With the top four all winless in the last week, the pressure is on for Burton and Wigan to further cement their places in the automatic promotion spots.
Albion’s 2-0 defeat to Bradford in midweek cut their lead to four points, in what was their ninth loss of the season. Despite the setback, the Brewers are nine points above the play-off places so remain on course to be promoted this season.
Nigel Clough’s men face Fleetwood, who are unbeaten in three, taking seven points from those games. The small run of form has elevated them five points clear of the drop, which could be vital come May.
Wigan’s 1-1 draw to Peterborough closed the gap at the top, and Latics manager Gary Caldwell added Derby County’s left-back Stephen Warnock on loan to add further options to his squad.
The Scot’s side travel to bottom club Colchester, who are 10 points from safety. United were dealt another blow with midfielder Sammie Szmodics ruled out for the remainder of the season as he requires ankle surgery.
Gillingham lead the chasing pack despite being winless in four, but have the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways when they host second-from-bottom Crewe.
The Gills still boast the best home record in the league, taking 39 points from 17 games. Now five points from the top-two and just four points from dropping out the play-offs, three points is desperately needed.
The Alex held Burton to a 1-1 draw last Saturday, but they are still seven points adrift of safety. Manager Steve Davis will know that avoiding a loss against another big team could give the Railwaymen’s the confidence ahead of the all important run-in.
Meanwhile, Walsall are winless in six and level on points with Gillingham. The Saddlers parted company with head coach Sean O’Driscoll after just 16 games, because of the drop in form and the knowledge that they could fall out of the play-offs, with performance coach Jon Whitney taking charge. His first test will be against Chesterfield, who are unbeaten in five and six points above the bottom-four.
Barnsley’s incredible run continues as they jumped into the final play-off place following a 3-1 victory against Walsall.
The visitors to Oakwell this weekend are Southend, who have only picked up a point from their last three matches. Just four points behind the hosts, the Shrimpers know they need to take something from their trip to Yorkshire to keep their play-off hopes alive.
Coventry’s dismal run continues as they have fallen out the top-six, but they could turn their season around with a trip to a struggling Blackpool side.
The Sky Blues are now in eighth after losing their last four matches, three points behind Barnsley in sixth. The Tangerines are 13 places and 17 points behind the visitors and occupy the final relegation spot. Neil McDonald’s men are two points from safety and a win could be vital for either side in deciding what division the clubs play football in next season.
Elsewhere, Bradford City host relegation candidates Doncaster Rovers, Peterborough United welcome Port Vale to London Road, Rochdale and Bury face off in a Greater Manchester derby, Sheffield United will look to maintain their play-off hopes when they host Oldham, while Shrewsbury play Scunthorpe and Swindon welcome Millwall to the County Ground.
League One Fixtures (Saturday, 3pm)
Barnsley vs Southend United
Blackpool vs Coventry City
Bradford City vs Doncaster Rovers
Burton Albion vs Fleetwood Town
Chesterfield United vs Walsall
Colchester United vs Wigan Athletic
Gillingham vs Crewe Alexandra
Peterborough United vs Port Vale
Rochdale vs Bury
Sheffield United vs Oldham Athletic
Shrewsbury Town vs Scunthorpe United
Swindon Town vs Millwall