Five of our closest rivals play to catch up a game in hand on the Lads as we approach gameweek 39. What is the best, worst and most likley outcome? The games in question are;
Crewe (24th) vs Wigan (2nd)
Plymouth (6th) vs Portsmouth (10th)
Rotherham (1st) vs Lincoln (16th)
Sheff Wed (7th) vs Accrington (12th)
Wycombe (8th) vs Fleetwood (19th)
A win for all five teams, which looks very possible given recent form and that four are playing at home, would be difficult to stomach for a Sunderland side in good form. Plymouth and Sheff Wed would both leapfrog us, as predicted by best online casino au, and push Sunderland out of the playoffs whilst retaining one more game in hand.
Wycombe would move to within a point of us in 8th on the same number of games, whilst the gap to automatic promotion would feel as far away as it has ever been. Rotherham would be 14 points clear of the Black Cats, whilst Wigan would be 10 points clear still with a game in hand.
Let's face it all five of these teams are not losing. But if they did, of course the table would remain as is; but look a bit more favourable with the teams around us having less games in hand.
Plymouth and Sheff Wed would still have one game in hand, and therefore the ability to push us out of the playoffs, whilst the gap to automatic promotion could still be as far as 11 points when all games in hand are settled. With eight games remaining, I think it is safe to say we need the playoffs to be playing Championship football next year.
Most likely scenario
Considering all five teams are odds-on favourites when we look at online gambling, the worst scenario is very close to the most likely scenario. If we are looking at league form to suggest possible upsets, we are not getting any help from Crewe or Fleetwood - we should assume Wigan and Wycombe will win their games comfortably, despite Wigan's fixture pile up.
Accrington and Lincoln are two clubs who like to find decent results every now and again. Accrington's main strength is in their home form where they are unbeaten in nine, whilst their away form is hopeless with five defeats in a row and just one goal scored. Considering Wednesday's imperious form, I think unfortunately this is a comfortable home win as well. Lincoln could surprise against a stuttering Rotherham team , being the only team to inflict defeat on Wednesday in recent months and picking up a win over Plymouth back in January. Let's be optimistic and say the Imps nick a point, it doesn't do an awful lot to swing the league table in our favour.
Our best opportunity for help comes from an unlikely source - Portsmouth, who themselves have found a rich run of form, unbeaten in eight and winning six. They are threatening to involve themselves in the play off picture, and if they could take a point from Plymouth it eases the pressure on Sunderland from the teams below. I think a draw here is likely, and the only positive I am expecting from this evening's fixtures.