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Fixture News

Sky Bet League Two 2020/21 Team Preview

22 August 2020

For the 2020/21 EFL Sky Bet League Two season, five sides join the division with three having dropped down from Sky Bet League One and two having been promoted from the Vanarama National League.

Dropping down from the league above are Bolton Wanderers, Tranmere Rovers and Southend United.  

Meanwhile, making the step up to the Football League is Barrow and Harrogate Town – which is the first time in Town’s history they have been in the top four tiers of English football. 

With only a few weeks to go until the league season gets underway on 12th September, here is all you need to know on Latics’ opposition for the upcoming campaign:  

Barrow 

During the 2019/20 season, the Bluebirds enjoyed a hugely successful campaign which saw them crowned champions of the National League. 

The upcoming term marks Barrow’s first return to the top four tiers since they dropped out of the Football League during the 1971-72 season.  

Depsite the meeting in the Lancashire FA County Cup last season, Oldham last played Barrow competitively during the 2001/02 season when a goal from David Eyres at Holker Street was enough to seal a 1-0 victory in the FA Cup. 

When the Bluebirds visit Boundary Park, there will be a familiar face in the away dugout after David Dunn replaced Ian Evatt last month following the latter’s appointment as manager of Bolton Wanderers after an impressive promotion with Barrow last season. 

This summer, the club has also sealed the arrival of another face Latics fans will recognise as midfielder Mike Jones arrived at Holker Street after a spell at Carlisle United in July where he became a free agent. 

One man to look out for next term is 27-year-old Scott Quigley who netted 20 goals in 35 National League appearances for the Bluebirds last season. 

Bolton Wanderers 

Following their 12-point deduction prior to the beginning of last season, the Trotters finished 23rd in League One. 

After the expiry of his contract in June, Keith Hill left his position as Manager at the University of Bolton Stadium and was replaced by former Barrow boss Evatt. 

One Bolton player who is sure to get a warm reception from Latics fans next season is Eoin Doyle, with the striker signing for Wanderers from Swindon Town earlier this summer. 

During his time at Boundary Park, the prolific forward bagged an impressive 16 goals and nine assists in 34 appearances for the Club. 

The last time Latics played the Whites, a solitary goal from Lee Erwin was enough to earn a 1-0 victory in 2017. 

Bradford City 

Last season, the Bantams finished just outside the play-offs on points per game as they finished ninth in League Two. 

Now in his third stint as manager of the club, Stuart McCall has been situated at Valley Parade since February earlier this year. 

Last season, James Vaughan was Bradford’s top goalscorer with 10 goals in 25 league appearances, however, the forward permanently departed for Tranmere Rovers this summer. 

Cambridge United 

During the 2019/20 League Two season, the U’s finished 16th in the table, three places above Latics. 

In January of this year, Colin Calderwood left the Abbey Stadium and, former Latics midfielder, Mark Bonner was named as their caretaker boss. 

Following four wins in seven matches, Bonner was then appointed as the permanent Head Coach in March. 

One Cambridge player to look out for next season is Wes Hoolahan, the 38-year-old former Premier League midfielder was signed by United in late July. 

Carlisle United 

Last season, the Cumbrians finished one place higher than Latics in the League Two table as they finished 18th on a points-per-game basis. 

Chris Beech has been the Head Coach at Brunton Park since November 2019 after leaving his position as Rochdale’s Assistant Manager earlier that year. 

The last time Oldham played Carlisle, the two sides played out a 1-1 draw at Boundary Park in January with Jonny Smith on the scoresheet for Latics and are now due to meet in the Carabao Cup before the league campaign starts. 

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Cheltenham Town 

It was heartbreak for the Robbins last season after they narrowly missed out on automatic promotion and finished fourth. 

Michael Duff’s side were then defeated 3-2 in the play-off semi-finals against Northampton Town – who went on to defeat Exeter City 4-0 in the final. 

One Cheltenham man who will be a familiar face for Latics fans next season is 32-year-old Reuben Reid. 

The English striker scored eight goals in 41 appearances during his year-and-a-half with the Club. 

Colchester United 

During the 2019/20 season, the U’s enjoyed a successful campaign as they finished in sixth position in League Two. 

Having lost out to Exeter in the play-off semi-finals 3-2 on aggregate, John McGreal left the club after four years as their manager. 

McGreal has been replaced as Head Coach by Steve Ball, who had been McGreal’s assistant for his full stint at the club. 

Interestingly, Colchester are yet to make a signing for their first-team squad so far this summer. 

Crawley Town 

On a points-per game-basis, Crawley secured a 13th-placed finishing position in League Two last season. 

The Red Devils’ current manager John Yems has been at the helm of the club since December of last year and oversaw six victories in 18 matches. 

Last season, Ollie Palmer finished as Crawley’s top scorer in the league having netted 12 goals in 28 league appearances. 

His goals made Palmer the joint-third top scorer in the division, however, the forward departed for AFC Wimbledon earlier this summer. 

The Reds do still have Bez Lubala on their books, though, who finished joint-sixth top scorer in the league with 12 goals. 

Exeter City 

Matt Taylor’s Exeter were the third and final side to suffer play-off heartbreak during the 2019/20 League Two season. 

Having reached the final after defeating Colchester United 3-2 on aggregate, the Gracians lost out at Wembley Stadium as they were defeated 4-0 by Northampton Town. 

Taylor is now heading into his third season at the helm of the South West club having been appointed as Manager in June 2018. 

Exeter have had a quiet summer so far on the transfer front as Jack Caprice and Rory McArdle have been their only arrivals. 

One man to look out for next season will be Ryan Bowman, as the 28-year-old striker finished joint-third top scorer with 13 league goals last term. 

Forest Green Rovers 

This season, Mark Cooper is heading into what will be his fifth full season as Head Coach of the Green. 

During the 2019/20 season, Rovers had a solid campaign and secured a tenth-placed finish in the League Two table. 

The Gloucestershire club has already been busy at work in the transfer window and have signed nine players. 

Incoming players Elliott Whitehouse from Grimsby Town and Kane Wilson from West Bromwich Albion are two of their signings to look out for next term. 

Latics have only played Forest Green Rovers four times in the Club’s history and the last meeting was a 1-1 draw at Boundary Park in February. 

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Grimsby Town 

In League Two last season, the Mariners finished 15th in the table. 

So far this summer, Ian Holloway has brought five new players to Blundell Park, four of which are attackers. 

One key departure for Grimsby this summer will have been Charles Vernam, who moved to League One side Burton Albion. 

The 23-year-old attacking midfielder netted seven goals in 27 league appearances for the Mariners last season. 

Harrogate Town 

The 2020/21 season will be the first-ever term which the Sulphurites have spent in the top four tiers of English football. 

Last season, Town secured promotion to the Football League through the National League play-offs. 

Having finished second in the National League on a points-per-game basis, Harrogate defeated Boreham Wood in the play-off semi-finals to get to Wembley Stadium. 

They then defeated Notts County 3-1 in the final to seal their promotion to League Two. 

Former defender Simon Weaver has been at the helm of Town since May 2009 and the 42-year-old Manager has recruited five new players so far this summer. 

Four have joined on permanent transfers and Kian Harrat has signed on loan from Huddersfield Town. 

Latics and Harrogate have never faced one another in the clubs’ histories. 

Leyton Orient 

Last season, Orient finished two places above Oldham as they secured a 17th-placed finish in League Two. 

The 2020/21 term will mark Orient’s second season back in the Football League after their promotion from the National League in 2019. 

So far this summer, Ross Embleton has only made one signing as Ousseynou Cissé was signed from Gillingham. 

Mansfield Town 

Despite Nicky Maynard being League Two’s second-highest goalscorer last season with 14 goals and Danny Rose bagging 11, the Stags finished 21st

Graham Coughlan has been busy in the transfer market so far this summer as he has secured the arrival of nine players. 

When Latics and Mansfield last met, goals from Jonny Smith, Tom Hamer and Gevaro Nepomuceno secured a 3-1 victory at Boundary Park in January. 

Morecambe 

This year marks the Shrimps’ 100-year anniversary since they were founded in 1920. 

Having finished 22nd during the 2019/20 League Two season, Morecambe will likely be hoping for a higher finish this time around. 

Derek Adams has secured the arrival of nine players so far this summer; six of which are permanent signings and three are loans. 

One signing which will be familiar to Oldham fans is Ben Pringle, who has joined the club from Gillingham. 

Pringle made 15 appearances for Latics during his time with the Club in which he scored once and assisted twice. 

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Newport County 

During the 2019/20 League Two season, the Exiles finished in mid-table as they secured a 14th-placed finish. 

The 2020/21 term will be the Welsh club’s eighth season in the Football League since their return in 2013. 

So far this summer, Michael Flynn's most notable signing to Rodney Parade has been the striker Ryan Taylor from Plymouth.

Last time Latics played the Exiles, a brace from Danny Rowe and goals from Zak Dearnley, Tom Hamer and Jonny Smith secured a 5-0 victory in late February. 

Port Vale 

Last season, John Askey’s side narrowly missed out on a spot in the play-offs as they finished eighth in League Two. 

On points per game, the Valiants finished narrowly behind eventual play-off winners Northampton Town. 

So far this summer, three new recruits have been brought to Vale Park in the transfer window. 

One of the three players was former Latics defender Zak Mills, who joined Port Vale following the expiry of his contract with the Club. 

Salford City 

The 2020/21 season will be only the second term that the Lions have spent in the Football League in their history. 

Their highest-ever finish last season saw the Salford club secure 11th place in League Two. 

Graham Alexander has had a busy summer at Moor Lane so far, having secured seven incoming signings. 

Two of their incoming players will be instantly recognisable for Latics fans as former Oldham midfield duo Jason Lowe and Dan Gardner have signed on for the new campaign. 

On a short-term loan from Blackburn Rovers in 2011, Lowe scored two goals and assisted one in seven appearances for the Club. 

Gardner recently spent two years with Latics in which he scored three goals and assisted 12 in 74 appearances before training with the Ammies over a period. 

Scunthorpe United 

During the 2019/20 season, the Iron finished narrowly below Latics as they finished 20th in League Two. 

In January, Scunthorpe and then-Manager Paul Hurst parted company and he was replaced in August by Neil Cox. 

Interestingly, the final game of Cox’s playing career came against Latics for Crewe Alexandra in a 4-1 Oldham victory at the Alexandra Stadium at the end of the 2007/08 season. 

One Scunthorpe man to look out for next season is Dutch forward Kevin van Veen, he netted 10 goals in 27 league appearances last season. 

Southend United 

Last term, Southend endured a difficult season as they were relegated from League One after finishing 22nd

Following Sol Campbell’s departure from the club by mutual consent in June, the Shrimpers appointed former Weymouth boss Mark Molesley in August. 

Recently, the Essex club made a loan addition in the form of Jordan Green from Barnsley.

The last time Latics met Southend was in April 2018 when the Shrimpers defeated Oldham 3-0 at Boundary Park. 

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Stevenage 

The Boro were another club to endure a difficult campaign last term as they finished 23rd in League Two after the relegation of Macclesfield Town by points deduction. 

Alex Revell was appointed Manager at Broadhall Way in February earlier this year until the end of the season following Graham Westley’s resignation. 

The Hertfordshire club has, however, been busy in the transfer market as they have signed 10 new players in a new era under Revell. 

Eight have arrived on a permanent basis and two on loan. 

Tranmere Rovers 

Last season, Tranmere were the third and final club to be relegated from League One as they finished 21st on points-per-game.

Over the summer, Rovers have seen a managerial change as Micky Mellon left the club for Dundee United after four years at Prenton Park. 

The Scottish manager was replaced at the helm of the Birkenhead club by former Shrewsbury Town Manager and Mellon's assistant, Mike Jackson. 

Tranmere have sealed the arrival of four new players this summer, with one notable entrance being Jay Spearing from Blackpool. 

Another is James Vaughan from Bradford City, who bagged 10 league goals for the Bantams last season. 

The last time Oldham and Tranmere met, two goals from Callum Lang secured a 2-0 victory in April 2019. 

Walsall 

Finally, Walsall complete the set of League Two clubs next season after finishing 12th in the division last term. 

So far this summer, Darrell Clarke has sealed the arrived of just two incoming players at the Bescot Stadium. 

Both have arrived from Bristol City with George Nurse joining on loan and Rory Holden on a permanent basis. 

Oldham and Walsall last met in October of last year and goals from Scott Wilson and Desire Segbe Azankpo secured a 2-0 victory for Latics.

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