Colchester United are long odds for promotion

DESPITE finishing in the top 10 for the last three seasons, Colchester United are not considered to be amongst the favourites for promotion from League One this season.

The main national bookmakers are all in agreement, expecting the U’s to struggle in the lower half of the table.

John Ward’s men are quoted at 33-1 for the League One title by some bookmakers, and a distant 14-1 with William Hill to clinch promotion. The odds are less favourable at 8-1 against promotion by the likes of Totesport and Betfred.

Sheffield United are the title favourites, with MK Dons and Swindon also expected to be challenging for automatic promotion.

At the other end of the table, the U’s are quoted at 4-1 by William Hill to suffer relegation to League Two. They are 9-2 with Coral.

Walsall, Yeovil, Oldham, Bury and Leyton Orient are considered to be the likely relegation candidates.

The U’s finished 10th in League One last term, but have since seen the big quartet of keeper Ben Williams, defender Magnus Okuonghae and strikers Kayode Odejayi and Steven Gillespie all leave the Essex club.

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Midfielder Marcus Bean and front-runner Freddie Sears have arrived, and Ward is still on the look-out for new recruits, including a centre-half and a striker.

The U’s begin their pre-season programme with a friendly at Heybridge Swifts tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

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