Doncaster have had a stormer this year, and settled their goal for promotion 5 games early. They haven’t quite wrapped the title up, but who are the other teams realistically going for automatic promotion?
Plymouth sit 2nd in League Two, 6 points from the leaders, with a 4 point cushion on 3rd, and 12 points from Luton in 4th. SkyBet aren’t even taking bets on them for a top 3 finish anymore, but is their promotion really set in stone? Or could they even go one better and challenge Doncaster for the title?
The Pilgrims still have a massive game against the 3rd placed Portsmouth, and then Newport, Colchester, Crewe and Grimsby to play.
We can only see Plymouth winning 2 of these games, namely against Newport, and then Crewe. We believe they will lose the big game against Portsmouth, but draw the other two. 8 points out of a total 15 to play for.
This keeps The Green Army comfortably in the top 3, but exactly where is still yet to be seen …
Pompey are 3rd in the bottom division, with an 8 point safety net from a play-off position. With 10 points in it, they probably have too steep a hill to climb with so few games remaining, but can they cement their top 3 finish, and maybe even take over Plymouth in the process?
Portsmouth’s remaining fixtures are as follows; Plymouth, Notts County, Cambridge, Mansfield, and lastly Cheltenham.
We have already talked about how we believe they will beat their automatic promotion rivals, home advantage most likely being the key, but what about the other games?
We honestly cannot see Portsmouth losing any of their last games. We think their only draw may come at Notts County away. And then we believe that they could beat the rest.
This wold be quite some finish to the season, picking up 13 points out of a total 15. Portsmouth will then be playing their football in League One next year, knocking Plymouth off their 2nd position in the process.
This obviously settles the automatic promotion, but, out of curiosity, let’s see how close we think the challengers could come …
Luton are currently 4th in the league on 66 points. Mathematically, they still have the chance to fall out of the play-offs with 8th place only being 6 points behind. Anything is possible.
The Hatter’s last games are Leyton Orient, Mansfield, Notts County, Stanley, and Morecambe.
We could see them beating Orient, Notts County, and Morecambe. With the Mansfield and Stanley fixtures being away from home, we can see them taking just 1 point from both of these fixtures.
10 points then from their remaining games is not bad at all, and it would leave them comfortably going into the play-offs.
The Boro sit 5th in League Two, only 1 point behind Luton. Again, anything is possible here, especially with three teams only 5 points behind outside the play-offs.
Stevenage still have Morecambe, Carlisle, Mansfield, Yeovil, and Accrington to play until the end of the season.
We expect that, like Luton, they could win three of these games; all their games at home. We believe they may struggle against Carlisle away and go back home with nothing. And we think that Yeovil may hold them to a draw at Huish Park.
So, again, 10 points from 15. Stevenage would be happy with that.
So, how does the league table look after our prediction? Take a look here:
Only one bit of movement in the top five. And 10 points to separate the automatics from the play-offs. To be fair, the top three have bossed it this year (so far).
How would your predictions differ? Let us know in the comments …