With the race for promotion and the battle to avoid relegation hotting up, we preview this weekend’s three biggest League One fixtures.
Fleetwood v Scunthorpe
Scunthorpe, having fallen from the summit of League One, could fall outside the automatic promotion places if their poor run of form continues against Fleetwood on Saturday.
The Iron, who lost to AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night, have not won in six games and sit seven points behind league leaders Sheffield United.
Fleetwood on the other hand, host Scunthorpe as the division’s in-form side. Uwe Rosler’s men have not lost since November and have amassed more points already this campaign than they managed during the whole of last season as they continue to surpass expectations.
A win would see Fleetwood leapfrog their opponents into the automatic promotion places, the first time in two months that the Iron would have been outside the top two.
Fleetwood may well be slight favourites heading into the encounter but expect Josh Morris to have his say on the match, having now netted 20 from midfield this season. With their charge for the Championship now under more pressure than it has been all season, Scunthorpe may well resurrect their early season and get a much needed victory.
Swindon Town v Chesterfield
Swindon play their sixth consecutive match against relegation rivals, as they host Chesterfield on Saturday, with both teams looking to escape the clutches of the bottom four.
The task looks far harder for Chesterfield, whose chances of survival could well take a near fatal blow if they fail to win. A run of seven matches without a win has seen them fall 11 points adrift, which could rise to a potentially insurmountable 14 points if Chesterfield lose and Oldham beat Walsall.
Back-to-back wins over Coventry and Gillingham mean that Swindon could go above the relegation zone on goal difference with a win. Unbeaten in three matches, they have picked up seven crucial points and bounced back well from a run of five consecutive defeats.
Swindon head into the encounter as favourites but Chesterfield are scrapping for their lives and if the great escape is to happen, it needs to start this weekend.
Bury v Gillingham
As League One continues to be a close run affair, Bury and Gillingham will be desperate for three points in order to prevent themselves from being dragged deeper into the relegation battle.
Bury currently sit four points above the relegation zone and have won four of their last five League One matches. In fact, despite being 18th in the league, no side has won more League One matches in their last five fixtures than Bury. Another victory could see them go seven points clear of the relegation zone.
For Gillingham, who have tasted victory in just one of their last ten fixtures, a win would come as a welcome relief. It may also stop them from dropping into the relegation zone, as if a Gillingham loss was to be accompanied by wins for Oldham and Swindon, the Gills could find themselves in the bottom four on goal difference.
The Shakers have looked rejuvenated under Lee Clark, winning all three games since he took charge, and go into the clash as favourites. The slide for Gillingham appears to continue, with the managerial change failing to spark a turnaround in results. Ady Pennock’s men failed to build on last Saturday’s win against Southend when they fell to defeat against Swindon on Tuesday and that inconsistency could cost them once again.