Note: The plan early in the season is to update these standings about every five weeks or so until much later in the season. We’ll try to highlight the important game that most impact the promotion and relegation zones in these pieces, but also take a look at how teams got to that point in the table.
We are now a little over 10% into the League Two season, so here’s an extremely early look at who would be moving up – and down – if the season were to end today.
In League Two, the top three teams are automatically promoted to League One, with the fourth- through seventh-place teams competing for promotion via a playoff. After the 2017-2018 season, Accrington Stanley (1st), Luton Town (2nd), Wycombe Wanderers (3rd) and Coventry City (playoff winner) earned promotion.
The top of the league table currently looks like this:
Recent Small Club of the Week Exeter City remains in the hunt for promotion, even after losing a tough game to MK Dons this past Saturday. They face a tough match-up this weekend against first place Lincoln City, especially considering their participation in the Carabao Cup against Fulham earlier this week. However, should they be able to score a point, they should keep themselves in contention for at least a playoff spot similar to last season, where they lost to playoff winner Coventry City in the playoff final.
A promotion for Lincoln City would mark their first return to Tier 3 (now known as the League One) since they were relegated after a 23rd place finish during the 1998-1998 season. The Milton Keynes Dons – a newer team formed from the former Wimbledon FC club in 2004 but no longer sharing Wimbledon’s history – have spent 11 of their 15 seasons of existence at at Tier 3 and has high hopes to return. And Exeter City was last in League One during the 2011-2012 season, though they have struggled to stay up with any consistency.
On the other end of things, only two teams face relegation to the National League. Last year, Barnet (because of point differential) and Chesterfield went down to the National League, and both clubs are currently mid-table at this early point in the season.
The bottom of the League Two table currently looks like this:
Notts County needs a win more than any other club on this list, or else they run the risk of falling well behind of the clubs above them. However, of the four, only Cambridge United faces off against a team in the top half of the table this week, so there is hope for the three teams below them. Notts County has never played in Tier 5, and they hope for a turn around this season to avoid relegation, especially after competing in the playoffs for promotion to League One last season.
Macclesfield Town has been in League Two before, though this is their first season in the league since a last place finish in the 2011-2012 season. Though they won the National League title last year, they have yet to show that they can compete in League Two, though the season is young and they have plenty of time to turn it around.
Until next time…
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