League One and League Two predictions: Owls set to soar

Tom Hill
Spotlight
Promotion is the aim for Darren Moore's Sheffield Wednesday this season
Promotion is the aim for Darren Moore's Sheffield Wednesday this season

The wait is nearly over for the 72 Football League clubs with the 2022-23 campaign set to get under way this weekend.

Sheffield Wednesday will hope to surpass last season's run to the League One play-off semi-finals, while in League Two, newly-promoted Stockport arrive with high hopes.

Wise Owls make summer swoops

Darren Moore's Owls could not get the job done last season, despite winning 15 of their final 22 games. 

They lost in the play-offs to Sunderland but Wednesday's summer business suggests they are in line for a real push for promotion this time around.

The South Yorkshire club have managed to sign Michael Smith and Michael Ihiekwe after they helped Rotherham earn promotion to the Championship last term and it is difficult to see Moore's men out of the frame this season.

Ipswich are considered to be Wednesday's closest rivals despite the fact Kieran McKenna's side finished 11th last season.

McKenna has now had a full pre-season to work with his squad and if they can address their issues in the final third, they will be tough to stop.

MK Dons' chances have been hampered by the loss of Scott Twine and Harry Darling but they have recruited heavily again in a bid to compete for a place in the second tier.

Happy Hatters

Dave Challinor guided Stockport to the National League title last season
Dave Challinor guided Stockport to the National League title last season

Bradford City and Salford City have been mentioned as League Two promotion candidates and if things click at both clubs, then there is every chance they can compete.

However, both of those sides have failed in the past and the momentum is clearly with Stockport for now.

The Hatters are one of the leading candidates to win the title despite the fact they have only just been promoted from the National League.

On the surface, County appear to have recruited well, picking up some of the best non-league players, while they have also added several faces that have what it takes to make a difference at this level.

With Dave Challinor at the helm, Stockport could secure successive promotions as they bid to return to League One for the first time since 2010.

Both Mansfield and Northampton will pose serious threats to their title ambitions, especially after they narrowly missed out via the play-offs last season.

If either side can shake off that disappointment, then they will have every chance of securing a play-off spot at the very least.

Hartley has his work cut out

While Barrow are considered the favourites to be relegated from League Two, Hartlepool could be the value pick to go down.

Pools finished the 2021-22 campaign in poor form and new boss Paul Hartley has yet to prove himself in the Football League.

Hartlepool conceded the sixth-most goals last season in League Two and if Hartley struggles to hit the ground running, his side could soon find themselves scrapping for survival.

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