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League Two play-off odds: Shrimps head field for promotion

| 17.05.2021

Four teams hope to join Cheltenham, Cambridge and Bolton in the third tier next season and there is little to separate them in the League Two play-off odds.

Morecambe, Newport, Forest Green and Tranmere were all in the top seven at the start of the final day of the season and that’s how it remained.

The Shrimps are 9/4 favourites in the League Two play-off odds as we take a look at all of the candidates.

Morecambe

Derek Adams’ side take on Tranmere in a two-legged play-off which starts at Prenton Park on Thursday with the return on Sunday.

An Adam Phillips penalty gave Morecambe a 1-0 win in Birkenhead on Halloween but Rovers won by the same scoreline three months later, although the hosts played the second half with just 10 men after Yann Songo’o was sent off just before the break.

Morecambe did not have a great record against teams that finished inside the top seven (W3 D2 L7) but they ended the season strongly with five wins in their last six games during which they scored 15 goals, six coming from Cole Stockton and three from Carlos Mendes Gomez, the club’s joint top scorers with 15 apiece.

“We have to be proud of what we have achieved. To finish fourth in the league with 23 wins and 78 points is a great achievement,” Adams said after the 2-0 win against Bradford.

He added: “We were without six players again but everyone who came in did their jobs again and it was another good win for us.’’

Newport

The Welshmen sealed their place in the play-offs with a 1-1 draw at relegated Southend on the final day of the season.

That was the first goal the Exiles had conceded in five games, which included a 1-0 victory over Cheltenham who went up as champions.

“I can’t wait to get them at Rodney Parade but it’s a tough challenge,” said manager Michael Flynn, talking about the two-legged clash with Forest Green.

Newport’s record against top-seven sides reads W6 D2 L4, although they took just a point from their two games against Forest Green and are 11/4 in the League Two play-off odds to get through to the final and win at Wembley.

Forest Green

Rovers went into their final two games having won just one of their previous 10 which prompted the club to sack manager Mark Cooper, so they will feel relieved to have limped over the line with back-to-back wins under interim boss Jimmy Ball.

A 2-1 victory against Tranmere came despite the 57th-minute dismissal of midfielder Ebou Adams and they sealed their place in the play-offs with a 3-0 win at Oldham.

Ball, whose side are 11/4 in the League Two play-off odds to be promoted, said: “We’ll now head into the play-offs in the right groove – we’re in good form and that’s a perfect position to be in.”

Forest Green took four points off play-off opponents Newport during the regular season and their record against the top seven was W5 D3 L4, so they have reason to be hopeful they can improve on their efforts in 2019 when they were beaten by Tranmere over two legs.

Tranmere

Rovers are in the League Two play-offs for the second time in three years but they are in crisis after manager Keith Hill was relieved of his first-team duties on the back of poor results during the run-in.

The Merseysiders had harboured hopes of automatic promotion at the end of March but their form dipped after losing the Football League Trophy final to Sunderland, winning just two of their last 11 games which meant they needed a point on the final day of the season to scrape into the play-offs.

Although they achieved that with a goalless draw against Colchester, chairman Mark Palios made the decision to part ways with Hill and appoint Ian Dawes for the play-offs.

Tranmere have a W5 D2 L5 record against top-seven teams this season and are 3/1 to make an immediate return to League One but can Dawes raise their spirits for the challenge ahead?

League Two play-off Info

When: May 18, 20, 23 and 31

View the latest League Two play-off odds

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication

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Author

Warren Barner