswich.


Nickname: The Terriers
Ground: Galpharm Stadium
Capacity: 24,500
Last season: 4th
Manager: Peter Jackson (June 2003)

In: Luke Beckett (Sheffield United, undisclosed), Matt Glennon (St Johnstone)

Out: Tony Carss, Anthony Lloyd (York), Junior Mendes (Notts County), Phil Senior (Northwich)

BBC Sport verdict: After the crucial signing of striker Luke Beckett, Terriers boss Peter Jackson should settle for nothing less than automatic promotion this term.

The young side that won promotion in 2004 has grown up together as a team.

Town are hard to beat, especially at home, so expect another successful season at the Galpharm Stadium.

Key man: Luke Beckett. His goalscoring record at this level speaks for itself.


Nickname: The O's
Ground: Brisbane Road
Capacity: 5,000
Last season: 3rd League Two (Promoted)
Manager: Martin Ling (September 2003)

In: Wayne Corden (Scunthorpe), David Partridge (Bristol City)

Out: Gabriel Zakuani (Fulham, undisclosed)

BBC Sport verdict: Orient are finally out of the basement division after spending 11 years there.

Promotion has seen star defender Gabriel Zakuani lured to the Premiership by London rivals Fulham.

Southend have shown that teams coming up from League Two should not have anything to fear at this level. The O's can take heart, and should stay up.

Key man: Matt Lockwood. Has the class to comfortably make the step up.


Nickname: The Lions
Ground: The New Den
Capacity: 20,146
Last season: 23rd Championship (Relegated)
Manager: Nigel Spackman (May 2006)

In: Neal Ardley (Cardiff), Tom Brighton (Clyde), Darren Byfield (Gillingham), Adam Cottrell (Charlton), Chris Day (Oldham), Gavin Grant (Gillingham), Poul Hubertz (AAB, nominal), Derek McInnes (Dundee United), Filipe Morais (Chelsea), Lenny Pidgeley (Chelsea), Richard Shaw (Coventry), Zak Whitbread (Liverpool)

Out: Carl Asaba, Carlos Fangueiro, Barry Hayles (Plymouth, 100,000), Joe Healy, Sammy Igoe (Bristol Rovers), David Livermore (Leeds, undisclosed), Andy Marshall (Coventry), Berry Powel, Trevor Robinson, Josh Simpson, Curtis Weston (Swindon)

BBC Sport verdict: The only way is up for Millwall after a torrid 2005/06 on and off the pitch.

New boss Nigel Spackman has brought in practically a new team - but it remains to be seen how quickly they can settle.

Once that happens, they are probably the likeliest of the three relegated teams to challenge for the top six.

Key man: Darren Byfield. Will shoulder a lot of responsibility up front if the Lions are to have a successful season.


Nickname: The Cobblers
Ground: Sixfields Stadium
Capacity: 7,653
Last season: 2nd League Two (Promoted)
Manager: John Gorman (June 2006)

In: Sam Aiston (Tranmere), Joe Burnell (Wycombe), Andy Holt (Wrexham)

Out: Matthew Gearing, Luke Graham, Gavin Johnson (Oxford), Jason Lee (Notts County), David Rowson, Martin Smith (Darlington), Ashley Westwood (Chester)

BBC Sport verdict: Much will be expected of Northampton, despite losing boss Colin Calderwood.

His replacement, John Gorman, will rue the loss of Darlington-bound striker Martin Smith, which will leave Scott McGleish as their main goal threat.

Gorman should steady the ship, but mid-table may be a realistic target.

Key man: Ian Taylor. The ex-Aston Villa man will anchor the midfield again, and should still pop up with the odd goal.


Nickname: The Reds
Ground: City Ground
Capacity: 30,602
Last season: 7th
Manager: Colin Calderwood (May 2006)

In: Paul Smith (Southampton)

Out: Eugen Bopp, Eugene Dadi, Paul Evans (Swindon), Paul Gerrard, Gareth Taylor (Tranmere)

BBC Sport verdict: Forest can expect another season under the microscope, as the acknowledged "biggest" club in the division.

They showed in the second half of last season that they undoubtedly have the players for a solid promotion push.

Keeper Paul Smith is the only newcomer, but the squad already has depth. Only a top-two place will appease the fans.

Key man: Nathan Tyson. Should flourish in his first full season at Forest.


Nickname: The Latics
Ground: Boundary Park
Capacity: 13,624
Last season: 10th
Manager: John Sheridan (June 2006)

In: Moussa Dabo (Racing Club Paris), Gary McDonald (Kilmarnock), Les Pogliacomi (Blackpool), Craig Rocastle (Sheffield Wednesday), Neil Wood (Blackpool)

Out: Guy Branston (Peterborough), Richard Butcher (Peterborough), Chris Day (Millwall), David Eyres, Terrell Forbes (Yeovil), Danny Hall (Shrewsbury), Gareth Owen (Stockport), Scott Spencer (Everton, undisclosed)

BBC Sport verdict: A summer of discontent at Boundary Park saw manager Ronnie Moore replaced by reserve coach John Sheridan - following disappointing season ticket sales.

But on the pitch, the Latics will struggle without last year's loanee Luke Beckett, now at Huddersfield.

Without a proven replacement in attack, they may face a relegation battle.

Key man: Craig Rocastle. Will bring Championship experience to Oldham.


Nickname: The Valiants
Ground: Vale Park
Capacity: 22,356
Last season: 13th
Manager: Martin Foyle (February 2004)

In: Paul Harsley (Macclesfield), Colin Miles (Yeovil), Akpo Sodje (Darlington), Jason Talbot (Mansfield), Richard Walker (Crewe), Danny Whitaker (Macclesfield)

Out: Jonny Brain (Macclesfield), Michael Cummins (Darlington), Tony Dinning (Stockport), Craig James (Darlington), Steve Rowland, Hector Sam (Walsall)

BBC Sport verdict: Port Vale have hung on to most of last year's squad, but look unlikely to better last season's half-way finish.

Boss Martin Foyle will hope his side can continue to make steady progress.

But not even Robbie Williams' recent investment is likely to bring anything other than another season in mid-table.

Key man: Chris Birchall. Midfielder is bound to attract transfer speculation after returning from the World Cup.

Latest club news

Nickname: The Millers
Ground: Millmoor
Capacity: 9,707
Last season: 20th
Manager: Alan Knill (December 2005)

In: Justin Cochrane (Crewe), Delroy Facey (Tranmere), Dave Hibbert (Preston), Pablo Mills (Derby), Ritchie Partridge (Sheffield Wednesday), Ian Sharps (Tranmere), Scott Wiseman (Hull), Martin Woods (Sunderland)

Out: Shaun Barker, Michael Boulding, Martin Butler (Walsall), Phil Gilchrist (Oxford), Paul McLaren (Tranmere), Scott Minto (retired), Andy Monkhouse (Swindon), John Mullin (Tranmere), Paul Shaw (Chesterfield)

BBC Sport verdict: Having stayed up by the skin of their teeth, it will be a major achievement if Rotherham avoid relegation again.

Alan Knill's side begin the season on minus 10 points, and many key players like Martin Butler, Paul McLaren and John Mullin have left the club.

Unless they have a flying start and keep up the pace, relegation beckons.

Key man: Pablo Mills. Powerful defender faces a busy season at Millmoor.


Nickname: The Iron
Ground: Glanford Park
Capacity: 9,183
Last season: 12th
Manager: Brian Laws (February 1997)

In: Ramon Calliste (Liverpool), Dave Mulligan (Doncaster), Joe Murphy (Sunderland)

Out: Peter Beagrie (Grimsby), Wayne Corden (Leyton Orient), Tom Evans (York), Tommy Johnson (Tamworth), Paul Musselwhite (Eastleigh), Andy Parton, Richie Ryan (Boston), Nathan Stanton

BBC Sport verdict: Scunthorpe could be an outside bet to sneak into the play-offs this term.

Billy Sharp and Andy Keogh, though no longer an unknown quantity, are one of the best strike duos in the division.

Boss Brian Laws has also signed striker Ramon Calliste from Liverpool - but he could miss the first half of the season with an ankle ligament injury.

Key man: Billy Sharp. If he keeps scoring, Laws will do well to keep him.


Nickname: The Swans
Ground: Liberty Stadium
Capacity: 20,000
Last season: 6th
Manager: Kenny Jackett (April 2004)

In: Kevin Amankwaah (Yeovil, undisclosed), Thomas Butler (Hartlepool, undisclosed), Andy Oakes (Walsall), Darren Pratley (Fulham, 100,000)

Out: Adrian Forbes (Blackpool), Roberto Martinez (Chester), Brian Murphy, Mark Pritchard (Aldershot), Sam Ricketts (Hull, 300,000)

BBC Sport verdict: Swansea will be determined to avenge last season's play-off final heartache.

They have plenty of firepower, but boss Kenny Jackett must find the right combination from Leon Knight, Adebayo Akinfenwa, Lee Trundle and Rory Fallon.

Defender Sam Ricketts has been prised away by Hull, but another play-off push should be well within their reach.

Key man: Leon Knight. His goal record at this level shows his importance.


Nickname: Rovers
Ground: Prenton Park
Capacity: 16,587
Last season: 18th
Manager: Ronnie Moore (June 2006)

In: Kevin Ellison (Hull, undisclosed), Chris McCready (Crewe), Paul McLaren (Rotherham), John Mullin (Rotherham), Shane Sherriff (Aarhus), Chris Shuker (Barnsley), Robbie Stockdale (Hull), Gareth Taylor (Nottingham Forest), Gavin Ward (Preston)

Out: Sam Aiston (Northampton), Delroy Facey (Rotherham), Joe Fowler (Southport), Michael Jackson (Blackpool), Paul Linwood (Chester, tribunal), Paul Martin (Southport), Gareth Roberts (Doncaster), Ian Sharps (Rotherham), Steve Wilson

BBC Sport verdict: Local hero Ronnie Moore has returned to the Wirral and will hope to lift Rovers after a disappointing 2005/06 campaign under former boss Brian Little.

Moore has made changes, bringing in a lot of players who are tried and tested at League One level or above.

Expect Moore's reshaped side to finish in the top half of the table this time.

Key man: Chris Shuker. Tricky ex-Barnsley winger was a shrewd buy.


Nickname: The Glovers
Ground: Huish Park
Capacity: 9,400
Last season: 15th
Manager: Russell Slade (June 2006)

In: Darren Behcet (West Ham), Chris Cohen (West Ham, undisclosed), Terrell Forbes (Oldham), Wayne Gray (Southend), Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala (Grimsby), Steve Mildenhall (Grimsby), Lee Morris (Leicester), Ishmael Welsh (West Ham)

Out: Kevin Amankwaah (Swansea, undisclosed), Steve Collis (Southend), Richard Cullingford, Kevin Gall (Carlisle), Phil Jevons (Bristol City), Adam Lockwood (Doncaster), Colin Miles (Port Vale), Stephen Reed (Torquay), Michael Rose (Stockport), Jamie Vincent (Swindon), Chris Weale (Bristol City), Dale Williams (Shrewsbury)

BBC Sport verdict: Russell Slade has replaced Steve Thompson as manager, and has had to replenish his squad over the summer.

Yeovil will particularly feel the loss of top scorer Phil Jevons, now reunited with Gary Johnson at Bristol City.

But Slade should ensure they are not caught up in another relegation scrap.

Key man: Wayne Gray. Faces a tough task to replace Jevons in attack - but has just helped Southend to two promotions.

Jackson expects tough League One
01 Aug 06 |  League One
League One ones to watch
01 Aug 06 |  League One

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