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Blue Square Bet Premier Play-Off Guide

Wednesday May 4, 2011

Blue Square Bet Premier Play-Off Guide by Alan Alger from Blue Square

Four teams are still in the hunt for promotion to League 2 through the Blue Square Bet Premier play-offs and it could not be closer according to the league sponsors.

Blue Square Bet Premier Play-Off Guide by Alan Alger from Blue Square

Four teams are still in the hunt for promotion to League 2 through the Blue Square Bet Premier play-offs and it could not be closer according to the league sponsors. Blue Square make Luton Town the 2/1 favourites to go up, but the outsiders in the market, Wrexham, are only a point and a half bigger at 7/2. League runners-up AFC Wimbledon are second favourites at 5/2 with Fleetwood Town making up the quartet at 10/3. The closeness of the clubs is illustrated by the regular season mini-league between the four which would have seen the sides finish equal with two wins, two draws and two defeats each from the games against each other.

 

The action gets underway at The Racecourse Ground on Thursday night when fourth placed Wrexham host Luton Town, who finished one place and three points ahead of them in the table. Despite that small gap, Wrexham got the better of The Hatters over the course of the season with a home win and a draw at Kenilworth Road on the final day. That would be enough to see them progress to the final at odds of Evens should they repeat it. Luton are getting used to the stewardship of new boss Gary Brabin and the Liverpudlian has had experience of the play-offs with Cambridge United two seasons ago. That campaign ended in disappointment at the hands of Torquay. There are signs that Brabin has improved his side in recent weeks. Ten games under his management have only seen one defeat, although six draws in that period could also hint at the need for something extra in this four team shoot-out. Both clubs will be buoyed by the statistics that show seven times in the eight year history of the competition the winner coming from the middle section of the play-off draw.

 

On Friday AFC Wimbledon make the long trip up to Fleetwood Town for their first-leg encounter. The Wombles top the recent form guide having overcome the worst of their injury crisis and, regardless of the eventual outcome of the play-offs, their runner-up position in the division deserves immense credit on its own. The hard work begins now against the fifth placed Cod Army who beat off late competition from Kidderminster and York to stake a claim for back-to-back promotions. Micky Mellon's team come into the equation as the team with momentum in the second half of the season. Mellon's side are 10/11 to qualify for the final over two legs, their South London opponents are 4/5 slight favourites to reach Manchester. Both will have the hurdle of history once they get to Eastlands as only once in the eight years of the play-offs has the runner-up in the league been promoted and the fifth placed team has yet to break its duck.

 

Blue Square Bet Premier - Who Will Win The Play-Offs?

Luton Town                                       2/1

AFC Wimbledon                              5/2

Fleetwood Town                              10/3

Wrexham                                            7/2

 

SCHEDULE

Semi-Final 1st Legs

Thursday 5th May 7.45pm

Wrexham v Luton Town

 

Friday 6th May 7.45pm

Fleetwood Town v AFC Wimbledon

 

Semi-Final 2nd Legs

Tuesday 10th May 7.45pm

Luton Town v Wrexham

 

Wednesday 11th May 7.45pm

AFC Wimbledon v Fleetwood Town

 

FINAL - Saturday 21st May 3pm - City of Manchester Stadium.

 

FORM GUIDE

Play-Off Teams Mini-League

Luton Town                                        P6  W2  D2  L2  F8  A5  GD+3        Pts8

Wrexham                                           P6  W2  D2  L2  F4  A4  GD0           Pts8

Fleetwood Town                              P6  W2  D2  L2  F5  A6  GD-1         Pts8

AFC Wimbledon                               P6  W2  D2  L2  F4  A6  GD-2          Pts8

 

Last Six Matches

AFC Wimbledon                               P6  W5  D1  L0  F12  A3  GD+9       Pts16

Fleetwood Town                              P6  W5  D0  L1  F14  A4  GD+10     Pts15

Wrexham                                          P6  W3  D2  L1  F10  A7  GD+3       Pts11

Luton Town                                        P6  W2  D3  L1  F9  A3  GD+6         Pts9

 

Season vs Top Half Teams

Luton Town                                      P22  W8  D9  L5  F35  A20  GD+15               Pts33

Wrexham                                          P22  W8  D9  L5  F25  A19  GD+6                 Pts33

Fleetwood Town                              P22  W8  D8  L6  F26  A25  GD+1                 Pts32

AFC Wimbledon                               P22  W7  D6  L9  F25  A31  GD-6                  Pts27

 

Where Do The Winners Come From? (8 year history)

SECOND PLACE                                 Winners 1            Runners-up 2     Losing SF's 5

THIRD PLACE                                      Winners 5            Runners-up 0     Losing SF's 3

FOURTH PLACE                                 Winners 2            Runners-up 1     Losing SF's 5

FIFTH PLACE                                       Winners 0            Runners-up 5     Losing SF's 3

 

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