Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Football League Giuseppe Muro Assesses the Chances of London's Clubs in the New Campaign

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Football League Giuseppe Muro Assesses the Chances of London's Clubs in the New Campaign

Article excerpt

BARNET Martin Allen's side are back in the Football League after a two-year absence and the manager is optimistic they can do well in League Two. Barnet have retained top scorer John Akinde, who struck 32 times last season, and added experience in the form of Kevin Lisbie, Shaun Batt and Michael Nelson. They should stay out of trouble. Tomorrow: v Leyton Orient (away) LEYTON ORIENT The Brisbane Road club dropped back into League Two and new boss Ian Hendon hopes to bring some stability after last season's shambles. Italian owner Francesco Becchetti will demand instant success but he may have to be patient. Captain Nathan Clarke has left and former Millwall defender Alan Dunne has joined.

Tomorrow: v Barnet (home) DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE Avoiding relegation will be the first priority. They beat Crystal Palace in pre-season but have one of the smaller budgets in League Two. Experienced defender Nyron Nosworthy is a useful addition, while forward Matt McClure and defender Josh Passley have also joined. Veteran striker Jamie Cureton, now 39, guarantees goals. Tomorrow: v Portsmouth (away) WIMBLEDON The Dons have made steady progress under Neal Ardley and they might challenge for the play-offs in League Two. Adebayo Akinfenwa has asked fans to choose his goal celebration via an online vote and his firepower has given supporters optimism. The signing of former Millwall defender Paul Robinson has only added to that feeling. Tomorrow: v Plymouth (home) QPR The relegated teams are often tipped to challenge for an immediate return to the Premier League but it is hard to know what to expect from QPR. Chris Ramsey may have a tough first full season as a manager and the likely departure of Charlie Austin will not help his cause. Owner Tony Fernandes has spoken about the need to "rebuild" this summer and they have overhauled the squad that finished bottom last season. Rio Ferdinand, Joey Barton, Richard Dunne, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Alex McCarthy and Bobby Zamora have all left, with Massimo Luongo, Ben Gladwin, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Jamie Mackie, Sebastian Polter, Tjaronn Chery, James Perch and Paul Konchesky coming in.

The threat of a PS58million fine for failing to comply with the Football League's Financial Fair Play regulations adds to the uncertainty. Getting into the play-offs would represent a good season. Tomorrow: v Charlton (away) BRENTFORD The Bees took the surprising decision to replace Mark Warburton despite him leading them to the play-offs, so it will be interesting see how they fare under unheralded Dutchman Marinus Dijkhuizen. Fans can expect more emphasis on the statistics model favoured by owner Matthew Benham because it has worked well at his other club, Danish champions FC Midtjylland. Brentford have been busy in the market and the majority of their eight summer signings have come from abroad. …

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