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League One Review: August

Join us as we assess the opening month of the League One campaign. Who has started with a bang, who is upsetting the apple cart and which striker is proving people wrong?

Lincoln City v Fleetwood Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Lincoln City and the form of Grant and Walker

Nobody has really been that surprised at Lincoln’s start to the season. After dominating League Two last year, winning the title by a clear six points, few expected them to struggle - with many tipping them as an outside bet for the Play Offs. Hopes have grown at Sincil Bank that they can go one better, however, following four wins in the opening six games.

The Imps have added lots of youth, mobility and creativity to the side in the summer, but it has been the outstanding early season form of loan signings Jorge Grant and Tyler Walker that has really got the rest of League One sitting up and taking notice.

There’s an almost telepathic understanding between the pair after playing together for both Nottingham Forest and Mansfield and, if their August form continues over a sustainable period, we may very well see another Luton Town on our hands.

Lincoln City v Fleetwood Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Rochdale Revamped!

Most of Rochdale’s plaudits over recent years have gone to their lethal marksman Ian Henderson, but under the tutelage of rookie manager Brian Barry-Murphy, Dale are much more than a one man team. Barry-Murphy’s side have been one of the most exciting teams in the third tier during the opening weeks of the season and are playing some really good football which is beginning to catch the eye of surprised onlookers.

Loan signing Rhys Norrington-Davies has excelled at left back, whereas Callum Camps has been enjoying a new lease of life under Barry-Murphy’s new system, already assisting and scoring more than he did the entirety of last term.

Rochdale look like they may be the team to upset the apple cart in 2019/20.

Rochdale v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Coventry City’s resolute defence

Mark Robins’ side are making an early bid for the automatic promotion places and their early season form has been underpinned by some terrific defensive displays.

As uncomfortable reading as it may be for us Sunderland fans, it doesn’t appear the Sky Blues are missing former defender Jordan Willis too much as the Midlands club sit on four clean sheets - more than any side in League One.

In fact, if you take out their 3-3 draw at Fratton Park - where they competed with only nine men - they have only conceded three goals in six games.

Their new goalkeeper Marko Marosi has also come in for some real praise from his manager after his impressive stint of shutouts, with Mark Robins claiming he was “world class” in the 1-0 victory over Gillingham a fortnight ago.

If Coventry, and their defence, keep up their fantastic form the Sky Blues should surpass their billing of promotion dark horses.

Coventry City v Gillingham - Sky Bet League One - Ricoh Arena Photo by Barrington Coombs/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

James Norwood proving any doubters wrong

League leaders Ipswich are unbeaten in six and appear are showing themselves to be a prolific attacking outfit, with fourteen goals already this season - the highest amount in the division.

At the base of those impressive statistics sits League One’s top goal-scorer and Ipswich Town’s key summer purchase James Norwood. Like a fish to water, the Tractor Boys striker is adapting to life in League One with consummate ease following his summer move from Mike Dean’s favourites Tranmere Rovers. Norwood appears to be the real deal that many doubted he would be after smashing home five goals and two assists already.

Ipswich Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images