Free-scoring Scunthorpe in line for promotion
Iron set to strike gold and win place in Championship
Graham Alexander, the manager who guided Fleetwood to League Two playoff glory three seasons ago, can repeat the feat by taking Scunthorpe into the Sky Bet Championship via the same route.
The Iron, who finished third in League One, head for Millwall feeling good about themselves after a run of five straight wins.
Their February collapse, which saw them nosedive from the top of the pile into the chasing pack, has long been forgotten and in such an open race they look a decent bet at 7-2.
The top goalscorers of the four teams taking part in the playoffs, Scunny are a side on the up and are ready to take the step up to the Championship next season.
Promoted as runners-up from League Two in 2013-14, they finished 16th two years ago and seventh last season, just missing out on the playoffs on goal difference. Player investment was heavy two summers ago and they are now reaping the rewards.
With 16 different scorers in this term’s squad they have goals from all over the pitch and even once 19-goal Josh Morris started drying up, others – notably on-loan Newcastle youngster
Ivan Toney – stepped up to the plate.
There is a high-class trio up against them with fourth-placed Fleetwood – promoted from League Two in the same campaign as Scunny – another side who are heading in the right direction.
Alexander’s previous club were almost relegated last term but have made giant strides under Uwe Rosler, a manager who has no soft spot for the playoffs. Rosler’s two previous tilts at the playoffs have ended in failure with Brentford and Wigan.
The Cod Army were unbeaten for four months until mid-March but have been inconsistent in the run-in.
Bradford, last year’s beaten playoff semi-finalists, boast the worst head-to-head record between the four. Unbeaten at home all season (not hugely significant given that the team who win promotion will have played two of their three games away), they draw a lot of games.
A sickness bug has swept through the Millwall camp with poor timing though they should still be upbeat. They weren’t even making the playoffs after 84 minutes of Sunday’s trip to Bristol Rovers but Shaun Hutchinson pounced to complete a 4-3 win which emphasised their defensive frailties as much as their resilience.
2pts 7-2 general