It’s a big weekend in League One, not least for Leeds United who head to the Valley to take on our early season rivals Charlton Athletic. Whilst both teams form has taken a hit since the first half of the season, Leeds United are still in the automatic places and could potentially clinch promotion on Saturday.

Charlton meanwhile now occupy one of the four play-off places. After a strong start, they’ve drifted off and now sit fifth in League One with arguably nothing left to play for. Automatic promotion is all but mathematically impossible for the Addicks, but they are guaranteed their place in this years play-offs. Whilst few Charlton fans would want to help Millwall clinch promotion by beating Leeds United this weekend, they’ll also know a higher placed finish is advantageous in the play-off semi-finals so still have something to play for.

Leeds’ biggest threat to promotion is the in-form team of League One, Millwall who have made a late dash up the table and currently sit third, just one point behind the Whites. They also have a tricky encounter away to Tranmere Rovers who are in the thick of a relegation battle and will be desperate for a result. The only other team realistically capable of taking second is Swindon Town who have the easiest fixture of all at home to Brentford. If both Leeds and Millwall failed to win this weekend, then Swindon’s final game would take them to the New Den with everything to play for.

Head-to-head

What makes the Charlton and Leeds clash most interesting is that both teams were early favourites for the League One title, both teams form went astray around the same time and both teams have a poor record against the top six. Both Charlton and Leeds have managed just one win against the rest of the top six. Leeds won at home to Norwich City, whilst Charlton won at home to Huddersfield. From a maximum 27 points so far against the top six, Charlton have managed just 10, whilst Leeds’ record is even worse with a measly total of 6.

Over the years, Leeds United come out on top in the fixture by a┬ásizeable┬ámargin in terms of games won (Leeds 24 – Charlton 14). However, a lot of this goes back to a time when both teams were playing in the Premier League. Since both teams have been relegated there’s been just one match between the sides which ended in a frustrating goalless draw at Elland Road earlier this season.

When Saturday comes

There’s a lot of a room for optimism for the Whites. Leeds have the better form of the two sides heading into this clash, and with automatic promotion highly unrealistic for the Addicks, there’s a possibility that their manager could rest some key players ahead of the play-offs.

Leeds still have some gaping defensive holes that need filling, but Sanchez Watt added a lot to our attacking options last week and should start again tomorrow. Jermaine Beckford gave the manager a bit of a selection dilemma when he came on last week and netted two after seeing Gradel and Becchio fail to take their chances. It’s a nice selection dilemma to have up front, but this game will more likely be won and lost at the back. Grayson needs to cut out the sloppy errors that have gifted teams goals lately as Charlton have lost only three times at the Valley this season and only one of those teams managed to score by them twice.

Either way, it’s in our hands…