Barnsley vs Preston – 6th vs 2nd
Two of the most in form sides in the division go head to head at Oakwell as both look for promotion to the Championship. Barnsley dropped points for the first time in seven matches after a 0-0 at Leyton Orient on Tuesday. Before Tuesday’s goalless draw, the Tykes had picked up 6 straight wins and moved themselves into the play offs. The home side are only 1 point behind 5th placed Sheffield United but also only 1 point ahead of Peterborough. The next three games could define the end of the season as they face three of the top 5 in those games.
- 19 point from possible 21 – 6 wins and a draw
- Conceded 1 goal in 7 matches
- Record against top 5 – P7 – W1 D1 L5. 4 points from possible 21, only win came away at Sheffield United (1-0)
- 32 of their 54 points have come at Oakwell
- Only Bristol City (35) have picked up more points since turn of year than Barnsley (28)
Preston arrive after picking up 16 points from last 18, the same as the Tykes and have a 2 point lead over 3rd place Swindon with a game in hand. Preston will find it tough to catch Bristol City who are 11 points ahead but with MK Dons and Swindon beginning to find their form, the Lily whites need to continue run of form till end of the season.
- Unbeaten in last 9 league games (8 wins and 1 draw) stretching back to January
- 25 points from last 30 available – winning last three on the road including 2-0 victory at MK Dons
- Best defense in the division, only conceding 31 goals in 36 matches – with just 3 in last 9 matches
- Kept 18 clean sheets – including 7 in their last 9
- Joe Garner scored 5 in last 3 games including 4 in 5-1 win over Crewe last Saturday
- Picked up 31 out of possible 33 points in games where they have scored first
- Record against top 6 – P7, W3, D2, L2 picked up 11 points out of 21
Prediction – Barnsley 0-1 Preston
Bradford vs Fleetwood – 11th vs 9th
2 of play off chasers face off in an important encounter at Valley Parade on Saturday. The Bantams famous F.A cup run came to end after a 3-0 defeat at Reading on Monda and will be oping to bounce back tomorrow. They only sit 4 points off the play offs, with a good run at the end of the season they could push for the last play off spot. Bradford face 3 home games in 8 days, they will need results in all three if they are to put pressure on the teams above them.
- 23 of 50 points have come at home
- 1 league win in 6 games with home victory over Crawley
- 6 points out of last 18
- Won all 13 of their games by 1 or 2 goal margin
- James Hanson top scorer with 11 goals but hasn’t netted in last 6
- Bradford unbeaten in last 3 meetings – including a 2-0 win at Fleetwood on boxing day
Fleetwood suffered their first defeat in 4 matches after a 2-0 home loss to Coventry on Tuesday but face two tough trips to Bradford and Preston in the next week. The Cod Army have a slim chance of reaching the play off as they only sit 3 points off Barnsley. The last 4 away games has seen victories at Sheffield United and Barnsley, with the Cod Army winning 7 away from Highbury.
- 10 points from last 18 available – W3, D1, L2
- Only scored 37 goals in 37 games – only 4 sides have netted fewer in the league
- 22 of 51 points come away from home
- Josh Morris top scorer with only 7 goals
- Won 11 out of their 14 league games by a 1 goal margin
Prediction – Bradford 1-1 Fleetwood
Coventry vs Doncaster – 18th vs 12th
Coventry pulled themselves away from the relegation zone with 2 consecutive away victories at Fleetwood and Chesterfield. Tony Mowbray was recently appointed and the Sky Blues look to have picked up form to beat the drop. Coventry’s 2 wins moved them 3 points above the relegation zone and has pulled a bunch of teams into the relegation mix.
- 1 home win in 10 – victory over MK Dons
- 23 of 43 points picked up at the Rioch
- Scored in 7 of their last 8 league matches
- Play 5 of the relegation threatened teams in their last 7
- Won 9 of their 10 league win when scored first
Doncaster have fallen off the pace in recent weeks with only 1 win in seven losing their last 2 at home to Swindon and Peterborough. Donny moved to the outskirts of the play offs but recent form has seen them drop to 12th. Donny have only lost 4 away games all season and will hoping for a late rush to the play offs in the coming weeks.
- 28 of their 50 points away from home – 1 win in last 4 away, drawing their last 2
- 5 points from last 18 available with just 1 win – all play off chasers have picked up more points
- Scored 4 goals in last 4 with Harry Forrester and Curtis Main scoring them
- Pair have been involved in 18 of their 45 league goals this season
- Donny won 2-0 on boxing day – their first win in 3 against Coventry
Prediction – Coventry 2-1 Doncaster
Crawley vs Leyton Orient – 21st vs 22nd
A relegation six pointer in no uncertain terms as Crawley and Orient face each other knowing a win for either side could move them out of the bottom 4. Crawley have climbed to just 2 points from safety after 2 consecutive 3-2 away wins at Port Vale and Colchester. Dean Saunders is confident is side can beat the drop but a negative result could dash recent momentum gained. Crawley have their own fate in their hands with several games against their nearest rivals and are best faced to beat the drop.
- Only Crewe (67) have conceded more goals than Crawley (64)
- 24 of 40 points picked up at home – W6, D6, L6
- Only picked up 8 points from last 6 home matches
- Conceded first in 22 of their 37 games
Orient have picked up 4 points from the last 6 available and come to Crawley off the back of a 0-0 draw with in form Barnsley. O’s boss Fabio Liverani was disappointed his side could not pick up all 3 points but face 2 of their nearest rivals in their next 3 games. Positive results in both could help Orient to beat the drop. The O’s lie 3 points from safety but recent form suggests that they could beat the drop.
- 23 of their 39 points picked up away from home – W6, D5, L6
- 4 clean sheets in last 6 – conceding just 4 in those games
- 10 points from last 18 available – 3 wins, 1 draw and 2 defeats
- 2 wins out of their last 3 away from home
- Picked up their first win against Crawley (4-1) on Boxing day,
- 1 win in 5 meetings – lost both trips to Crawley (1-0 and 2-1)
Prediction – Crawley 1-1 Orient
Crewe vs Oldham – 20th vs 16th
Back to back defeats for Crewe against the top 2 has sucked them right back into relegation danger. After’s Tuesday’s results, the Alex only sit 2 points above danger and their form will need to pick up quickly if they are to stay up. Teams at the bottom have been picking up points unlike the Alex who will hoping to build on their fine home form. Crewe do face 3 of their relegation rivals in their final 7 games so their fate is in their own hands.
- 1 win in 7 games – home victory over Scunthorpe
- Worst defense in the league – conceding 67 goals in 37 matches – including 12 in their last 4 matches
- 9th best home record in the league – 28 of 42 points picked up at Gresty Road
- Only lost 6 at home but have beaten Bristol City and drew with Preston and Swindon
- Won 3 of their last 4 at home – 10 points from last 12
- Only picked up 4 points from last 18 available in the league
Oldham are not safe themselves as they only lie 6 points above the relegation zone. Dean Holden has been named caretaker until the end of the season and will hoping for stability after Lee Johnson’s departure. The Latics’s have lost 4 of the 5 games Holden has been in charge for but will need to pick up with teams below them winning.
- Lost 6 out of their last 7 games – scoring just 4 and conceding 16
- No team has picked up less points than Oldham in last 6 – 3 out of possible 18
- 21 of their 46 points picked up away from home
- 2 wins and 2 losses in last 4 away matches
- Jonathon Forte needs to find early season form – netted 14 league goals but without a goal in 9 and only 1 goal in 14 matches
- Oldham lost 2-1 at home on Boxing day to Crewe and have not won in 4 meetings with Crewe – drawing 2 and losing 2
Prediction – Crewe 1-0 Oldham
Gillingham vs Colchester – 4th vs 23rd
The Gills will be looking for their first win in three matches when they face the U’s tomorrow. They lost 3-0 away at Chesterfield in midweek and are perched in mid table – 7 points from playoffs and 7 points from relegation. The Gills have picked up form since Justin Edinburgh was appointed and a good run till end of season could keep them in good stead for the following campaign.
- 1 win in 6 matches – 3-0 win away at Swindon – 6 out of possible 18 points
- 1 win in last 3 home matches
- Only netted once in last 5 league matches
- 29 of their 47 league points collected at Priestfield
- 11 points from possible 15 against bottom 4 sides – 3 wins and 2 draws
- Cody McDonald been involved in 17 of Gills 50 league goals – scored 14 (2 in his last 6), assisted 3
- Gillingham have won last 2 meetings but Colchester did the double over the Gills last season
Colchester picked up their first win in 4 with a 2-0 home victory over Yeovil in midweek after they lost a vital relegation clash against Crawley last Saturday. The U’s are 5 points from safety at the bottom of league 1 and will need something short of a miracle to survive relegation. In their run in to the end of the season, the U’s face a mixture of teams from top, middle and bottom of the division with nearly every side having something to play for.
- 20 of their 37 points come away from home – W5, D5, L8
- Only Yeovil and Notts County picked up less points in last 10 games than Colchester (9 from last 30 available)
- 1 win in last 4 away matches – losing the other 3
- Only Crawley (64) and Crewe (67) have conceded more goals than the U’s (61)
Prediction – Gillingham 2-0 Colchester
MK Dons vs Notts County – 4th vs 19th
The Dons picked up only their 2nd win in 6 games in midweek with victory at Oldham. Karl Robinson’s men have faded away from Swindon and Preston who are vying for the second automatic promotion, the Dons sit 4 points behind Swindon and 6 behind Preston. In their run to the end of the season, the Dons only face Swindon in the top 8 with every other team below them. Sheffield United sit 11 points behind them so the Dons have practically wrapped up fourth spot.
- 3rd best home record in the division – 36 out of their 66 points picked up at home
- Only lost 4 games at home but lost their last 2 to Preston and Chesterfield
- Only Bristol City (73) have scored more than the Dons (72)
- Only picked up 11 out of last 30 points while promotion rivals Preston (25), Bristol City (22) and Swindon (16) have picked up more
Notts County travel to stadium MK on a wretched run of form seeing only 2 wins in their last 12 league matches. County sit 19th just 2 points above the relegation zone, Shaun Derry’s men will need to pick up their form quick otherwise they will be sucked into the bottom 4. With teams at the bottom winning, County have fallen into danger. They face three of the bottom 6 in last 8 games but also face 3 of the top 6.
- Picked up 27 of their 42 points away from Meadow Lane
- Lost 2 and won 2 in their last 4 away matches
- Only picked up 1 point from 18 against top 4 – 1-1 draw with Preston
- Picked up the fewest amount of points since New Year in the league
- County only won 1 of their last 13 meetings with the Dons
- Lost 6 out of last 8 against MK
Prediction – MK 3-0 Notts County
Peterborough vs Chesterfield – 7th vs 8th
Peterborough suffered their first defeat in 5 matches against Preston in midweek after a run of 4 straight wins. The Posh’s recent form has put them just 1 point outside the playoffs with a relatively easier run in than the other teams around them. Posh only play Swindon from the top 5 till the end of the season and will hoping for another play off campaign. David Robertson has buoyed the Peterborough players after Darren Ferguson’s departure and has given his chairman a decision to make at the end of the season.
- 27 of their 53 points picked up at home – W8, D3, L7
- Won their last 3 games at London Road
- 12 points from last 18 available with only 4 teams picking up more points in last 6 matches
- Won all 7 home games when they have scored first
- Struggled for goals this season with only 45 scored compared to previous years – 13/14 (72), 12/13 (66), 11/12(67)
- 12 of their 16 defeats been by just 1 goal
- Posh won 3 of the last 5 meetings with both teams scoring in last 6 matches
Chesterfield picked up their 3rd win in 4 matches with a 3-0 victory over Gillingham in midweek. They sit just 3 points from the play offs and just 2 behind tomorrow’s opponents, a win could see them put pressure on teams above them. The win in midweek pulled them closer to teams above them as Peterborough and Barnsley both dropped points
- Won 2 and lost 2 in their last 4 away matches – winning last away game 2-1 at MK
- Only picked up 20 of their 50 points away from home
- Picked up 9 points from last 18 available
- Only lost 2 of 15 games when they have scored first
Prediction – Peterborough 2-1 Chesterfield
Rochdale vs Scunthorpe – 10th vs 17th
Dale picked up their 3rd win in 4 games in midweek as their search for a play off place continues. Dale sit 4 points off of the play off places but have at least one game in hand on their nearest rivals. Rochdale win on Tuesday at Notts County moved them closer to teams above them as some of theme drop points but face a tough run in facing 4 of the top 6.
- 24 of 50 points collected at home – won 5 out of last 7 including 3 wins in their last 4 at Spotland
- Ian Henderson netted 17 goals in the league and has 4 in his last 4
- Striker been involved in 23 of 60 league goals – including 11 of their 25 goals scored at Spotland
- Only lost 1 of 14 games when they have scored first
- 22 of their 24 points collected in games where they have scored first
Scunthorpe find themselves just three points above the relegation zone as they have been dragged into the battle for survival. The Iron face 3 trips in next 8 days which could help them pull away from danger or drag them deep into relegation trouble. Scunthorpe drew with Sheffield United in midweek but haven’t won in their last 6. Their form will need to improve with teams below them fighting for their lives.
- Won 4 of 14 games since New Year
- Not won in last 4 away games – 2 points from 12
- Only Oldham have picked up same points as them in last 6 matches – 3 from possible 18
- Picked up 21 of 43 points away from home
- Padden Madden top scorer with 14 goals but no goal in last 6 and just 2 in his last 14 games
- Scunthorpe won the last 4 meetings and have just 2 defeats in last 5 meetings – winning 9 of them
Prediction – Rochdale 2-0 Scunthorpe
Sheffield United vs Port Vale – 5th vs 13th
The Blade look for their first win in 6 games as Port Vale travel to Brammall Lane tomorrow. United have 3 home games in the next 8 days which could cement their place in the play offs. The Blades only sit 2 points ahead of 7th placed Peterborough as their form has dipped whilst teams below them have bunched up. United picked up a draw at Scunthorpe in midweek having fallen behind but their home form could be key in run to keep play off place.
- 6 points from last 18 available
- Lost their last 3 home games
- 26 of their 55 points picked up at home – W7, D5, L5
- Scored in 22 of their last 23 matches but conceded in their last 11 games
- Scored 38 of their 50 goals in the second half – 20 goals scored in last 15 minutes of matches
- Sheff Utd won 5 of last 7 meetings
Port Vale sit in mid table, 8 points off relegation and 6 off of the play offs. A late charge to the play offs remains unlikely and have just 1 win in their last 4. Vale surrendered a 2-1 half time lead to Crawley in midweek and their season could fizzle out if they are not careful.
- Vale won last 3 trips away – Coventry (1-0), Notts County (1-0) and Walsall (1-0)
- 9 points from last 18 available – 3 wins and 3 defeats
- 12 out of their 14 wins happened when they have scored the first goal
- Have not lost the 8 away games where they have netted first
- 40 out of their 48 points picked up when scored first
- 10 of their 14 wins been by a 1 goal margin
Prediction – Sheff Utd 2-1 Port Vale