The final day of the League One season looks to be the most exciting final day out of the three divisions in the Football League with promotion, relegation and play-off places still left to play for. Half of the fixtures can realistically play a part in deciding the final day fate of clubs, which seems an unseasonably high proportion and should mean we avoid too many games that turn into end of season parades.
With the early kick-offs fast approaching, let’s keep it brief and move straight into the action.
Fleetwood to Win at Home to Port Vale – Best Price 8/11 (Betfair)
Both of these sides have something to play for on the final day, Fleetwood can still gain automatic promotion by taking the three points and other results going their way, and Port Vale need a win to have any chance of avoiding relegation. With that in mind you’d imagine both sides will be going for it and throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at the battle for the three points.
Fleetwood come into this game off the back of three straight wins, whereas Port Vale have won just the one in six and as you’d imagine all of the form lines point in the direction of Fleetwood. Uwe Rosler has done a great job at Fleetwood this season, turning them into genuine promotion challengers, and as one of the more tactically astute managers in the division he will surely set his team up to take advantage of a Port Vale side who are likely to be pretty gung-ho in their attempts to secure survival. I could easily see Fleetwood picking off Port Vale at will as Vale go all out for the win.
As well as the obvious tactical situation that is likely to play to the advantage of Uwe Rosler’s team, the home v away form is heavily stacked in the favour of Fleetwood, with one of the best home records in the division playing one of the poorest. It’s hard to see how Port Vale will add to their two away victories of 2016/17.
Charlton to Win at Home to Swindon – Best Price 3/4 (Numerous)
In contrast to our first selection, this game is an end of season dead-rubber having absolutely no bearing on end of season matters in League One and nothing to play for other than some notion of pride.
Both of these sides have been a bit of a car crash this season; Charlton failing to make any meaningful attempt of a promotion challenge at the same time as fan protests continue against the ownership of the club, whilst Swindon are relegated after spending much of the season in the bottom four and even sunk to the desperate levels of appointing football’s number one charlatan Tim Sherwood in a mystery role, that seemed to be manager, but of which he has now absolved himself of all responsibility.
This could be a dangerous game to get behind with both sides having no real motivation to perform, however, Charlton have a hit a little patch of form winning three in four and plenty of the players may be playing for their futures. Karl Robinson’s stock may have taken a little bit of a dive over the past 12 months or so, but he did a very good job at MK Dons and will surely be looking to shake things up at The Valley, so many of the players may be playing for their places at the club next season. In opposition to this, with relegation confirmed and many of the Swindon players potentially looking for new clubs next season their minds may not be fully at the races.
In the circumstances, I think Charlton should just edge this.
Charlton & Fleetwood – 1pt Double @ 3.02 (Betfair)