Saturday looms large and it represents crunch time for five of the top six in League One, all of whom have some chance of joining Norwich City in attaining automatic promotion to the Championship.
Huddersfield Town sit sixth and represent the outsiders in terms of chances of getting promoted, but there is a sequence of ifs, ifs and buts that can see that happen. Huddersfield have 80 points, 3 points off Leeds in 2nd place and have a five goal, Goal Difference to turn around. They have scored more goals than Leeds, so, if Leeds lose 2-0, Huddersfield win 3-0, Charlton lose and Millwall and Swindon draw their crunch match, Huddersfield will go up. If Leeds get 1 point from their final game or any of Charlton, Millwall or Swindon win, Huddersfield are consigned to the Play Offs. Huddersfield play away to Exeter in their final match. Exeter are only out of the drop zone by virtue of Goal Difference and must win to secure their safety.
Charlton Athletic also have a chance to go up involving slightly fewer ifs and buts than Huddersfield. They are 2 points off Leeds in 2nd place and must win their final game to stand any chance of going up. The Addicks Goal Difference is currently 11 goals worse than Leeds, meaning they can go up if there is no winner in the Millwall v Swindon match and if Leeds lose their final game. In a slightly more extravagant scenario, Charlton will be promoted if Millwall and Swindon draw their game, Leeds also draw their final game (anything less than 6-6) and Charlton win their final game by 11 or more goals. Charlton conclude their season with a trip to Oldham who are safe from any threat of relegation.
Swindon Town have genuine hopes of promotion but must win their final match at Millwall to gain promotion, failure to do so will ensure that they cannot get ahead of Millwall who sit above them in the table on Goal Difference. If Swindon win at the New Den and Leeds fail to win their final match, Swindon will be promoted.
Millwall have a few permutations that could see them promoted. As with Swindon, if Millwall win and Leeds fail to do so in their match, Millwall take the 2nd automatic promotion spot. Millwall have an inferior Goal Difference to Leeds by 1 goal. If Millwall draw and Leeds lose by more than 1 goal, Millwall get promoted. Also, if Leeds were to lose 1-0 and Millwall draw 2-2, the teams will have identical records in terms of Goal Difference and Goals Scored, so the equation is then based on the two teams League Record during the seasons’ League matches. Millwall won both and on this basis would be promoted. The scenario counts also if Leeds lose 1-2, Millwall must draw at least 3-3 otherwise Leeds will go up on the basis of having scored more goals than The Lions.
As a point of interest, if any two teams finish with identical records and the League season results cannot be separated, final position is determined by way of a one-off Play Off match between the teams. This cannot be the case with Milwall and Leeds as Millwall won both games this season.
Leeds Uniteds’ equation is simple, win their final game and they take the final promotion spot. If Leeds draw, they will be promoted if the Millwall v. Swindon match is a draw and Charlton do not win at Oldham by 11 or more goals. If Leeds lose 1-0, they will go up if the big match at the New Den is drawn either 0-0 or 1-1, Charlton fail to win their game at Oldham and Huddersfield do not win by four or more goals at Exeter. Should Leeds lose their last match 2-0, they cannot go up. Leeds finish their season at Elland Road against Bristol Rovers who sit in a highly respectable 9th place but have no mathematical chance of reaching the Play Offs.
Hopefully that has covered all the permutations, now it’s a waiting game to see who holds their nerve.
League 1 (Top 6)
|K.O.||HOME TEAM||Vs||AWAY TEAM|
|15:00||Leeds (2nd)||Vs||Bristol Rovers|
|15:00||Millwall (3rd)||Vs||Swindon (4th)|