Brighton, Yeovil and Cheltenham to take play-off limelight
As the football league draws to a close, fans up and down the country are readying themselves for the drama of the play-offs.
The Championship concludes at the end of this week, while the curtain fell on League One and Two in dramatic circumstances last weekend.
With the final four teams preparing to duke it out for a Wembley glory day and the majority of the places in the second tier allocated already, the great minds at Ladbrokes News have compiled a play-off treble to help you punters navigate the choppy waters of the post-season extravaganza.
As sensible a place as any to start is League Two and we’re tipping Cheltenham up to bring the bacon home.
They must first end Northampton’s interest in the play-offs, but the goals have dried up for Aidy Boothroyd’s men who, prior to relegating Barnet at the weekend with a 2-0 win, had failed to score in four of their previous five. The Robins will provide the sternest test for their front-line, as Mark Yates’ safety-first side have kept six clean sheets in eight.
Last year’s beaten finalists have also got the best play-off success rate in League Two’s history in their corner; they’re definitely the team to watch this time around.
On to League One then, and it’s surprise package Yeovil – 7/2 shots for promotion – who will be lugging the champers on Wembley’s hallowed turf.
In the Football League, a terrain where post-Christmas implosions happen so frequently, losing just four times since the dawn of 2013 means the Glovers are as warranting as any of their other Championship-chasing foes, despite their higher footing on the footballing ladder.
Gary Johnson, one of the most underrated coaches outside of the top flight, pilots this little-known Somerset outfit and under his stewardship, they’re well-equipped to advance a division.
The Championship play-off spots are not yet finalised but the team we fancy already have their ticket to the end-of-term lottery.
Brighton can be backed at 11/4 and will ensure that two new names grace the Premier League for the first time next season. They haven’t lost in eight ahead of the final of day of the campaign, they have an enviable supply of momentum on their side.
They haven’t lost a league game at the Amex since pre-2013 and, if they can avoid Bolton in the semis, it’s almost impossible to see how they can’t make the final.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date