Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth believes the competition in this League One season will be ‘very, very tough’ due to several ‘big clubs’ being in the third tier.

Derby County, Peterborough United, and Barnsley were relegated to the division from the Championship, whilst Bristol Rovers, Exeter City, Port Vale, and Forest Green Rovers were promoted out of League Two.

These teams, along with Ipswich Town, Oxford United, Milton Keynes, and Sheffield Wednesday, who are also some of the favourites in and around the play-offs, could make the 2022/23 League One campaign one of the most competitive in recent seasons.

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Speaking ahead of Wanderers’ opening day match against Burton Albion this weekend, Ainsworth, who is now in his 10th season with the club as manager, said: “With Rotherham and Sunderland going up, they are two big clubs that have played in the Championship before, but they have been replaced by other big clubs.

“Derby are a huge club and they have had so much investment it’s ridiculous and I think they are going to be right up there.

“Ipswich have spent phenomenally again, and Sheffield Wednesday are also another big club.

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“Some big clubs went up last season such as Rotherham and Wigan, but they are not as big as your Derby’s, Ipswich’s, and Sheffield Wednesday’s so this season is going to be very, very tough.

“Bristol Rovers as well and even the likes of Shrewsbury as they have spent well and have brought in some good players.

“It’s going to be very, very tough and we need to keep up with the pack.”

The opening day fixture against the Brewers will be the 18th time in 23 years that Wanderers will start a league season at Adams Park.

And with Wycombe only losing two of those home fixtures (against Rotherham United in 2020 and Accrington Stanley in 2007), Ainsworth is feeling confident going into the new campaign.

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He continued: “Either way, you’ve got to do 23 at home and 23 away but I think being at home for the first game is nice as sometimes, travelling for an away game can be a bit more difficult.

“But with that being said, we have had some good starts to a season away from home.

“I remember we beat Newport County away 2-0 with goals from Peter Murphy and Paris Cowan-Hall, and that was great.

“I’ll always remember that.

"That was a massive moment for me after the terrible season before.

“However, either way, I like being at home for the start of the season."