Fixture difficulty matrix: League 2, 2018/19

As usual, I’ve taken the newly-released EFL fixtures and combined them with an aggregation of leading bookmakers’ odds (from OddsChecker) to visualise where each club’s tough and easy matches appear to be next season. Each row in the matrix below lists a club’s league matches in chronological order, colour-coded based on how difficult they appear to be and the clubs themselves are sorted and numbered by where the odds imply they’ll finish in the table.

I’ve coloured the six strongest-looking clubs (based purely on the odds) in red and the six weakest-looking in blue, but you can use the numbers down the side to identify which fixtures are which.

Tranmere are expected to do well on their return to the EFL, but may need to wait a while before they get going. They face five of the six toughest clubs – at least according to the bookies – before five back-to-back meetings in October with likely relegation battlers.

Oldham and Stevenage should start well, with each facing five opponents expected to struggle in their early fixtures. Boro however have a horrible run starting in late November when they encounter five promotion contenders in a row.

If MK Dons and Lincoln battle for the title as expected then both could make upward surges in the Spring, with nice runs of ‘blue’ fixtures in February and March before a trickier run-in.