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League Two: Dates, teams, history & betting odds

League Two is the fourth and bottom tier of the professional English football pyramid where the teams at the top battle it out to try and progress up to League One, while others attempt to avoid dropping down into the non-league set-up.

The old Fourth Division has been known as League Two since the 2004-05 EFL season, when the Football League, the three divisions beneath the Premier League, were rebranded. 

Each season, 24 clubs take part with those finishing in the top three places securing automatic promotion up to League One, while the bottom two are relegated to the first rung on the non-league pyramid - the National League. 

The four teams that finish the season between fourth and seventh place then go into the play-offs for the final promotion spot, with the successful two to emerge from the two-legged semi-finals facing off at Wembley with the chance to go up.

What2023/24 League Two
WhereVarious grounds across England
WhenAugust 2023 - May 2024
How to watchSky Sports
OddsWrexham 7/2, Stockport 6/1, Notts County 10/1, MK Dons 14/1, Salford 14/1, Bradford 14/1, Gillingham 14/1

What is League Two?

League Two is the bottom division of the English Football League, known as the EFL, and the fourth tier overall in the English league system, beneath the Premier League, Championship and League One. 

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

At the end of the campaign, with each team having played a gruelling 46 matches, the final standings determine who goes up to League One (top three automatically promoted), while the bottom two are consigned to the National League. Four other teams (fourth to seventh place) get the chance to secure promotion via the end-of-season play-offs. 

Despite it being the bottom tier of professional football in England, there are still plenty of famous and well-supported clubs in the league, including Bradford City, one of two former Premier League clubs in the league along with Swindon, Notts County - who are now back at this level following promotion - and the likes of Stockport County and Crewe. 

For the upcoming 2023-24 season, Wrexham have also joined the division after winning the National League last term.

When does the 2023-24 League Two season begin?

The 2023-24 League One season is set to start on Saturday 5th August 2023. 

The season-ending play-offs will finish at Wembley Stadium and the final is scheduled for Sunday 19th May 2024. 

The fixtures for the new campaign are set to be released for all 24 League Two clubs on Thursday 22nd June at 9am.

When did League Two start?

League Two came into being in its current guise in 2004 following an EFL rebrand but the fourth tier has long been English football's lowest professional-level division and was known simply as Division Four between 1958 and 1992. 

Then, when the Premier League was introduced, it was upgraded to Division Two before getting its League Two title ahead of the 2004-05 season.

Which teams have won League Two the most?

Underlining the very competitive nature of the division, there have been 17 different champions of League Two, with only Swindon and Chesterfield crowned winners on two occasions. Swindon in 2012 and 2020 and the Spireites in 2011 and 2014. 

A total of 18 teams have been both promoted and relegated from League Two with Northampton Town and Bristol Rovers each being promoted four times from the division. 

Since 2004, 68 teams have spent at least one season in League Two, including three of the 20 teams set to line up in the 2023-24 Premier League - Luton Town, Bournemouth and Brentford. 

Mansfield Town have spent the longest time in League Two; 15 seasons in total, and Welsh outfit Newport County share the current longest tenure in the fourth tier, having been in it for 11 consecutive seasons.

Who are the favourites to win the 2023-24 League Two?

Despite only just returning to this level after their much-heralded promotion from the National League, another Welsh club, Wrexham, are the early favourites to win League Two outright at 7/2

They have been given a new lease of life in the past few years after being bought by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhinney, and the club has had its own documentary series on Netflix, which has followed the team's ups and downs and given them huge exposure as well as a much-wider fanbase. 

That, in turn, has created more funds which has led to success on the pitch. 

Next on the list are Stockport at 6/1, ahead of Notts County at 10/1, while MK Dons, Salford, Bradford, Gillingham and Mansfield are all rated 14/1 chances to finish top of the pile. 

In the To Be Promoted market, Wrexham are 5/6, Stockport are 6/4, Notts County are available at 2/1, ahead of 11/4 pair Bradford and Gillingham.

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