The race for the play-offs: Fixture run-ins and predictions

Paul Dickov
Paul Dickov
0
Have your say

It is anyone’s guess as to who will reach the play-offs in League One this season.

With Bristol City on course for the title, automatic promotion chasing Preston, Swindon Town and MK Dons have all but mathematically secured a minimum of a top six finish.

But with two more spots still up for grabs - and Doncaster Rovers consigned to the sofa this Saturday after their game at MK Dons was postponed due to international call-ups - it’s time to run the rule over what promises to be a fascinating climax to the season.

Such is the crazy nature of the division, even Gillingham, Port Vale and Walsall (in 14th-16th) cannot be completely ruled out of the picture.

But below are the run-ins for the teams currently placed 5th to 13th, along with a projected points total based on predictions for all of the relevant end of season games.

Before a ball was kicked this season I predicted a sixth place finish for Doncaster.

However, my results matrix for the remainder of the campaign places them agonisingly short of the play-off zone.

Given the totally unpredictable nature of League One, these predictions come with a clear warning - take them with a big pinch of salt!

Nevertheless it looks like Rovers will have to win at least five of their remaining eight games to land a top six finish. A total of 70 points could yet be enough to squeeze into sixth.

Sheffield United’s play-off spot is there’s to lose, while Peterborough’s run-in is the most favourable on paper and their next three games look very winnable. Chesterfield could be dark horses.

SHEFFIELD UNITED

P38 Pts61

Mar 28 Crewe H, Apr 4 Barnsley A, Apr 7 Doncaster H, Apr 11 Oldham A, Apr 14 Yeovil A, Apr 18 Bradford H, Apr 25 Leyton Orient A, May 3 Chesterfield H.

Projected points total: 74

PETERBOROUGH UNITED

P38 Pts56

Mar 28 Coventry H, Apr 3 Scunthorpe A, Apr 6 Walsall H, Apr 11 Swindon A, Apr 14 Crewe H, Apr 18 Barnsley A, Apr 25 Crawley H, May 3 Oldham A.

Projected points total: 69

BARNSLEY

P38 Pts55

Mar 28 Bristol City A, Apr 4 Sheffield United H, Apr 6 Colchester A, Apr 11 Chesterfield H, Apr 14 Notts County A, Apr 18 Peterborough H, Apr 25 Bradford A, May 3 Rochdale H.

Projected points total: 67

ROCHDALE

P37 Pts53

Mar 28 Yeovil H, Apr 3 Preston A, Apr 6 Port Vale H, Apr 11 Doncaster A, Apr 14 Swindon H, Apr 18 Gillingham A, Apr 21 Leyton Orient H, Apr 25 MK Dons H, May 3 Barnsley A.

Projected points total: 62

DONCASTER ROVERS

P38 Pts53

Apr 3 Bradford H, Apr 7 Sheffield United A, Apr 11 Rochdale H, Apr 14 Leyton Orient A, Apr 18 Fleetwood H, Apr 21 MK Dons A, Apr 25 Notts County A, May 3 Scunthorpe H.

Projected points total: 68

FLEETWOOD

P38 Pts52

Mar 29 Preston H, Apr 3 Gillingham A, Apr 6 Yeovil H, Apr 11 Walsall A, Apr 14 MK Dons H, Apr 18 Doncaster A, Apr 25 Colchester H, May 3 Port Vale A.

Projected points total: 62

OLDHAM

P38 Pts52

Mar 28 Bradford A, Apr 3 Bristol City H, Apr 6 Crawley A, Apr 11 Sheffield United H, Apr 14 Coventry A, Apr 18 Chesterfield H, Apr 25 Walsall A, May 3 Peterborough H.

Projected points total: 59

CHESTERFIELD

P37 Pts51

Mar 28 Walsall H, Mar 31 Bradford A, Apr 3 Yeovil A, Apr 6 Crewe H, Apr 11 Barnsley A, Apr 14 Colchester H, Apr 18 Oldham A, Apr 25 Bristol City H, May 3 Sheffield United A.

Projected points total: 65

BRADFORD

P36 Pts51

Mar 28 Oldham H, Mar 31 Chesterfield H, Apr 3 Doncaster A, Apr 6 Preston H, Apr 11 Gillingham A, Apr 14 Bristol City H, Apr 18 Sheffield United A, Apr 21 Scunthorpe A, Apr 25 Barnsley H, May 3 Crewe A.

Projected points total: 66