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Preview of the 2014 playoff semi-finals

These are the upcoming playoffs in the different divisions, first up the Championship:

Wigan vs. QPR – May 9th 7.45 pm, DW Stadium (first leg), May 12th 7.45 pm, Loftus Road (second leg)

QPR finished one place higher than Wigan in fourth, but seven points better off. Both teams struggled for consistency and goals a bit, and there were few highlights in the 0-0 DW draw during the normal season. In the return fixture, Yossi Benayoun gave QPR a narrow victory, but 18-goal Charlie Austin is the man most likely to decide this tie.

Prediction: QPR win – Read Full Preview (Sky Sports)

League One

Peterborough vs. Leyton Orient – May 10th 12.15 pm, London Road (first leg), May 13th 7.45 pm, Brisbane Road (second leg)

By contrast neither of these sides could stop knocking the goals in, but it is Peterborough (who finished sixth) that go into the clash with third placed Orient in stronger form. Orient have not quite maintained their early season form, and will need 39-goal strike force David Mooney and Kevin Lisbie to fire. Peterborough are poor at the back, but have the form and experience in their favour.

Prediction: Peterborough on penalties – Read Full Preview (This is Local London)

Preston vs. Rotherham – May 10th 5.15 pm, Deepdale (first leg), May 15th 5.45, New York Stadium (second leg)

This should be another close, high scoring encounter, with a single place and point separating fourth and fifth placed Rotherham and Preston. The form book says Preston, who have not lost in the last four games between the sides, but Rotherham have the attacking edge over their opponents.

Prediction: Rotherham win (Vital Football)

League Two

York vs. Fleetwood – May 10th 7.30 pm, Bootham Crescent (first leg), May 16th 7.45 pm, Highbury Stadium (second leg)

Fleetwood finished five points and four places above York in League Two, and are favourites to win this tie, but York have not lost in ten matches going into it. Both teams are based around a solid defence, but Fleetwood have the strikers – like Jamille Matt, who scored in their 2-0 win over York during the season – to edge this tie.

Prediction: Narrow Fleetwood win – Read Full Preview (Sportal)

Burton vs. Southend – May 11th 12 pm, Pirelli Stadium (first leg), May 17th, 12 pm, Roots Hall (second leg)

These sides swapped 1-0 this season, and finished on the same points (although Southend’s superior goal difference put them one place higher in fifth). All set for a close tie then, and with just 47 and 56 goals apiece, it is hard to see a goal-fest here – but Burton’s home form could be crucial.

Prediction: Narrow Burton win – Read Full Preview (Bookmakers)

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