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EFL: Five things to look out for this weekend

10 March 2017

With 35 matches taking place over another hectic EFL weekend, we've picked out five storylines worth keeping an eye on this weekend.

Bottom four battle

Wigan Athletic v Bristol City. Wolverhampton Wanderers v Rotherham United. This weekend presents the most enthralling battle at the bottom of the Sky Bet Championship so far.

Midweek results saw the Latics edge nearer to safety after they won at Birmingham City, while the four sides above them, including the Robins, all earned a point in their respective fixtures.

Should there be a winner at the DW Stadium, that team could well escape the bottom three, depending on results above them, including the game at Molineux.

Wolves host a Rotherham side without a win on the road all season, while Burton Albion and Blackburn Rovers could also end the day in the relegation zone. The Brewers host Nottingham Forest, while Rovers are away at Norwich City.



Survival scrap

It's not just the Sky Bet Championship keeping us glued to the edge of our seats. The bottom half of Sky Bet League One is just as intriguing, and a local derby between Oldham Athletic and Bury is one to look out for on Saturday.

Goal of the Month: Bury's Tutte among February nominees - click here to see them all

Directly below that pair are Port Vale and Swindon Town, and three points for either side will be vital. The Robins could potentially swap places with Oldham, while Vale know the importance of victory, especially when they boast three games in hand on the teams around them in the standings.

Chesterfield versus Shrewsbury Town is another important one but, with nine points separating 14th and 21st, there are a whole host of sides who know they aren't over the line just yet.

Keep on at the Keepmoat

Seventeen games at the Keepmoat Stadium this season, and a nice round zero in the losses column.

That makes good reading for Sky Bet League Two leaders Doncaster Rovers, although their form in South Yorkshire has stalled slightly as of late.

Table: Click here to see the Sky Bet League Two standings

Sharing the spoils with Morecambe, Luton Town and Accrington Stanley recently has doubled the tally of draws for the campaign, but they remain one of just two teams in the EFL, along with Bradford City, still to taste defeat in front of their own fans.

Despite a dip in form that has produced just one win in seven games, Darren Ferguson's troops remain four points clear at the top, and their next home test comes against Cheltenham Town, while their promotion rivals face Play-Off chasing opposition.

Six-year itch

It was 13th September 2011 when AFC Wimbledon and Northampton Town came head-to-head for the first time, Adebayo Akinfenwa netting the first goal in a 3-0 victory for the Cobblers at Kingsmeadow.

Nine more League Two meetings followed, four going the way of Northampton, five being drawn, as the sides continued their battle in the fourth tier of English football.

Last season, Northampton clinched promotion to Sky Bet League One in mid-April, with the Dons joining them after Play-Off glory at Wembley.

And so the battle continued, and another draw – the fourth in a row – followed in August. Now, the pair face off for the 12th time. Can AFC Wimbledon finally get one over on the Cobblers?

Sky Bet EFL February award winners

January was a good month for Stevenage, but February was even better. Six games, five wins, one draw, 16 points, and a leap into the Sky Bet League Two Play-Off places.

Matt Godden hit six goals during that spell, too. No wonder that both he and manager Darren Sarll were rewarded with the division's monthly awards this week.

Awards: Darren Sarll named Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month

March started well, too. Godden added two more, taking his season tally to 20, as Boro swept aside Notts County to make it six wins from six at the Lamex in 2017.

Awards: Matt Godden named Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month

This weekend they face their biggest test since the unbeaten run began, making the short trip to Luton Town, one of the only teams towards the top to have maintained consistency over recent weeks. The Hatters could even move into the top three dependent on weekend results.

However, if Stevenage can overcome Luton – like they have in the last two meetings – then they will leapfrog their opponents, and put themselves within sight of automatic promotion.

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