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League One promotion odds: Dons 9/4 to go up but flying Owls favourites

| 05.05.2022

League One promotion odds and preview

The League One play-offs get under way on Thursday as one of four teams get the chance to join Wigan and Rotherham in the Championship next season.

MK Dons finished just outside the top two on the final day, but Sheffield Wednesday are the 15/8 favourites in the League One promotion odds as we look at the contenders.

Sheffield Wednesday

The Owls face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light for the first leg in buoyant mood having won six of their last eight games to finish in fourth place, a point clear of Friday’s opponents.

Darren Moore’s side were not guaranteed a place in the top six heading into the final game of the regular season and the nerves started to kick in when they conceded in the fourth minute against Portsmouth but Lee Gregory equalised with his eighth goal in as many games as the hosts ran out 4-1 winners at Hillsborough.

Moore said: “We wanted to finish in the top six and that’s what we have achieved and now the hard work starts again. The minute we wake up in the morning, the focus is firmly on Sunderland. They are a very good side, they have changed their personnel, and Alex (Neil) has done really well since taking charge.”

Gregory scored the third goal in a 3-0 victory against the Black Cats in November, but Ross Stewart bagged a hat-trick in a 5-0 win for the Wearsiders in the final game of 2021, so we could be in for a rollercoaster ride with this tie, with little to separate the teams in the odds. 

MK Dons

MK Dons needed to beat Plymouth and hope Gillingham got a result against Rotherham to achieve automatic promotion on Saturday.

Although Scott Twine scored four goals in a stunning 5-0 win at Home Park to fulfil the Dons’ part of the bargain, the Millers sealed an immediate return to the Championship with a 2-0 win in Kent.

Dons boss Liam Manning said: “You can’t throw all your emotion into one game. We have got business to do. You can’t feel sorry for yourself, you can’t carry a hangover into this week. We knew it was a potential so we just have to make sure we are ready to go.”

MK Dons are 9/4 second favourites in the League One promotion odds ahead of Friday’s first leg against Wycombe, a team they beat home and away in the third tier and the Papa John’s Trophy this season, all by one-goal margins.

Sunderland

The Black Cats are in the best form of any of the four play-off teams having lost just one of the 15 matches since Alex Neil replaced Lee Johnson as manager almost three months ago.

Sunderland secured their place in the play-offs with Saturday’s 1-0 win at Morecambe in a game of few chances.

Neil said: “We didn’t play particularly well but the simple fact is we got the job done and we got it done comfortably.”

In Ross Stewart, they have the division’s second top scorer with 24 goals, but they have the leakiest defence of the four teams and are 11/4 in the League One promotion odds.

Wycombe

The Chairboys are the dark horses to make an immediate return to the Championship at 4/1 having moved into the top six on the final day of the season.

Gareth Ainsworth’s side needed to win at Burton to give themselves a chance of making it into the play-offs, although Plymouth’s 5-0 drubbing by MK Dons meant even a three-goal defeat would have sufficed.

As it happened, Jordan Obita struck five minutes from time to seal a 2-1 win after which Ainsworth said: “In the last 12 games nobody can touch us for form in this league and that says something. With all the big teams in this league, little Wycombe are the form team going into the play-offs.

“We have a real big task in hand now, it’s going to be the Buckinghamshire play-offs which hasn’t happened before and I can’t wait.”

Despite what he said, Sunderland have the same number of points as Wycombe over the last dozen games and a superior goal difference, but Wanderers did not lose during that spell, so will feel confident despite their poor record against MK Dons this season.

View the latest League One odds

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication

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Author

Warren Barner