League One - going up and going down

Oxpete

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Anyone want to make any predictions?

League One never ceases to amaze me these days - for the past five years or so it has become increasingly unpredictable, increasingly seems to go against form, and has arguably declined in quality. The gap between League One and the Championship now seems the sort of chasm that people used to associate with from Championship up to the Premier League.

If Rotherham United are relegated back down this season (which looks possible, despite a docked Wednesday and a melt-down Brum City), it'll be the sixth time in the past eight seasons that they've yo-yo-ed between the two divisions (and in both the two seasons they didn't, they cut it fine by finishing in 21st place in the Championship). It seems to illustrate how big the gap between the two levels now is.

Hull City are the best side in League One this season, and yet they've already lost ten league matches. Last year's champs were Coventry City who lost only three (in thirty-four matches played), and yet Cov too are presently struggling at the higher level. I also suspect that the experience of Wycombe this season will become increasingly commonplace for others going up. It doesn't offer too much hope for those chasing the promotion places this season.

But personally I'll go for Hull City, Sunderland and Blackpool to go up.

At the bottom it's all very tight, but Rochdale's win away at Lincoln City the other week shows quite how unpredictable form seems to be. However, looking through the upcoming fixtures, I can't help but feel that Northampton Town might have their work cut out with a difficult run-in.

In contrast, I think Wigan Athletic could well come good and stay up - their match at home to Swindon on the final day of the season could well be a big decider for both sides.
 

Bigaitch

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Anyone want to make any predictions?

League One never ceases to amaze me these days - for the past five years or so it has become increasingly unpredictable, increasingly seems to go against form, and has arguably declined in quality. The gap between League One and the Championship now seems the sort of chasm that people used to associate with from Championship up to the Premier League.

If Rotherham United are relegated back down this season (which looks possible, despite a docked Wednesday and a melt-down Brum City), it'll be the sixth time in the past eight seasons that they've yo-yo-ed between the two divisions (and in both the two seasons they didn't, they cut it fine by finishing in 21st place in the Championship). It seems to illustrate how big the gap between the two levels now is.

Hull City are the best side in League One this season, and yet they've already lost ten league matches. Last year's champs were Coventry City who lost only three (in thirty-four matches played), and yet Cov too are presently struggling at the higher level. I also suspect that the experience of Wycombe this season will become increasingly commonplace for others going up. It doesn't offer too much hope for those chasing the promotion places this season.

But personally I'll go for Hull City, Sunderland and Blackpool to go up.

At the bottom it's all very tight, but Rochdale's win away at Lincoln City the other week shows quite how unpredictable form seems to be. However, looking through the upcoming fixtures, I can't help but feel that Northampton Town might have their work cut out with a difficult run-in.

In contrast, I think Wigan Athletic could well come good and stay up - their match at home to Swindon on the final day of the season could well be a big decider for both sides.
In a answer to your opening point - No, it is too unpredictable!!

I think the same applies to League 2 and The Championship as well, although possibly not to the same degree as League 1, this season anyway. That is what makes it all the more enjoyable...
 

007Dale

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I’ll give it a go:

Up:
Sunderland
Peterborough
Doncaster

Down:
Bristol Rovers
Northampton
Swindon
Wigan
 

paulh66

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I’ll give it a go:

Up:
Sunderland
Peterborough
Doncaster

Down:
Bristol Rovers
Northampton
Swindon
Wigan
I'll have a go too:

Up: Sunderland, Posh and, in the playoffs, Pompey.
Down: Wimbledon, Rochdale, Northampton, Wigan.

Although Barton's managing to make quite a hash of Bristol Rovers. If I could have a sympathy vote I'd trade Wigan for the Gas.
 

007Dale

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I'll have a go too:

Up: Sunderland, Posh and, in the playoffs, Pompey.
Down: Wimbledon, Rochdale, Northampton, Wigan.

Although Barton's managing to make quite a hash of Bristol Rovers. If I could have a sympathy vote I'd trade Wigan for the Gas.
I’d be quite happy to see the odious Joey Barton relegated.
 

Tykeoldboy

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I’ll give it a go:

Up:
Sunderland
Peterborough
Doncaster

Down:
Bristol Rovers
Northampton
Swindon
Wigan
If you're heading off to the bookies with that prediction then save you money and legs. they way things are going at Doncaster at the moment I'm thankful just not to be in a relegation battle. I think you will be OK with the other 6 teams you selected.
 

Oxpete

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I'll have a go too:

Up: Sunderland, Posh and, in the playoffs, Pompey.
Down: Wimbledon, Rochdale, Northampton, Wigan.
Keep your money in your pocket there... :confused:
 

Oxpete

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Gillingham have beaten Wigan Athletic 1-0 tonight, with the Gills now in the play-off places.

Gillingham's record over their past matches is five wins, two draws and just one defeat in their past eight league fixtures. Their run-in to the end of the season looks significantly easier than that of some other play-off chasers, too, though they've played more matches than any of the others up the top.


1617219295825.png
 

Oxpete

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A big day in League One tomorrow, with the following fixtures...

1617305236273.png

I reckon the most interesting of that lot is probably Swindon Town v Blackpool, with both needing the points at opposite ends of the table.

Although they've picked up a couple of away wins in their past two matches, Swindon Town still look very vulnerable in the relegation scrap - they've lost 22 matches so far this season (matched only by free-fall Bristol Rovers) and they've conceded 65 goals (only bottom-placed Rochdale have let in more). The three other sides immediately around them (Burton, Cobblers and AFCW) all have distinctly easier matches on Friday - I can't see all three of them slipping up, so Swindon really need to keep their momentum going.

Blackpool will also be eager for the points. Despite being in fine form, they've just been pushed out of the play-off places by equally in-form Gillingham, and the four sides above Blackpool who are playing on Friday (Hull, Posh, Sunderland and Pompey) all have notably easier-looking matches. Someone might slip up, but surely not all four of them...

The other important match is Northampton Town v Shrewsbury Town. Cobblers have got a very difficult-looking run-in to the end of the season, and home to Shrews might be their final 'easier' fixture. Shrews themselves have probably got just enough of a safety buffer, but Northampton's remaining fixtures do not look at all promising...

2/4 ... Shrewsbury Town (H)
5/4 ... Hull City (a)
10/4 ... Bristol Rovers (H)
17/4 ... Peterborough Utd (a)
20/4 ... Ipswich Town (H)
24/4 ... Gillingham (a)
1/5 ... Blackpool (H)
8/5 ... Sunderland (a)
 

hantslondoner

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If I were a betting man I'd have a flutter on Pompey going up now that the Cowley brothers have taken over, possibly via the playoffs.
Otherwise for me it's two from Hull, Sunderland and Peterborough - the first two of these are possibly more consistent.
At the bottom Bristol Rovers, Northampton, and possibly Rochdale and Swindon look most likely to me. AFC Wimbledon and Wigan I have a feeling might stay up.
Probably several reasons there why I'm not a betting man.... ;-)
 

Oxpete

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If I were a betting man I'd have a flutter on Pompey going up now that the Cowley brothers have taken over, possibly via the playoffs.
Hmmm... thanks for the good wishes HantsLondoner, but forty-four years as a Pompey fan gives me the right to be a little more pessimistic, I think :confused:.

I'm overjoyed that Danny and Nicky Cowley have come to Pompey and got off to a flyer, and also (whisper it...) we've actually got as easy an end-of-season run-in as anyone could have possibly wished for, starting with Rochdale at home tomorrow. But at no point this season have we looked like candidates for automatic promotion, and even when we were in the top two places it still looked like on default. And our home form in an empty Fratton Park has been particularly miserable (on a table of just home results, we're as low as 15th place).

All respect to Peterborough, but I'm hoping that Sunderland (particularly with the form they're in at present) go up automatically - if they end up in the play-offs, I don't give anyone else much hope.

However, a play-off quartet of anyone from Posh, Pompey, Lincoln, Gills or Blackpool will be a very tight contest indeed. And if any of Donny, Oxford United, Charlton, Ipswich or even MKDons (who are climbing quickly) can muscle in with a run of late form, it won't make it any easier for Pompey. (And I've had a feeling that Blackpool would come good all along...)

On another pessimistic note, I can't help but think that whoever the third promoted side is, they're likely to experience what Wycombe have gone through this season in the Championship.

As for the rest of us, League One is proving more and more difficult to get out of as each season passes, and the gap up to the Championship seems to continue to widen. If the Ipswich Town fans on this forum hadn't already realised, I'm afraid you're in it for the long-haul (Sheffield Wednesday fans: take note...:().


Pompey's remaining fixtures...

2/4 ... Rochdale (H)
5/4 ... Wigan Athletic (a)
10/4 ... Burton Albion (H)
13/4 ... Crewe Alexandra (a)
17/4 ... MKDons (a)
20/4 ... Swindon Town (a)
24/4 ... Bristol Rovers (H)
27/4 ... Accrington Stanley (a)
1/5 ... AFC Wimbledon (a)
8/5 ... Accrington Stanley (H)
 

Oxpete

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1617323561151.png

You might need good eye-sight to make any sense of this - I nicked it off of the Oxford United Fans Forum (I knew membership of that would finally come in use sometime! :p)

Basically, it's a chart covering the end-of-season run-ins of Hull, Posh, Sunderland, Lincoln, Pompey, Blackpool, Donny, Oxford, Charlton, Gills, Ipswich and MKDons, giving a idea of who has the easiest/hardest remaining matches, along with a 'difficulty rating'.

(Remembering that most OUFC fans don't know their arse from their elbow...) the difficulty rating is calculated by grading fixtures as 3=difficult/2=middling/1=easy and dividing the total by the number of remaining matches to be played by each club. As the relegation candidates begin to scrap for their lives, the definition of 'difficult' might well change.

Anyway, scores-on-the-door...

Hull City ... 1.50
Peterborough ... 1.78
Sunderland ... 1.80

Lincoln City ... 1.78
Pompey ... 1.10
Blackpool ... 1.64

Doncaster ... 1.55
Oxford Utd ... 1.33
Charlton Ath ... 2.00

Gillingham ... 1.50
Ipswich Tn ... 1.20
MKDons ... 1.38


Their general thinking is that Pompey and Ipswich both have such piss-easy run-ins that we've obviously bribed someone somewhere along the way.

Hardest run-in seems to be Charlton Athletic's - they still have to play all of the present top three. Doncaster Rovers have some easier matches, but will finish off the season by playing Peterborough twice and Blackpool away in their final four fixtures. Sunderland and Posh have both got tough run-ins, too.

Also notable is Lincoln City's run-in, which they'll be juggling with their present run of poor form...

10/4 ... Blackpool (H)
13/4 ... MKDons (H)
17/4 ... Bristol Rovers (a)
20/4 ... Burton Albion (a)
24/4 ... Hull City (H)
27/4 ... Shrewsbury Tn (a)
1/5 ... Peterborough (a)
8/5 ... AFC Wimbledon (H)
TBA ... Charlton Ath (a)
 
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paulh66

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Ah but we all know that results don't follow a linear pattern, especially at the business end of a season. Games against the bottom markers mid season might be three point bankers but it's a different ball game when they're in last chance saloon fighting for their lives. Conversely at the top, where teams can cruise almost effortlessly for 80% of the season but choke when put under pressure with the finishing line in sight.

So I'll stick with Pompey to win the playoffs. And, with the above in mind, and knowing just what a funny old game football can be, I'll tip them to do Lincoln in the playoffs too!
 

GoldenMiller34

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Sunderland will win the title with Hull also going up automatically. Blackpool (Jerry Yates) will edge Portsmouth (Cowleys!) in the PO final with Peterborough (alarming away defence) and Lincoln (despite Callum Morton's best efforts) the losing semi-finalists.
 

Oxpete

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Today's League One scores...

1617383782517.png

No real surprises, though both Hull City and Peterborough United won their matches with a goal each in the final minute.

Sunderland won with a bit more of a cushion, but still left it late to beat a ten-man Oxford United. I spent the afternoon listening to BBC Radio Oxford where, in among the usual nonsense spouted, they seemed to think that Oxford were incredibly unlucky, what with the usual useless ref/unfair sending-off/by far the better team/players/manager/fans/radio-station/pies/blah/blah/blah and so on. The OUFC mood was not lightened by Max Power's celebrations immediately in front of Oxford's dug-out following Sunderland's 90+4min goal, which further spiralled into a brawl. Karl Robinson had already been sent to the stands! :D

Despite that final score, some Oxford fans are already predicting a play-off final of Oxford United v Sunderland, which Oxford will win handsomely. Apparently.

1617386491792.png

Yet more calm, sophisticated, cultured, respectful and intelligent reaction from the Oxford United bench...
 
Last edited:

Kirby Knitters

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Did the Police show up?

Robinson said they were waiting for them as one of his goalkeepers was headbutted.

He also said "I don't want to use names, it's not right to do that "
 

Oxpete

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Sunderland manager Lee Johnson has said something along the lines of Oxford's staff not coming out of this smelling of roses, and that his views differ from Karl Robinson's.


Another difference of opinion...

Oxford's fans have now taken to starting a petition to have referee Trevor Kettle knocked off the FL list. They're pretty livid on the OUFC Fans Forum...

1617394661006.png



Oddly, the view on the Sunderland Fans Forum is a little different...

1617394089074.png
 

Oxpete

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Two big matches in League One tomorrow...

Blackpool v. Gillingham

...with both sides in very good form, and then a hugely important fixture at...

Peterborough United v. Sunderland

...which’ll have big implications all round. A win for Peterborough would probably kill off Pompey’s slim chance of automatic promotion, though a Sunderland win wouldn’t be much better, so here’s hoping for a draw.

At the bottom, this might be one of AFC Wimbledon‘s better chances to close the gap on Swindon and Cobblers, with a home match against a middling out-of-form Fleetwood.
 

Roker Rover

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Did the Police show up?

Robinson said they were waiting for them as one of his goalkeepers was headbutted.

He also said "I don't want to use names, it's not right to do that "
Sky Sports asked Northumbria Police and they said they had not recieved any complaint. Looks like Big Karl was just lying again....

Its funny the alledged incident apparently occured at half time yet Oxford did not mention it until the end of the game in the heat of the moment after they had lost. If I witnessed a headbutt assualt that I deemed worthy of police action, I don't think the second half of a football match would have prevented me from reporting it straight away.

Oxford have subsequently said no report will be made. I wonder why?
 
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