Date: 21st March 2018 at 9:50pm
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There are just nine League matches left for the majority of League One sides. We take a look at all the teams in the running for promotion and where we think they`ll finish.

Posh celebrate winning promotion in the League One Play-Offs



The majority of teams in League One have just nine matches remaining with most still involved in the promotion hunt or attempting to avoid relegation.

The top twelve sides could all still make it in to the top six with the majority of the bottom twelve still in with a chance of relegation with a few others looking over their shoulders!

We`re focussing our attention on the top twelve though to see what the final outcome could be and what the bookies currently think.

The top twelve sides can really be split into three groups:

The current top three sides, Blackburn Rovers, Shrewsbury Town and Wigan Athletic are battling it out for the top two automatic promotion places;

The second group of Scunthorpe United, Plymouth Argyle and Peterborough United look to be battling it out for 5th and 6th places;

The final group involving Portsmouth, Charlton Athletic, Bristol Rovers, Bradford City and Gillingham are all trying to catch the second group and while there are just three points separating this group, they are between five and eight points away from the play-offs.

The one other side not mentioned above is Rotherham United who appear too far away from fighting for an automatic promotion place and far enough ahead to ensure they finish in the play-offs.

Football League sponsors Sky Bet have installed former Premier League sides Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers as the two favourites to go up automatically with odds of 1/10 and 1/6 respectively. Shrewsbury Town are third favourites with odds of 8/11 and that placing is how we see them finishing. We have the Latics finishing top, six points ahead of Rovers who in turn are three points ahead of the Shrews.

We also agree with all the bookies that The Millers will finish in fourth place with odds around the 15/8 mark. The gap between the Shrews and Millers could be around six points with the next side a further 12 points behind.

That team is Scunthorpe United who have odds of 11/2 with Sky Bet and while all the other bookies agree with this, there is one bookie, betWay, who feels it will be close between the Iron and Peterborough United giving odds of 8/1 for both sides!

With the top five sides all pretty much done and dusted, the battle really is on for the final play-off place.

We feel there will be just three points separating five sides! The two sides that will fall back in the run-in are Gillingham and Bristol Rovers.

Which of those remaining five sides will claim that all important final play-off place?

One of the deciding factors could be games against all these sides in the top 12. The Shrews, Latics and Iron have just three matches against their top 12 rivals with all the other sides having five matches?apart from three teams. Those teams are The Pilgrims and Posh who face six matches against their rivals with the Addicks facing 7 of their last 10 matches against sides in the top 12!

Another factor is the final match of the season and whether the opposition have anything to play for!

Crucially, of those five sides we believe will be challenging for that last play-off spot, four will be playing a side in the top 12 with two of those five sides playing against each other! Those two are Pompey who host Posh while Plymouth are away at Gillingham, Charlton at Rochdale and Bradford away at Scunthorpe but will the Gills, Dale and Iron have anything to play for on the last day of the season?

The bookies agree with us as to who will finish sixth and seventh but there are slight differences regarding the next three places.

In 10th place, we have Pompey on 66 points but the bookies feel Bradford will finish in this position. The Bantoms have odds of 40/1 compared to Pompey`s 16/1.

Sky Bet are the odd one out for 9th place as they are the only ones to go for Charlton with the other bookies going for Pompey. We also have the Addicks in 9th who have odds of 16/1 with Sky Bet.

The Addicks are the favourite for 8th with all the bookies bar Sky Bet who have them at 18/1. We have the Bantams finishing in 8th with 68 points and level on points with the team finishing in 7th!

So who are seventh and who do we think will make the play-offs?

Four bookies can`t split the Pilgrims and Posh but the remaining bookies, along with ourselves, have Posh as finishing one point ahead of the Devon side and in the final play-off place. Sky Bet have Posh at 9/1 with the Pilgrims at 11/1.

Whoever reaches the play-offs come the end of the season can sort out their travel arrangements straight away after The Football League released the League One play-off dates, with all matches scheduled for live TV screening by Sky Sports.

The first two-legged semi-final will be staged on Thursday, 10th May (7.45pm) and Sunday, 13th May (5.15pm).

The second semi-final will take place on Saturday, 12th May (12.30pm) and Wednesday, 16th May (7.45pm).

The League One play-off Final is scheduled for Sunday, 27th May at Wembley Stadium (3pm).


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Photos courtesy of Joe Dent / www.theposh.com

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