The promotion and relegation races are heating up in League Two.
Which sides will be enjoying the sweet taste of promotion in May and which sets of fans will be looking up new away trips as they contemplate life in a lower division?
Here’s our look at the current state of play in League Two.
League Two Predictions
League Two Promotion – The race for automatic promotion
The Cowley revolution continues apace at Sincil Bank, with Lincoln City riding high at the top of League Two, and a winning mentality forged over several seasons should see them comfortably over the line.
That leaves two automatic places – one of which should be filled by Mansfield if they can shake off their reputation as the division’s draw specialists. With only three defeats this season, it’s unlikely they will suffer a late collapse. Bury are reaping the benefits of retaining their faith in Ryan Lowe and look like a side coming on strong for the second half of the season, while the relative squad strength of MK Dons at this level means they will surely stay in the reckoning even if recent form has been mixed.
Verdict: Lincoln City to secure more silverware for the Cowleys, with Mansfield and MK Dons to just edge out a much-improved Bury side.
League Two promotion – The play-off picture
All the current top six have the chance to pounce if any of the pacesetters wobble, but firming up a play-off slot currently looks the immediate priority for Colchester Utd, Carlisle Utd and Forest Green Rovers.
Of those three, it’s the league’s smallest football club that looks the most interesting proposition to mount a late charge, while the Cumbrians’ ambitions might just have been sabotaged by the recent departure of John Sheridan. Colchester’s reliable consistency both home and away should see them stay in the mix, while Exeter City, Tranmere Rovers and Stevenage can’t be discounted.
With Tranmere strong at home, and Exeter strong away, both of those two sides stand a healthy chance of breaking into the mix if they can improve their respective weak points.
Verdict: Bury, Forest Green, Colchester Utd and Tranmere Rovers to all make the grade.
League Two Relegation – The relegation dogfight
It’s desperate times for Notts County at the bottom of League Two with Neal Ardley facing an uphill struggle to retain their league status. That leaves a straight shootout between around six teams to avoid the final relegation slot, and with Sol Campbell currently guiding Macclesfield towards an unlikely stab at a great escape, several teams will be sweating.
It feels as if Yeovil Town and Morecambe have been treading water for a number of seasons now, with both sides looking stale. Cambridge Utd should get out of it with the inspired appointment of a safe pair of hands in Colin Calderwood, while Port Vale and Cheltenham Town could still fall victim to complacency, with the Valiants most in danger of nosediving.
Verdict: It’ll be goodbye for now for the world’s oldest professional football club with too much managerial upheaval coming back to bite Notts County. Jim Bentley has battled against gravity with Morecambe for several years, but this could be the season their luck finally runs out.
Follow us and tweet @Marathonbet