The 2019/20 campaign will see Newport County AFC face six different teams after four were relegated from League One and two were promoted from the National League.
Some of those teams will be familiar foes for Exiles fans – County have played five of the teams in past history – whilst others might not be as well-known.
Following yesterday’s fixture announcement for the upcoming campaign, find out more about the six new teams that Newport County AFC will encounter in the coming months.
Home Fixture: Saturday 2nd November 2019
Away Fixture (The Peninsula Stadium): Saturday 28th March 2020
The side who will host Stevenage in League Two’s opening match in August – a game live on Sky Sports – Salford City are gearing up for their first season as a Football League outfit.
A relatively new club having only been founded in 1940, the Ammies head into League Two on the back of four promotions in just five seasons, two of which were secured as champions.
The club’s upturn in form lately does coincide with significant investment from members of Manchester United’s iconic ‘Class of 92’ who bought shareholdings in the club back in 2014.
Such is the confidence surrounding the club at the moment, they are heavily favoured to win League Two outright at the first time of asking, with SKY Bet quoting 7/1 for Salford to be champions. Promotion can be found at 15/8 while the Ammies are not backed for relegation which is found at 33/1.
In order to match their title ambitions, Salford City and their manager Graham Alexander have moved quickly to bring in recruits with Football League experience, signing Oscar Threlkeld and Richie Towell in the past 10 days.
Former Exile Matt Green heads the list of departures from the Greater Manchester outfit, while players such as Amine Linganzi and Jack Redshaw have also moved onto pastures new.
Home Fixture: Sunday 29th December 2019
Away Fixture (Breyer Group Stadium): Saturday 25th January 2020
Last season’s National League champions, Leyton Orient and County will come together in unison twice in the upcoming months to celebrate the life and career of Justin Edinburgh, who sadly passed away earlier this month.
A managerial legend at both clubs, Justin took Orient on a similar trajectory to his time at County having taken charge with them dangling above the drop zone, re-grouping the side, taking them to an FA Trophy final then the ultimate goal of promotion back into the Football League.
Ross Embleton – a close friend of Justin’s – has since taken over on an interim basis and will be looking to mastermind a successful campaign which starts with Orient being the least fancied of the six newcomers to League Two.
They find themselves in the middle cluster of teams searching for the title, with SKY Bet offering odds as far back as 18/1. To get promoted comes in at 7/2, while relegation isn’t favoured either at 16/1.
Transfers have obviously been difficult to complete at such at a sad time for the football club, but they have managed to agree terms with former Exile Conor Wilkinson and Josh Wright.
Striker Macauley Bonne – who scored 49 goals in the past two seasons – has joined Championship outfit Charlton Athletic for an undisclosed fee, while players including Jay Simpson and Alex Lawless have been released.
Home Fixture: Saturday 22nd February 2020
Away Fixture (Northern Commercials Stadium): Saturday 7th December 2019
Fixtures Michael Flynn would have been keeping a close eye on yesterday, County’s manager will be making a return to a former club from his playing days in the build up to Christmas.
The Bantams find themselves in League Two for the first time since 2012/13 after being relegated from the third-tier last season having finished rooted to the foot of the table.
As is often the case, relegated sides are normally favoured for an immediate return and Bradford City find themselves second favourites for the title at 15/2 with SKY Bet. Promotion can be found at 15/8 while they’re least favourite to go down at 33/1.
Manager Gary Bowyer has moved quickly in the summer transfer window assembling a revamped squad and he’s brought in no less than eight players.
Most come with extensive Football League experience as Clayton Donaldson, Ben Richards-Everton and Zeli Ismail have all made the move to Yorkshire ready for the 2019/20 season.
Several incomings mean a similar amount of departures as Paul Caddis and Nathaniel Knight-Percival head the players to have left for a new challenge.
Home Fixture: 17th August 2019
Away Fixture (Home Park): 1st February 2020
A familiar opponent in both league and the various cup competitions, Plymouth Argyle’s two-year stay in the third tier came to an end with a heart-breaking relegation on the final day of the campaign.
A new division means a new identity for the Pilgrims who seized upon Bury FC’s financial insecurities to tempt manager Ryan Lowe back into League Two as the man to spearhead the 2019/20 campaign.
Lowe’s promotion experience with the Shakers last season sees many believe he will get out of the division again this campaign, as SKY Bet put Plymouth joint third favourite for the title at 9/1. Promotion comes at 9/4, while relegation is way back at 25/1.
Despite being linked with several of his former charges, Lowe has been unable to bring in any fresh recruits as of yet but has tied down some players to new contracts.
It’s in the departures that will be a concern as talisman Graham Carey has left the club to take up an opportunity in Bulgaria with CSKA Sofia. The 30-year old Irishman was twice named Argyle's Player of the Year and scored 49 goals in 197 appearances for the Pilgrims.
Home Fixture: 11th February 2020
Away Fixture: (The Bescot Stadium): 20th August 2019
Another of the League Two newcomers to appoint a new manager in the off season, Walsall will be competing in the fourth tier for the first time since way back in 2006/07.
The team who County knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup back in 2017/18 – their first higher division scalp for 16 years at the time – the Saddlers will be hoping for a successful season this time around.
They are the least favoured of the four relegated sides to secure an immediate return to League One, with SKY Bet going as far back as 16/1 for the title. Promotion is 7/2, while relegation is found at 14/1.
The man charged with defying the odds is former Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke, who has already swooped his former employers for two new players – namely James Clarke and Stuart Sinclair.
Clarke has allowed several players to leave the club as he looks to implement his own blueprint, with Joe Edwards, Luke Leahy and Isaiah Osbourne part of the group to depart.
Home Fixture: 19th October 2019
Away Fixture (Glanford Park): 11th January 2020
Completing a hat-trick of relegated sides to appoint a new manager for the new campaign, Scunthorpe United will be another hoping that a new perspective will bring improved results in the 2019/20 campaign.
Highly experienced manager Paul Hurst has come into Glanford Park looking to fulfil the bookies predictions which sees the Iron joint third favourite for the title with SKY Bet having it as 9/1. Promotion is 9/4 while relegation is 28/1.
Despite relegation on the final day, it appears Hurst wants to keep the nucleus of the squad together in search of an immediate return to the third tier.
Only former Doncaster Rovers defender Andy Butler has come in so far, while only three have departed at time of writing – Josh Morris, Byron Webster and Jonathan Flatt.
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