League Two: Macclesfield, Yeovil and Notts County fight to survive
Ask any football fan in the lower reaches of the EFL about the thing they fear the most and you’ll get one common response – relegation to the National League.
There’s nothing wrong with the top-tier of non-league football. But ask fans of Wrexham, Chesterfield, Hartlepool United, Lincoln City or Grimsby Town and they’ll tell you it’s a nightmare division to get promoted from.
That brings us to Macclesfield Town, Yeovil Town and Notts County. All three are involved in a drop-zone battle at the foot of League Two and only one can survive. We’ve run the rule over the trio and their relegation odds.
Pos. 22 – Macclesfield, P44, PTS 40 (13/8)
Remaining Fixtures: Port Vale (A), Cambridge Utd (H)
Hats off to Sol Campbell. The Arsenal legend continues to be derided by large swathes of the football community yet he stands on the brink of leading Macclesfield to one of League Two’s greatest escapes.
The Silkmen have taken 27 points from 24 matches since his arrival, increasing their points-to-game ratio to 0.9 from 0.65 during the first 20 matches of the season. That’s no mean feat in a side which has haemorrhaged goals.
Ultimately their home form should keep them up. Town have lost just twice at Moss Rose since early November. With a visit from one of the division’s worst away sides to come, Macc are in pole position.
Pos. 23 – Yeovil Town, P44, PTS 38 (1/6)
Remaining Fixtures: Northampton T (A), Carlisle Utd (H)
There’s always one club who drops faster than a stone. This year it’s Yeovil. The Glovers have lost 13 of their last 17 matches in League Two and now know that not even back-to-back wins may be enough.
Their cause is helped by a trip to a Northampton side woefully out-of-form, although Carlisle look likely to still be in the play-off picture come the final day. But do they have the firepower to mount a challenge?
While Macc and County are in the mire, at least they can score. Town have netted twice in their last 813 minutes of football and look seriously short of invention going forward. It could be curtains for the Glovers as a result.
Pos. 24 – Notts County, P44, PTS 38 (1/6)
Remaining Fixtures: Grimsby T (H), Swindon T (A)
Notts County are clinging on – just. But history tells you teams who concede 80+ goals don’t tend to stay up. Chesterfield and Leyton Orient are the last two to ship that many and both ended up relegated.
All hope is not lost for the Magpies, though. Neal Ardley has made the league’s oldest club tougher to beat home and away, although it’s results at Meadow Lane that are cause for concern.
County have won once at home since December and must cure their ills against Grimsby Town. A five-man defence looks to be the way to go, although their hopes could hinge on the return of Kane Hemmings.
The 27-year-old has 13 goals to his name this term and will be crucial in their final two fixtures alongside the experience of Craig Mackail-Smith. They will not want to go to Swindon needing points.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.