According to bookmakers, last season’s beaten play-off finalists Luton are the team they all have to beat in Blue Square Premier, Ladbrokes chalking the Hatters up at 3/1 to claw their way back into the football league as champions, and that makes a certain amount of sense when you consider that aside from the teams that came down from League Two, only promoted pair Crawley and AFC Wimbledon were better than Luton last term.
It wouldn’t take a huge improvement for Gary Brabin’s charges to secure first place and the Hatters boss has tweaked his squad rather than making wholesale changes so there’s a degree of continuity at Kenilworth Road.
That could be crucial for a team that lost just eight of their 46 matches last season, conceding only 37 goals in the process and it looks on this occasion, like bookies are entirely correct to make Luton hot favourites.
Ambitious Fleetwood are looking to improve on last term’s fifth-place finish and it’s fair to assume that they will do given that they have brought in a clutch of players proven at that level. The Cod Army are just 9/2 at Boylesports to be crowned champions but it could be that Micky Mellon’s men are unfortunate to run into a team like Luton, who are set to pip them to top spot. Nevertheless, Fleetwood might be worth a saver at 9/4 (Skybet) to gain promotion.
Meanwhile, with three places available at a quarter of the odds, the each-way value arguably lies with York City at 12/1 via Betfred. The Ministermen have strengthened considerably after finishing eighth last season and if they can make Bootham Crescent a fortress again then they can be there or thereabouts next May.
Luton to win Blue Square Premier – 3/1 (Ladbrokes)