Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Previews

EFL: Five things to look out for this weekend

28 April 2017

It's the penultimate weekend of two EFL divisions, while the other – Sky Bet League One – is set for a thrilling climax on Sunday.

Inevitably, there's plenty still at stake, and here are five storylines to look out for in the EFL this weekend...

Hartlepool United – the scrap for survival

Hartlepool dropped into Sky Bet League Two's bottom two last weekend, following their loss at home to Barnet, and manager Dave Jones parted company with the club following the defeat.

This weekend, they travel to a Cheltenham Town side who are not safe yet, although a point against Pools will secure their own EFL status.

Matthew Bates is overseeing the run-in, and is expecting a positive performance at Whaddon Road on Saturday, telling the club's official website: “We need a reaction and, from what I have seen, we will get one because the lads have been bouncing.

“I’m excited about it. Am I ready for it? Who knows, but one thing I will say is that I will give this everything I have got.”

Matthew Bates: Click here for the caretaker manager's full interview

Bolton Wanderers or Fleetwood Town – who goes up?

Kyle Dempsey's last-gasp winner for Fleetwood last weekend ensured the battle for automatic promotion from Sky Bet League One would go down to the very last day.

The @_kyledempsey goal that meant @ftfc could still go up automatically on Sunday... ⏫

— Sky Bet League One (@SkyBetLeagueOne) April 26, 2017

Will there be more heroics on Sunday?— Sky Bet League One (@SkyBetLeagueOne) April 27, 2017

Destiny remains in the hands of Bolton, though. Two points clear of the Cod Army and with a superior goal difference, a point at home to Peterborough United could well be enough to see the Trotters back up to the Sky Bet Championship.

For Uwe Rosler's men, all they can do is win at home to Port Vale, and then hope that the Posh can do them a favour at the Macron Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers versus Peterborough United will be shown live on Sky Sports at 12pm this Sunday.

Capital clash for Play-Off chasing Fulham

Fulham are two games away from taking their place in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs, but they face a tricky two games if they are to secure their top-six spot.

A week before their potentially crucial match with Sheffield Wednesday, the Cottagers face a west London derby against Brentford, who will be buoyant after last week's derby day win over QPR.

The Bees do enjoy the short trip to Craven Cottage, too. Their last defeat there came in 1990, winning four and drawing three of the seven meetings since.

State of play: Click here for the latest EFL permutations

Sky Bet League One Finale

We've mentioned Bolton and Fleetwood's bid for promotion, but there's plenty more at stake as the Sky Bet League One regular season reaches its conclusion this Sunday.

There is one relegation place still open, and Port Vale currently fill it. Should they win, Gillingham and Bury are the two just above the relegation trapdoor with work to do if they are to secure their status.

Millwall lead the way in the race for the final Play-Off spot, with Southend United and Rochdale still in contention, while Sheffield United will reach the magical milestone of 100 points if they defeat Chesterfield on the division's nicest pitch – the Bramall Lane Ground Staff were honoured by the EFL earlier this week.

Grounds Team of the Season: Click here for the winners

Sky Bet League Two Play-Off race

We mentioned it last week, but there are still plenty of teams fighting it out to earn a place in the Sky Bet League Two top seven.

Three points separate fifth and 10th, while Colchester United in 12th are only one win off seventh-placed Stevenage.

None of that group go head-to-head this weekend, but Mansfield Town host in-form Portsmouth in one of the day's stand-out fixtures.

Preview: Click here for the EFL Matchday preview

Advertisement block