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League One: Date, schedule, history & more

League One is the third tier of the professional English football pyramid.

Formerly the Second Division, the division has been known as League One since the beginning of the 2004/05 season, when the Football League, the three divisions below the Premier League, were rebranded.

Each season 24 clubs battle it out in a bid to be crowned champions with the top two teams earning automatic promotion to the Championship.

The four teams who finish the season between third and sixth then go into the play-offs for the final promotion spot with the winner joining the clubs who finished first and second in England's second tier, the Championship, the following season.

The sides who finish in the bottom four places at the end of the campaign are relegated to League Two.

What2023/24 League One
WhereVarious grounds across England
WhenAugust 2023 - May 2024
How to watchSky Sports & iFollow
OddsPortsmouth 13/8, Oxford Utd 11/4, Bolton 6/1, Peterborough 8/1, Derby 12/1, Barnsley 14/1, Blackpool 25/1, Charlton 33/1

League One dates

The 2023-24 League One season began on Saturday 5th August.

The season-ending League One play-offs will again finish off at Wembley Stadium and the final is scheduled for Saturday 18th May, 2024.

League One format

League One is the second division of the English Football League, known as the EFL, and the third tier overall in the English league system, beneath the Premier League and Championship but above League Two.

The 24 teams in the division play each other twice, once at home and once away, with three points awarded for a win, one for a draw and zero for a defeat.

At the end of a gruelling 46-match campaign, the final standings determine who is promoted to the Championship and which clubs are relegated to League Two.

The top two sides are automatically promoted to the Championship and are joined by the winners of the play-offs, which are contested by the sides who finish third, fourth, fifth and sixth after 46 games.

The bottom four sides are relegated to League Two.

League One history

The third tier of English football has had a number of names down the years and between 1958 and 1992 it was known simply as Division Three.

The introduction of the Premier League in 1992 meant it then became Division Two until another rebrand in 2004. And for the past 19 years the division has been known as League One.

MK Dons have been a regular in the division under its current guise, playing 15 seasons as a League One club, although they were relegated to League Two for the 2023-24 campaign.

Current League One champions Plymouth Argyle are the most decorated club in the history of the third tier, claiming their fifth title at the level last season. 

Argyle's title win last season was their first since the 2003-04 season, the final campaign in which the third tier was known as the Second Division.

Following last season’s relegation from the Championship, Wigan have a chance to move level with Plymouth as the winning-most club in the history of the third tier this season, although they will have to overcome an eight-point deduction.

League One How to Watch

Sky Sports provides coverage of a number of League One fixtures across the season and the broadcaster has recently agreed a new package to show EFL fixtures through to the end of the 2028/29 campaign.

From 2024/25, Sky will broadcast a minimum of 248 League One matches and every play-off game per season.

The EFL's iFollow platform also provides a selection of League One matches that can be streamed in the UK. 

No less than 40 EFL clubs for the 2023/24 season will use the iFollow platform to give access to games, while the remaining 32 clubs will use their own platforms.

League One odds

At the time of writing Portsmouth boast the only remaining unbeaten record in League One and are 13/8 to win the third-tier title this season.

Pompey have a three-point advantage over Oxford United at the top of the table, but they have played one game more than the U's, who are 11/4 to end up top at the end of the season.

That pair have a five-point buffer to the chasing pack, which is headed by 14/1 Barnsley and Bolton, who are 6/1 to make up ground and win the title.

Pre-season favourites Derby are 11th after just over a quarter of the season and are a 12/1 chance to finish top of the pile.

At the other end of the table, Cheltenham are 1/6 to drop down into League Two, having won just one of their opening 13 fixtures and scored only two goals all season.

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