There will be seven new teams to League One ready to begin the 2017/18 season in the third tier once that first whistle is blown in August. We are profiling each of those seven teams, who will all be coming up against the Bantams this coming campaign.
Today (Tuesday), it’s the turn of Plymouth Argyle.
Similar to Portsmouth, Plymouth’s decline resulted in a relegation into the basement division; a league probably a little smaller than the stature of the club itself. In 2011, the club were relegated to League Two after finishing twenty-third in League One, just twelve months after their relegation from the Championship and their start to life in League Two could’ve quite easily resulted in more immediate misery.
In 2011/12 and 2012/13, Argyle finished twenty-first in League Two before kicking on and finishing in the top half of the table the following season. In 2014/15, they lost in the play-off semi-final to Wycombe Wanderers and the following season they lost in the play-off final at Wembley against AFC Wimbledon. Their time eventually came, and after six seasons in the basement division, they finished second in the league table and achieved promotion back to League One.
In Derek Adams, Argyle have one of the best young managers in the EFL, and since his arrival at Home Park following a stint at Ross County, he has helped the club to progression and in the end, promotion.
Attracting attendances of over 6,000 last season, the Devon club will be seen as one of the bigger clubs in League One this season and many fancy them to challenge for back to back promotions, much like their alphabetical counterparts, Portsmouth.
The English Football League’s betting partner, Sky Bet reckon Argyle won’t be challenging at the top of the table but they also reckon they won’t be fighting at the bottom of the table either. Derek Adams’ side can be backed at 9/1 for promotion and 28/1 to win the league title outright. For immediate relegation back to League Two, the odds stand at 7/2.
Plymouth have already been active in the transfer market and Ruben Lameiras has been astute recruitment after his departure from relegated Coventry City and he could well become a key player for the Argyle next season giving his attacking abilities and his knowledge of playing in the division.
Graham Carey has been a key cog for the club in an attacking midfield role and the club will be looking to retain his services amid reported interest from potential suiters further up the footballing ladder.
Officially the furthest south and the furthest west in the English Football League, Plymouth Argyle’s Home Park, represents a mammoth trip for any City fans looking for an away trip.
A round trip of well in excess of 650 miles and 10 hours, there may well need to be some days booked off for this one and the Bantams will be making their first trip there since a goalless draw in March 2013. Argyle’s last trip to Valley Parade was back in November 2012; loanee defender John Egan suffered a horrific leg fracture whilst Gary Jones scored the winner in a 1-0 victory for Phil Parkinson’s side.