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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 1 weekend preview

2 May 2014

Brentford v Stevenage

Promoted Brentford and relegated Stevenage come together on Saturday afternoon in Sky Bet League 1 as the final round of matches get under way.

These two clubs will be separated by two divisions next year following Brentford's already confirmed second place, with 91 points. Stevenage are second bottom with 42 points.

The Bees have the best home form in League 1 with 18 wins, one draw and three defeats from their 22 games. Boro are the third-worst travellers, taking just 16 points from a possible 66.

Crawley Town v Bristol City

Crawley Town and Bristol City will both be looking at a top-half finish when they meet in West Sussex on Saturday.

Crawley are 14th, one point behind the 12th-placed Robins. John Gregory's hosts can end the season as high as 11th with victory, but face a City team that has only been defeated once in their past 12 outings.

This will be only their third ever meeting, and second in league competition. The Bristol side won 2-0 at Ashton Gate earlier in this campaign with Crawley having triumphed 1-0 in the FA Cup in 2012.

Crewe Alexandra v Preston North End

Crewe Alexandra are fighting for Sky Bet League 1 survival and host a Preston North End team looking for the best possible finish ahead of the Play-Offs.

Crewe are 20th, floating above the bottom four by one place and one point. They need to equal or better Tranmere Rovers' result and hope Carlisle United don't thrash Wolverhampton Wanderers to survive, but they have the leakiest defence in the division and the worst home record.

Preston sit third and are aiming to secure a home leg in the Play-Off Semi-Final second leg. They are two points clear of Leyton Orient and Rotherham United having won five of their past seven.

Gillingham v Shrewsbury Town

Gillingham and Shrewsbury Town compete in a dead-rubber in Kent on Saturday.

Shrewsbury's relegation to Sky Bet League 2 was confirmed last Saturday after a 4-2 defeat at home to Peterborough United. Mike Jackson's side currently sit bottom of the pile, on 41 points, with just nine wins from 45 games.

Gillingham are 16th and five points clear of the drop going into the final fixtures. They lost 3-1 to Preston last time out and have the second-worst defensive record in the league, conceding 78 goals in 45 matches.

Milton Keynes Dons v Leyton Orient

Milton Keynes Dons' own promotion hopes have been extinguished in recent weeks and they face a Leyton Orient team looking for form ahead of the Play-Offs.

The Dons are ninth, 13 points adrift of the top six after a run of four games without victory, registering just two points.

Orient, the division's third-highest scorers, are fourth and need to equal Rotherham's result to secure a home tie in the second-leg of the Play-Off Semi-Finals.

Oldham Athletic v Notts County

Nine games undefeated has ensured Oldham Athletic can go into this final-day fixture without pressure, but the same can't be said for visiting Notts County.

The Nottingham club arrive at Boundary Park in 19th, two points and two places ahead of the bottom four. Owing to their strong goal difference, County would need to lose and see Crewe and Tranmere both win to be relegated.

Oldham are in 15th on 55 points, taking 17 of those points from their past nine fixtures. That recent good form saw Lee Johnson nominated for April's Sky Bet League 1 Manager of the Month award.

Peterborough United v Port Vale

League 1 Manager of the Month for April Darren Ferguson leads his Peterborough United team into battle against Port Vale after confirming their Play-Off place last weekend.

The Posh's 4-2 success at Shrewsbury was their fifth win in seven and secured sixth place and the chance for an immediate return to the Championship. Port Vale are 10th, 13 points further back and have been defeated in their past two.

Their head-to-head record stands at 16-15 in Vale's favour, with 13 draws. Their most recent meeting at London Road was in November 2004, which Posh won 4-0.

Sheffield United v Coventry City

Sheffield United host Coventry City, in 17th, at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

The Blades' meteoric rise over the course of the season has seen them move from bottom to eighth and they are seven games unbeaten heading into the final match. Coventry are four points ahead of the relegation zone having guaranteed their third tier status with a 1-1 draw against Wolves last weekend.

Sheffield United's League 1 games have produced the fewest goals this season, with 91 from 45 games, while Coventry have been involved in the most, 148.

Swindon Town v Rotherham United

Swindon Town saw their Play-Off hopes ended last weekend with defeat at Notts County and they host Rotherham United.

The Robins are now seven points adrift of sixth following that 2-0 loss at Meadow Lane but have the fourth-best home record in League 1 this season, taking 45 points from a possible 66.

Rotherham are the second-best travellers in the division, winning 13 times. Only Wolves have been victorious on the road more often. Steve Evans' side are fifth after winning only once in five.

Tranmere Rovers v Bradford City

Tranmere Rovers occupy the highest relegation spot ahead of Bradford City's visit to Prenton Park.

Tranmere trail Crewe Alexandra by one point and need to better the Railwaymen's result to stay in League 1 for the 2014/15 season, but have lost three of their past four, drawing the other match.

Bradford are 13th at the top of the bottom half. This will be the 84th meeting between these clubs. Tranmere have won 35, the Bantams 29, plus 19 draws.

Walsall v Colchester United

Walsall's home form has been their Achilles heel this season. They take to the Banks's Stadium pitch for the final time in 2013/14 with the visit of Colchester United.

The Saddlers sit 11th in League 1, but are 20th in the home form table. They've won seven, drawn seven and lost eight in front of their own fans so far, scoring only 21 goals - the fewest at home in the division.

Colchester are 18th, three points above the relegation zone, but are virtually safe owing to their superior goal difference. Should they lose, Notts County, Crewe and Tranmere would all have to win, the latter two by a cricket score, to send the U's down to League 2.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Carlisle United

Wolverhampton Wanderers, the 2013/14 Sky Bet League 1 champions, host troubled Carlisle United at Molineux on Saturday.

Wolves became the 10th Football League team to join the century club last weekend, moving onto 100 points following their draw at Coventry. They have scored the most and conceded the fewest goals this season.

Carlisle are 22nd, three points from safety. They need to win, hope Tranmere avoid victory and Crewe lose, plus see a favourable goal swing, to secure a place in League 1 for the 2014/15 campaign.

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