The Evo-Stik Premier League has long been one of the toughest divisions to predict. Financial instability, a lack of squad cohesion, and inconsistent pitches means that consistency is hard to come by for most teams at this level.

Whilst a little unspectacular in the process, Matlock Town have arguably displayed the most consistency out of any Evo-Stik side in the last few years. Since reaching the play off’s in the 2006/07 season, Matlock have finished between 7th and 17th place in the following eight years, establishing themselves as a solid force at this level.

Things may be changing for the better at the Autoworld Arena this season however, with manager Mark Hume bringing in former Derby County goalkeeper, Lewis King, in an attempt to shore up a defence that has leaked 193 league goals in just three seasons.

With a strong experienced squad, and more signings promised, an exciting campaign looks on the horizon for the Gladiators. Leading odds site shows some bookmakers offering a price of 40/1 to win the league looks exceptional value, especially when considering they will not have to deal with the considerable force of FC United of Manchester, who dominated the division with 92 points last season. There are of course other strong contenders. The bookies favourites, Salford, are attracting a lot of attention at 5/2, whilst Darlington’s drop from the higher levels of English football means they carry a number of players with League One and League Two experience. At 7/1 they represent a great each way flutter.

However, regular followers of this league will know that pre-season favourites and big-spenders often fail to achieve what is expected of them. For those looking for value at longer odds, it is undoubtedly Matlock Town at 40/1 who offer the best Evo-Stik Premier League bet of the season.

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