So, we have seven or eight games to go, and the race for automatic promotion in League One is really hotting up. Charlton have been leading the way from almost day one, but are now starting to show that they are not invincible. Three defeats in the last four games suggest they are getting nervous as the finishing line is in sight, can they keep hold of an automatic promotion slot? The points they accumulated could see them through, but they face a real threat from Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield Town for a top two finish.
The team favoured by the bookies to finish in an automatic slot alongside Charlton is currently Sheffield United. Although they currently sit in 3rd place, they have a game in hand over city rivals Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic, which is against bottom of the table Chesterfield. If they were to win that game, they would leapfrog Sheffield Wednesday into 2nd spot, and be just six points behind Charlton, a stark contrast to the 13 points at the start of March.
With only a game against MK Dons away left against the top five teams, it is a favourable run in for the Blades, who also possess the lethal Ched Evans who can win a match on his own at times. Sheffield Wednesday currently hold 2nd, and have shown that they are capable of claiming second spot since Dave Jones arrived a few weeks ago. They are unbeaten under Jones, but do still have a very difficult game against Huddersfield at the Galpharm on the 7th April, which could decide an automatic place, were Sheffield United to falter.
Huddersfield will be confident that they can still snatch a top two place, having a game in hand over Sheffield Wednesday which would see them leapfrog them, and also having the talents of Jordan Rhodes, who has a staggering 32 league goals to his name currently. If they were to win the game in hand and beat Sheffield Wednesday in two weeks, they would only need one stutter from Sheffield United to be able to pounce.
In my opinion, MK Dons are now too far behind and have to rely on too many teams to falter to be able to claim second spot. My predictions are that Charlton will have another stutter, but not lose their grasp on the title and Sheffield United will hold their nerve and take 2nd, leaving Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield to battle it out in the lottery of the play-offs with MK Dons and whoever finishes in 6th.
Final Table Prediction :
1. Charlton Athletic
2. Sheffield United
3. Huddersfield Town
4. Sheffield Wednesday
5. Milton Keynes Dons
6. Carlisle United