League Two Preview: Burton on the brink

A last-gasp 1-1 draw with Carlisle United on Wednesday left Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's men needing just four points from their remaining three games to be sure of their place in the third tier for next season.

And they will be able to celebrate early if they win on Saturday, and fourth-placed Bury fail to overcome Portsmouth.

Following their battling midweek performance, in which they needed a 98th-minute leveller from Denny Johnstone, Hasselbaink said: "They were very difficult to play against but you have to be patient and keep on passing the ball and finding the gaps. 

"It wasn't easy but I think we created enough to win three matches if you understand me."

In Morecambe, Burton next come up against a side whose play-off aspirations were left hanging by a thread after a midweek defeat at York City, and thoughts at the Globe Arena will likely soon turn towards another season in League Two.

Shrewsbury Town could also wrap up promotion on Saturday, but they must rely on other results going their way to be certain of a place in the top three.

A 1-0 defeat at fourth-placed Bury on Tuesday, along with a 2-0 win for Southend United over Newport County, denied Shrewsbury the chance to go up with four games to spare.

However, a win at home against York this weekend, combined with defeat for Bury, as well Southend losing at Exeter City, would see Micky Mellon's side assured of their ascent.

Third-placed Wycombe Wanderers, meanwhile, will be keen to maintain their four-point advantage in the final automatic promotion spot when they take on AFC Wimbledon.

Gareth Ainsworth's Wycombe did things the hard way on Tuesday when beating Exeter 2-1 - with Paul Hayes netting a penalty an amazing 12 minutes into injury time.

"The silence in the stadium just before Hayesy took that penalty is something I've never heard before at Wycombe Wanderers, so that was an eerie moment," said Ainsworth. "To have his nerve is something that a captain would do and to slot that home for the points in fantastic."

Stevenage and Plymouth Argyle are in prime position to take the two remaining play-off spots, and they visit Accrington Stanley and Carlisle respectively this weekend.

The chasing pack's push has faltered in recent matches but Luton Town, Newport County and Exeter will all remain hopeful of making it into the top seven.

Luton host Hartlepool United, who sit just a point clear of the relegation zone and are in desperate need of a victory after a winless run of four, while Newport welcome Dagenham and Redbridge to Rodney Parade.

The fight for survival now looks to be down to three clubs, with bottom-placed Tranmere Rovers at home to Oxford United, who have little left to play for, and Cheltenham Town - buoyed by a midweek win against Cambridge United - visiting Northampton Town.

Two clubs not yet mathematically safe, Cambridge and Mansfield Town, meet at the Abbey.

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