As only a defeat and a miraculous goal difference swing can prevent Southampton gaining automatic promotion from League One, it’s fair to assume that Saints will be playing Championship football next season.
Subsequently, Nigel Adkins’ side will be in relaxed mood as they host Walsall, but the same can’t be said of the Saddlers who are looking nervously over their shoulder, sitting just one point above the drop zone.
Southampton are 8/11 with to mathematically confirm promotion with a victory while 888Sport make Walsall 9/2 to come out on top and guarantee their safety. Totesport chalk 14/5 against the draw but it’s a tough-to-call encounter in the circumstances and with the impressive Saints able to play with freedom and without pressure, it could be a tough afternoon for Dean Smith’s charges.
Anything other than a victory for the Saddlers could open the survival door for Dagenham who head to Peterborough. Patchy Posh haven’t been tearing up trees of late as they set their sights on the more important business of the play-offs and the Daggers could catch them cold, despite being Betfred’s 3/1 outsiders.
A win would give John Still’s side a great chance of staying up given that they are also in touch with Notts County but even a draw would be enough if Walsall lose so it may be worth backing Dagenham at 17/20 (Sportingbet) to avoid defeat at London Road, although a better bet could be 13/8 for the Daggers to ultimately steer clear of the drop.
One team that has failed to cling on to their League One status is Plymouth but the battling Pilgrims can at least end the season on a high by beating Leyton Orient, a result Paddy Power rate at 6/4.
Peter Reid’s side have won four of their last six at Home Park and would have stayed up were it not for a points deduction so a defiant performance could be on the cards while the O’s inconsistent finish to the campaign means the visitors look vulnerable.
Finally, in a dead rubber at Dean Court, we can expect Bournemouth and Rochdale to produce plenty of goals. The Cherries are potent in attack at home, where their 22 matches have averaged over three goals apiece and they have conceded at least twice in seven of their last eleven. Rochdale, for their part have shipped eight in their last three but also scored a few and it therefore looks like a match that could generate at least four goals (9/4, bet365).