8 things that could still happen in the EFL
With plenty still to play for in the Championship, League One and League Two, we have a look at the scenarios that could happen come the end of the season.
Top and bottom places stay the same in all three leagues
Norwich have been top of the Championship for the last eight games since beating Leeds 3-1 away from home at the beginning of February, and the leaders at this stage have won the title in each of the last six seasons.
The Canaries are only four points clear of second-placed Sheffield United, but six wins on the spin means their pursuers are running out of time.
Rock-bottom Ipswich, meanwhile, are winless in 11 league games and sit five points behind Bolton.
In League One, leaders Luton are five points clear of Barnsley and are on a club-record unbeaten run of 26 league games.
Bottom club Bradford have taken just four points from their last eight matches – the third-fewest in the division – and trail 23rd-placed Wimbledon by three points.
That they are the first side in League One’s 13-team relegation battle that are beginning to look resigned to the drop reinforces their reputation as the worst side in the division.
League Two leaders Lincoln are further clear than any other side in the EFL, with an eight-point buffer between them and Bury.
The Imps haven’t lost in 16 league games – a run that stretches back to Boxing Day – and have been top of the table for the last 35 matches.
At the other end, Notts County are three points behind second-bottom Macclesfield having played a game more.
Leeds miss out again
It’s a tense time for Leeds United fans.
They fell away from play-off contention last season before eventually finishing 13th, thanks to a run of just four victories in 22 games after Boxing Day.
They also ended up five points and one place short of the top six in 2016/17 after failing to win any of their final five matches.
So, their 1-0 defeat at home to Sheffield United last time out, which saw the visitors leapfrog them into second place, will have triggered a familiar sense of panic.
The Blades’ one-point advantage is not insurmountable, but it’s difficult to see a way in given that the top two have dropped just nine points between them in their last 20 games combined.
An extra three games in the play-offs are unlikely to be met with much positivity either, considering the physical exertions of a 46-match season under Marcelo Bielsa.
Sheffield Wednesday to make the Championship play-offs
Sheffield Wednesday are unbeaten in their last 11 league games and have taken 23 points from 10 matches under Steve Bruce’s leadership – a total only bettered by league leaders Norwich.
They are one of four sides within two points of sixth-placed Aston Villa with eight games left.
The Owls face Villa at Hillsborough, where they are unbeaten in 11 matches in all competitions, next weekend and a win there would see this price tumble.
Jarrod Bowen (e/w) to win the Championship Golden Boot
Bowen scored a brace in Hull’s 2-2 draw with QPR last time out, bringing his tally to 21 goals for the season.
He has failed to score in only five of his last 14 league appearances for the Tigers and has had 95 shots on goal this season – the seventh-most of any player in the Championship.
He trails Teemu Pukki by three goals but is only one behind second-placed Billy Sharp, so there is some each-way value here.
Luton go unbeaten for the rest of the season
Luton are already on a club-record unbeaten run in the league, having gone 26 matches without defeat.
The Hatters, along with second-placed Barnsley, are generating the highest xG in League One while also conceding the lowest (experimental361).
The fact they are consistently creating more high-quality goalscoring opportunities than any other side while also giving up the fewest meaning that run of form is certainly sustainable.
They face four bottom-half sides in their last seven matches, with Charlton (A) on 13 April their only remaining fixture against any of the top six.
None of the sides Luton face between now and the end of the season have beaten them this term, while they were only denied victory against the Addicks in September after conceding a stoppage-time equaliser.
AFC Wimbledon finish in the top half
This is a long shot, but stick with me.
Wimbledon had dropped just two points in four matches prior to their 4-2 defeat against Gillingham last Saturday.
That run has dragged Wally Downes’ side to within three points of safety in League One with seven games remaining.
But, with just five points separating 12th place and the relegation zone, the Dons will not be far off the top half should they escape the bottom four.
With six bottom-half sides still to play, it’s definitely possible.
Tranmere are promoted automatically
Tranmere’s 2-0 win away to Colchester last weekend was their sixth consecutive victory in League Two and kept them within five points of third-placed MK Dons.
Micky Mellon’s side have a game in hand over both MK Dons and fourth-placed Mansfield – who haven’t won in four matches – and play an out-of-form Oldham next Tuesday.
They then face the Dons on 13 April in a game that will go some way to deciding who takes the final automatic promotion spot.
That Rovers still have to play the top two in Lincoln and Bury before the end of the season explains their long price, but that could still work in their favour.
Sol Campbell saves Macclesfield
Macclesfield are just two points behind third-bottom Yeovil in League Two with eight games to play and a game in hand.
Campbell’s side beat the Glovers 2-0 to close the gap earlier this month and have only lost to top-three sides Bury and MK Dons in their last seven league games.
They still have five bottom-half teams to play in the run-in, while Yeovil have lost 10 of their last 12 and must face play-off chasers Swindon, Crewe, Colchester and Carlisle before the end of the season.
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