Wigan wobble gives renewed hope to third-placed Walsall

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The pressure seems to be affecting those sides at the League One summit, with Wigan Athletic losing at lowly Doncaster Rovers and Burton failing to score for the fourth time in five games, against Barnsley at the weekend.

Walsall were the big winners on Saturday, narrowly defeating Phil Brown’s Southend 1-0 and the West Midlands club will fancy their chances of automatic promotion. The Saddlers are now just three points behind Burton, with a game in hand and a superior goal difference.

Swindon are the next visitors to Bescot Stadium on Tuesday night, with the hosts 11/20 to beat a Robins’ side who are winless in eight.

The current top two face off in a huge clash at the Pirelli Stadium, and Burton’s plummet in form is reflected in the odds. The Staffordshire club are 9/4 to record a first home win in four, with Gary Caldwell’s Latics favourites at 13/10.

While third-placed Walsall are causing those two sides to glance nervously over their shoulders, the teams occupying the other three play-off spots fell short.

10-man Milwall lost to Coventry, with Gillingham losing a second successive home game to Port Vale. Fourth-placed Bradford City at least managed to pick up a point at Shrewsbury.

Those results mean that Rochdale’s win over Blackpool hauls the North-West club to within four points of the Gills. And the two face off at Spotland tomorrow in a real six-pointer. The Kent club have won the last two meetings, and are 11/5 to triumph tomorrow, with the 6/5 hosts looking for a six home victory in seven.

Milwall, meanwhile, are 8/11 to beat Fleetwood at the New Den, with Bradford 13/10 to win on the road, as they face a Coventry side whose win over the Lions last weekend was their first home success in five games.

Wigan remain red-hot favourites for promotion at 1/50, with Burton 4/9 and Walsall 4/7. Gillingham are the longest price in the play-off spots at 11/2, though the smart money may be on 20/1 Rochdale, who are in fine form and have a realistic chance of securing a place in the play-offs.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.