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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 2 Easter weekend preview

18 April 2014

The top three teams in Sky Bet League 2 could make huge strides towards promotion across this Easter weekend, with five points already separating third-placed Chesterfield and Fleetwood Town, in fourth, with four matches to play.

Scunthorpe United lead the way on 76 points and they and could secure their rise to Sky Bet League 1 if they triumph at lowly Morecambe on Friday and Fleetwood lose, and Burton Albion fail to win on Saturday.

The Iron have been unstoppable since Russ Wilcox took over and their unbeaten run under his guidance stands at 26 matches. They also possess the division's best away record having collected 39 points in 21 games on the road, losing just twice.

If they fail to tie up promotion over the first instalment of matches, their second chance will come against Play-Off chasing Oxford United on Monday.

Second-placed Rochdale trail Scunthorpe by a point and haven't won in three games, drawing twice and losing their most recent game, at Mansfield Town.

Keith Hill's side's first game of the Easter weekend sees them host sixth-placed Southend United at Spotland - where they have secured 45 points from 21 games so far - before a trip to relegation-threatened Bristol Rovers, who they beat 2-0 in the reverse fixture in late December.

Chesterfield are in the third automatic promotion spot in Sky Bet League 2 and come into the weekend following two draws and two wins in their most recent four.

The Spireites are at home to Exeter City on Friday and then travel to Dagenham and Redbridge on Monday. Paul Cook's men may have the least points of the top three but they possess the best goal different of plus 27.

Fleetwood Town are fourth and can secure at least a Play-Off place if they win at Cheltenham Town on Friday, ahead of their Monday meeting with Wycombe Wanderers.

Burton are only a point behind the Cod Army so could also secure a spot in the top seven, but would need to overcome Hartlepool on Saturday and hope results went their way on Friday afternoon.

Southend United and Oxford United currently sit in the other two Play-Off places, locked on 62 points.

While the former lost to AFC Wimbledon last time out to end their three game winning streak, the U's beat ninth-placed Plymouth Argyle to end a run of four successive defeats.

Plymouth are still chasing the Play-Offs but they are now four points adrift prior to their Easter fixtures against Bury and AFC Wimbledon.

York City are eighth and look in good shape to make a challenge for the top seven , currently unbeaten in 13 matches. They face Oxford on Friday night in one of the weekend's pivotal matches but the last two meetings between the two have ended goalless.

10th-placed Mansfield Town are the division's form team with four victories on the bounce but they may have left it too late for a Play-Off push, with six points between them and Oxford. Two wins over Easter - against Accrington Stanley and Cheltenham - may change that, however.

At the wrong end of the division, Torquay United could be relegated out of The Football League but only if a whole host of results go against them. Chris Hargreaves' side take on Dagenham at Plainmoor on Friday and a win would keep alive their slim hopes of survival.

Northampton Town occupy the other relegation place but have a pivotal fixture at Wycombe Wanderers - the team directly above them - on Friday afternoon. Whoever loses this match, if anybody, will be sitting in the relegation zone come 5pm on Friday.

The Cobblers have won two on the spin and haven't lost at Adams Park since 2001, seven meetings ago, but were overwhelmed 4-1 by the Chairboys in the reverse fixture this season at Sixfields.

A whole host of teams are narrowly above Wycombe and could be dragged into the relegation mire over what is a significant weekend at the foot of The Football League.

Bristol Rovers, Exeter City, Morecambe, Hartlepool United, Accrington Stanley and in-form Portsmouth are all within five points of the relegation zone proving just how tight it is.

Exeter and Bristol Rovers have both suffered two defeats and a draw in their most recent three but it's Hartlepool and Morecambe who have the worst form.

Colin Cooper's Pools have lost five in a row, while Jim Bentley's Shrimps haven't won in seven ahead of their clashes with Burton and Scunthorpe respectively. The pair then go head-to-head on Monday in the North East in a relegation six-pointer.

Click here for all the weekend's action


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