Preston must match MK Dons result in Colchester clash to go up

Odds-on League One promotion favourites Preston North End (2/7) know if they can match the result MK Dons (4/6) record at home to already relegated Yeovil Town away at Colchester United, then they will go up.

Simon Grayson’s side have a hold of their own destiny, but drawing or losing at the Essex outfit, who are strong 1/10 candidates for the drop, may mean North End have to settle for the lethal lottery of the play-offs.

If goal difference comes into it, the Dons boast a better value of 13 strikes, so it’s better for Preston to keep things simple. A win at Colchester, who are a point from safety, is an 8/13 chance for the Deepdale outfit.

A draw may do neither side much good at 11/4, while a home victory is 9/2, but may only be enough to preserve United’s third-tier status if those above them, namely Notts County and Crewe Alexandra, lose.

League One’s leading marksman Joe Garner (6/5 in the anytime market) and in-form strike partner Jermaine Beckford (5/4), who has four in five and won Player of the Month for April, backed up by winger Paul Gallagher (15/8), are reasons for Preston supporters and punters to be cheerful.

It’s tough to make a case for Colchester, though if there are to upset the apple-cart and somehow survive, then their own attacking trio of Jacob Murphy (11/4), Gavin Massey (5/1) and George Moncur (6/1) have big parts to play.

With visitors Yeovil just having pride to play for, meanwhile, it’s little wonder Karl Robinson’s Dons are strong odds-on 1/5 favourites to win at Stadium:MK and keep their end of the promotion bargain up.

Milton Keynes have already beaten the Glovers 2-0 away this term, and a repeat result on home turf is an 11/2 chance. Their top scorer, Will Grigg, who has eight in as many matches, and is an odds-on 4/5 anytime chance, but better to grab the opener at 3/1 having done so in the reverse fixture.

In the relegation dogfight, Leyton Orient (odds-on at 1/6 to go down) travel to Swindon Town, who cannot better or do worse than finishing fourth. As this match means more to the London club and because they have beaten this opposition in two of the last three head-to-heads, Orient are actually 6/4 favourites for victory.

That may not be enough, however, to save them from the drop, as the Brisbane Road outfit require Notts County, Crawley Town and Colchester to all fail to win.

Speaking of Crawley (4/6 to be relegated), their contest with Coventry City (8/1 outsiders) is the only encounter between sides in the bottom seven. The Sky Blues are 6/4 to win, which will guarantee safety, while the Red Devils are 9/5, which may be enough, as could a draw (9/4), if Notts County lose and Colchester and Orient both at least draw.

And finally, 8/11 relegation chances Notts County and Crewe (9/1 outsiders) can preserve their statuses with respective victories over Gillingham and Bradford City.