Squeeky bum time for a number of the sides in the Football League this weekend. Time's running out for one of our picks, whilst at the same time Jaap Stam is making violent threats. Can 'Arry wheel Birmingham away from safety in the Championship, can Bolton secure a place in the Championship next season and who the heck will end up in the play-offs in League 2, with almost half the division all standing a chance of getting into the top seven.
Needing victory to boost confidence heading into the play-offs following their 0-4 home defeat to Fulham last weekend, Huddersfield will go to Birmingham with hope of gaining a morale boosting win and with it, pushing the Blues further into relegation trouble for Harry Redknapp’s first home game in charge of the club. Opposite number Redknapp and Brum are just a place and two points above the relegation zone. A defeat and a Blackburn victory would see them drop in with one game to go – Bristol City away, next week. A defeat will leave Harry and his troops facing a nervous battle down in the West Country in a week’s time. T’riffic.
Anything less than a win and Wigan are definitely down. Full stop. A trip to Reading does sound daunting and a point or more will definitely secure a play-off finish for the Royals. In fact, you can imagine Jaap Stam, with that Dutch/Manc twang telling his side to “stick the knife in them, boys”. Never a nice thought, that. Onto Wigan, and a positive for their supporters is that they’ll be one game closer to the season ending. We wonder whether Nick Powell will get a start after bewilderingly being left on the bench after scoring a hat-trick to beat Barnsley the other week...
As mental as it sounds, with just two games to go, a whopping seven sides OUTSIDE the play-offs could well sneak into them. In fact, Exeter (5th), Blackpool (6th) and Stevenage (7th)’s places in the top seven aren’t yet confirmed. It’s bloody exciting down in the depths of League 2. A couple of months ago things weren’t looking too great for Notts County, but Kevin Nolan has steadied the ship since his appointment as manager. So whilst Notts are clear of danger and aren’t one of the number who can scramble into the play-offs, Blackpool are in there and will look to get a firmer grip in them with a win. If they do, what a great job Gary Bowyer’s done at Bloomfield Road.
If there was a time Stevenage didn’t want to have a wobble then this is it. They’re winless in their last four – with three wins in that run – and are in danger of slipping out of the play-off spots with only two games left to play in League 2. This weekend they face a Yeovil side who have been pretty crap in all honesty all season. They pulled off an impressive victory at home last time out by smashing Crewe Alexandra at Huish Park, but whilst Stevenage will be a trickier test – at least you’d think so, anyway – the visitors haven’t beaten Yeovil in their last five meetings with the Somerset-based side.
Peterborough have had a very, well, Peterborough sort of season. It’s been erratic, entertaining for the neutral, but pretty irritating if you’re a fan of the Posh, whose youthful exuberance has been refreshing to see since the days of George Boyd, Aaron McLean and Lee Tomlin. However, this year, having a youthful side hasn’t helped their cause and it’s been another frustrating campaign for owner Darragh MacAnthony and manager Grant McCann in his first season in charge of the Posh, who have no chance of finishing in the play-offs this term. In their five trips to Bolton, the Posh have never won there and will need to really put on a show to defeat a Trotters side who can definitely assure themselves of a place in the Championship next season with a win in front of their own fans. Do it and there will be one hell of a party in Bolton, even on a Sunday night!
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