Top of the pile Burton will host promotion rivals Walsall, who have been stumbling in 2016, in the pick of the weekend fixtures in League One.
Both teams suffered losses last weekend that could be costly them come May, with Albion succumbing to a 3-1 defeat to Southend while the Saddlers were on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline against Wigan. The Brewers are on 63 points and still have a four-point advantage at the summit, while Sean O’Driscoll’s men are three places and six points adrift. The two sides each have a game in hand over their fellow challengers for the automatic promotion places.
Meanwhile, third placed Gillingham dropped vital points against relegation battling Oldham on Saturday, which stopped them from going within two points of top spot.
With the best home record in the league, taking an impressive 12 wins and 39 points from 16 games, the Gills take on a Chesterfield side on the brink of the drop. A crucial victory against second from bottom Crewe last weekend prevented the Spireites from falling into the bottom-four, but Danny Wilson’s men are still only a point above the dreaded dotted line.
With the other top four teams picking up nothing, Wigan capitalised on those around them and jumped into second place. Athletic have not lost a game since December 12, making their rise into the automatic promotion spots more impressive.
The visitors to the DW Stadium are Bury, who are 12 places and 15 points adrift of their opponents. Having taken seven points from their last nine available, the Shakers are now ten points away from the play-offs and may consider this their final chance to make a late push for the top six.
Millwall moved into fifth on 53 points after their 3-0 win against Peterborough last weekend, and they will want to push for the top-two after their trip to Doncaster on Saturday afternoon.
Only Walsall have been more prolific on the road in League One as the Lions have taken 30 points from 16 games, making the visitors favourites against a Rovers side that has lost their last four games and now sit only three points above the drop.
Coventry currently occupy the final play-off place with 52 points, having crushed Bury 6-0 in the last league match they played a fortnight ago. The Sky Blues cannot afford any more dropped points and host Fleetwood who are also desperate for a win. Hovering above the relegation zone on goal difference alone, Town will make sure City do not win without a battle.
Colchester’s hopes of climbing out of the drop zone continues to disappear each week, as another heavy loss puts them an insurmountable 10 points from safety with the worst goal difference in English football. United have the chance to record their first league victory since October 20 when Shrewsbury visit the Community Stadium. Town were dismantled by Manchester United in the FA Cup last weekend and are in the bottom-four on goal difference.
All League One fixtures:
Friday 26, February
Port Vale vs Southend (19:45)
Saturday 27, February (15:00)
Blackpool vs Bradford
Burton vs Walsall
Colchester vs Shrewsbury
Coventry vs Fleetwood
Crewe vs Barnsley
Doncaster vs Millwall
Gillingham vs Chesterfield
Peterborough vs Swindon
Rochdale vs Sheff Utd
Scunthorpe vs Oldham
Wigan vs Bury