Saturday, 2 May 2009

Blades Steel Promotion?

The final weekend of the Football League season promises to be almost as exciting as last weekend’s conclusion to the Conference.

In the Championship, the key games are Reading v Birmingham City and Crystal Palace v Sheffield United. A draw at Reading will mean promotion for Sheffield United if they can win at fortress Selhurst Park, and given that Neil Warnock is a lifelong Blades fan, and that Simon Jordan detests Birmingham with a passion, it would hardly be a massive surprise were Palace to lower the drawbridge. Certainly the prices on Betfair (1.67) suggest that I’m not the first person to spot this. If Birmingham (3.6) should win at Reading, then up they go, but my ratings and current form suggest that they won’t. Promotion would certainly seem to be justice for Sheffield United after the Tevez affair, and as they are top rated in my exclusive Cassini Ratings And Performance standings, I can’t say it wouldn’t be deserved.

Burnley need a win (1.55) to secure a play-off spot and at home to Bristol City, should achieve that.

At the bottom, it’s looking very much like Norwich will complete a trio of relegated former Premier League teams. It’s certainly very sad to see Charlton struggling so badly…

In League One, the only promotion related issue is Scunthorpe or Tranmere Rovers for the play-offs, and Scunthorpe have the advantage playing at home and needing just a draw (3.4). Brighton will probably survive, and can look forward to playing Charlton next season. Lucky them.

In League Two, once again Bury and Accrington Stanley play each other on the final day of the season, but this year there’s a little more at stake for Bury. If they win (1.41), and Exeter fail to win at Rotherham, then Bury are promoted. Dagenham and Redbridge host Shrewsbury Town for a play-off spot, and again, as with Scunthorpe and Tranmere, the home team (2.2) has the edge by playing at home and needing just a draw (3.45).

At the bottom, I think Chester City might go down. I just can’t see them winning and Grimsby Town losing by a net 19 goals…

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