Seventeen points separated 3rd place Sheffield United from Stevenage, although the two teams start on a level footing on Friday night, with The Boro having booked their top six place on the final day of the regular season.
Gary Smith replaced Graham Westley midway through the season after the latter left for Preston North End and the bookies offer odds of 4/1 (bet365 £200 free bets) that Stevenage achieve a double promotion by beating the Blades over two legs before dumping out MK Dons or Huddersfield in the final.
The pressure will certainly be on Sheffield United (2/1 for promotion) who spent a good deal of the regular season in second spot behind the Addicks, although Danny Wilson’s team paid the price for a defeat and two draws in their final three games including a 2-2 draw at home to Stevenage.
Previously to that, the Blades had won six matches on the bounce and Wilson must now rally his team for the difficult task of the play-offs, with the manager having to make do without James Beattie after the striker was sent off in the final match at Exeter.
Meanwhile, Huddersfield Town are once again in the play-offs, having reached the final last season before being beaten 3-0 by Peterborough United. The Terriers are now under the managerial guidance of Simon Grayson following the board’s decision to sack Lee Clark, although the former Leeds manager has experienced the same inconsistency as his predecessor.
Despite the amazing goal ratio of Jordan Rhodes, Town’s form has been typically erratic all term and they have won just two of their last six matches, although they are unbeaten in three games. The bookies offer 11/4 (bet365 bookmaker) that Huddersfield are a Championship side next term.
MK Dons were also in the League One play-offs last term and should really have been out of sight against Posh in that first leg of their semi-final, with Karl Fletcher hoping that his team have learnt from that experience of 12 months ago.
The Dons are 11/4 to gain promotion and will look to establish a first leg advantage against Huddersfield before a nervy second leg at the Galpharm.