What do Blackpool need to do to guarantee a play-off finish following today's results involving Oxford, Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth?
Following today’s convincing 3-0 win against Northampton Town, Blackpool need just one point from their final two games to guarantee their spot in the League One play-offs.
At one point this afternoon, it looked as though they would be assured of a top six finish today with results elsewhere going their way.
But Oxford United came from behind to beat Shrewsbury Town while Charlton Athletic equalised late on against Accrington Stanley. Portsmouth also claimed a comfortable 3-1 win at AFC Wimbledon.
That leaves the Seasiders in fifth place, two points ahead of Portsmouth who have just one game remaining, compared to Blackpool’s two.
Charlton, who are eighth, also have two games to go, taking on Lincoln City and Hull City at home in their final fixtures. The Addicks are six points behind Neil Critchley’s men, who boast a goal difference of 20 compared to Charlton’s 11.
Oxford, who host Burton next week in their final game of the campaign, are three points adrift of the Seasiders, but their goal difference is only three goals fewer.
Nevertheless, Pool’s destiny remains very much in their own hands and a draw or better will do the job when they host Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night.
The Seasiders then face Joey Barton’s already relegated Bristol Rovers on the final day of the season on Sunday, where all games kick off at the earlier time of noon.
Elsewhere, Hull and Peterborough United are already promoted, so both Sunderland and Lincoln City have guaranteed their spots in the play-offs.
The League One play-offs begin on May 18 and May 19, when limited crowds will be allowed back into the grounds.
Under the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, 10,000 fans will be allowed to attend sporting events from May 17 onwards, or alternatively 25 per cent of your capacity - whichever is lower.
In Blackpool’s case, a quarter of Bloomfield Road’s capacity is 4,334.
There’s even a chance that 500 away fans could attend the play-off fixtures, despite initial reports suggesting this wouldn’t be the case.
The Premier League has delayed the penultimate round of matches to allow supporters to be present, so that every club can play one home game in front of their own fans.
As a result, the 37th round of fixtures will now be played on May 18 and 19, the day after the third stage of the government’s covid road map is scheduled to start. And the final 38th round takes place on Sunday, May 23.
The initial plans didn’t include any provision for away supporters, but Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has since written to clubs to advise them that the government is prepared to relax the 'no away fans' stipulation in current guidance.
League One A first leg - Tuesday, May 18 (6pm kick-off)
League One B first leg - Wednesday, May 19 (6pm kick-off)
League One A second leg - Friday, May 21 (7.45pm kick-off)
League One B second leg - Saturday, May 22 (3pm kick-off)
League One play-off final - Sunday, May 30 (3pm kick-off)
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