THE BIG MATCH

The stand-out fixture in npower League 2 this weekend takes place in Lancashire, where fourth-placed Fleetwood Town take on Burton Albion, who are fifth.

The table is extremely congested in and around the Play-Off places and these two sides are in the thick of things, locked on 50 points, with the Brewers having played 32 games to Fleetwood's 31.

A victory for either could lift them into the top three, providing Cheltenham fail to win, and that highlights the significance of this meeting, particularly with the home straight of the season coming into sight.

The two teams approach the fixture on form - both unbeaten in four - but Fleetwood narrowly have the upper hand with three wins in those matches, compared to Burton's two.

Cod Army manager Graham Alexander insists his side won't be resting on their laurels, though, telling Fleetwood Today: "I haven't looked at the league, I'm sure someone will tell me where we are but I'm just looking at the points tally. We just want to put points on the board.

"Coming into the final weeks we are in a very good position, but we haven't done anything yet and if we take our foot off the pedal we'll soon find ourselves out of the Play-Offs.

"The players are showing they want to be successful but we have to take it one step at a time."

Burton's lofty position in League 2 is largely thanks to their home form, which accounts for 36 of the 50 points they have tabled so far.

The Brewers have only managed three wins away from the Pirelli Stadium this term, the most recent being way back on November 7th, but boss Gary Rowett says his team are upbeat going into this one.

He told Burton Mail: "Graham [Alexander] has done a really good job since taking over and it'll be a very hard game for us.

"They're a very good team. I went to watch them at Oxford United on Tuesday night and they're a very hard-working side who are tough to play against. They're a little bit like ourselves in that respect.

"Every away game is difficult, but we can have some confidence. I don't see any reason why we can't go there and get something,"

KEEP AN EYE ON

It's derby day at the New York Stadium on Saturday with Rotherham United hosting near-neighbours Chesterfield.

It promises to be a very interesting encounter in South Yorkshire with the Millers sitting seventh on 49 points and the visiting Spireites just six points further back in 11th.

Steve Evans' team will be eager to cement their place in the top seven, and even challenge for a place in the top three, and to do so they will need to find some consistency, which they haven't managed of late.

They picked up a 3-1 victory at Torquay United on Tuesday night, which will give them some momentum coming into this fixture, but lost three of their four games prior to that victory.

Boss Evans acknowledged the good work opposite number Paul Cook has done with Chesterfield, and is expecting a lively afternoon at the New York Stadium.

"He [Paul Cook] has done a great job in a short space of time," Evans explained to The Star.

"They will be organised and efficient, have people who can score goals and a top class goalkeeper and they are among a clutch of clubs striving to get in the Play-Offs.

"You look for big characters, big players and big performances and players should enjoy playing in this one.

"Chesterfield will have over 2,000 behind them; we'll have the rest giving it what for and really getting behind our lads.

"They'll all get behind their own team and I sincerely hope that the supporters of both clubs do what they're good at and concentrate on that and nothing else so we can ensure the day goes off smoothly. Let's hoping it's a sporting occasions. I'm sure it will be."

If Chesterfield want to get in amongst the teams currently battling for a place in the top seven, they need to pick up points against the sides above them, and three against rivals Rotherham would certainly improve their Play-Off credentials.

Like their neighbours, the Spireites were also victors last time out - beating AFC Wimbledon 2-0 - and boss Cook wants his team to rack up another vital three points, to please the travelling supporters.

"It is a game with more than three points at stake, I don't think anyone should kid themselves," the manager told www.chesterfield-fc.co.uk.

"At the end of the day if we win we get three points but we also get a lot of bragging rights, and that's important. If we lose we take it on the chin and accept it.

"We must come away from that ground on Saturday saying 'we can't do anymore'. We just want our supporters to go there, like we know they're going to, and we want them to come back happy."

ELSEWHERE IN THE DIVISION

Port Vale and Gillingham will continue their duel for top spot in npower League 2 this weekend with both sides in action on home soil.

The Valiants currently top the division, on 60 points, and also sit firmly at the summit of the form table having taken 14 points from their last six matches, conceding just once and scoring 14.

Next up for Micky Adams' men is Morecambe, who have risen to 12th, seven points adrift of the Play-Offs, following three wins from four matches.

Second-placed Gillingham, meanwhile, are a point behind Port Vale and host John Still's Dagenham and Redbridge, who sit comfortable in mid-table.

The Gills will be eager to secure a win to pile the pressure on their promotion rivals, while the Daggers will want to close the eight-point gap that currently stands between them and the top seven.

Southend United and Northampton Town are both within striking distance of the Play-Offs and clash at Roots Hall on Saturday.

Northampton are eighth and possess their strong position in the table mainly because of their impressive home form. In fact, the Cobblers have won on the road just once in their last five away matches, which will give ninth-placed Southend confidence ahead of Saturday's meeting.

Paul Sturrock's men were defeated on home soil last time out, though, as Cheltenham won 2-1 at Roots Hall on Tuesday night.

That victory for the Robins lifted them up to third, and they will hope to maintain that position this weekend - they are at home to Aldershot Town, who sit in the relegation zone.

The Shots haven't won any of their last five matches and are joined in the bottom two by AFC Wimbledon, who are two points behind but with a game in hand and face Bradford City this weekend. The Bantams will be buoyant coming into the fixture, having secured their first league win in seven outings against Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday.

That was the Chairboys' first defeat since a New Year's Day loss against Exeter City, and they will want to get back to winning ways on their trip to in-form Bristol Rovers. The Pirates have been transformed by manager John Ward, though, who was appointed in December, and they now lie 19th after registering 13 points from their last six matches - a run of form mirrored by Gareth Ainsworth's Chairboys.

While Bristol Rovers and Wycombe are towards the top of the form table, Rochdale sit at the bottom having collected just two points from their last six matches. Dale will hope Keith Hill's influence soon pays off, and a win against Torquay United would be a good starting point this weekend.

The Gulls have managed just four points from their last six, and that record is shared with Oxford United and York City, who face Plymouth Argyle and Barnet respectively.

The remaining npower League 2 fixture comes on Friday, when sixth-placed Exeter City host struggling Accrington Stanley.

A win for the Grecians could move them into the top three, while Stanley could find themselves in the bottom two by close of play on Saturday, but only if they lose on Friday and other results go against them - there are currently two points above the drop zone.

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