We give an update on the Opta supercomputer’s projections for promotion and relegation in League Two.

12 April

Stockport County need just one more point to secure promotion, so it won’t be much of a surprise that the Opta supercomputer sees them go up in 100% of its simulations. Away wins at relegation-threatened Sutton United and Colchester United in the last week have put Dave Challinor’s men on the brink of a place in League One. They also win the title in 93.0% of sims.

Wrexham are likely to join them after they followed up a 2-1 win at Colchester with a 4-1 hammering of Crawley Town. The Welsh side’s promotion likelihood is now up at 95.7%.

Mansfield Town had a mixed week, getting beaten 4-1 at home by Crawley last Saturday before recording a 1-0 victory over bottom-place Forest Green Rovers. Nigel Clough’s men are back in the top three after a few days in fourth during the week, and still have a healthy 87.0% chance of going up.

MK Dons might consider their probability of 16.7% somewhat harsh given they won 2-0 at Forest Green on Saturday and sit just two points behind Mansfield, but the Stags do have a game in hand.

League Two promotion predictor 12 April

The play-off picture has had its ups and downs in recent weeks but seems to be starting to take shape. As well as MK Dons (83.3%), Crewe Alexandra (97.9%) and Barrow (90.2%) seem well ensconced in the top seven, while despite their chastening loss at Wrexham on Tuesday, Crawley’s recent form has seen them rise to a 74.8% chance of completing the play-off picture.

Walsall (20.1%) remain the likeliest challengers to Scott Lindsey’s side, ahead of AFC Wimbledon (7.3%) – despite being behind them in the table – due to having a game in hand. In-form Doncaster Rovers (8.2%) can’t be counted out though as Grant McCann’s men make a late surge for the play-offs after seven wins in a row.

As for relegation, things don’t look great for Forest Green after defeats to MK Dons and Mansfield in the last week. The Gloucestershire side go down to the National League in 96.9% of simulations, as the battle to avoid joining them hots up.

Colchester currently sit in 23rd, a point behind Sutton United but with two games in hand. Both teams lost at home to leaders Stockport during the week, while Danny Cowley’s Colchester were also beaten on home soil by Wrexham. Due to those games in hand, Sutton are more likely to go down at 75.8%, with Colchester on 24.5%. Grimsby Town are more or less safe, only slipping into the bottom two in 2.8% of scenarios.

League Two Opta predictor 12 April

3 April

We have new favourites for the League Two title. Following fixtures over the Easter weekend, Stockport County lead the way by four points after wins over Forest Green Rovers and AFC Wimbledon. Dave Challinor’s side now have a whopping 99.4% chance of promotion, and a 70.6% probability of finishing in first place, according to the Opta supercomputer.

Knocked off top spot were Mansfield Town, who did not have a happy Easter after playing just once, a 2-0 defeat at fellow promotion hopefuls Wrexham. It hasn’t damaged the promotion chances of Nigel Clough’s men too much, dropping from 96.0% to 93.5%, but their title probability has more than halved from 50.0% to 24.4%.

Wrexham earned that important win over Mansfield on Friday, but suffered a 1-0 defeat at Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday. The supercomputer is still confident of their top-three credentials, seeing the Welsh side go up in 82.1% of simulations, but they sit just two points above MK Dons, albeit having played a game fewer.

League Two promotion and title chances 3 April

MK Dons walloped Walsall 5-0 at home on Friday and would have had Wrexham sweating even more if they’d been able to hold on at Notts County on Monday, ultimately settling for a 3-3 draw. Their promotion chances have risen very slightly to 16.3% but the play-offs remain the likelier destination (83.5%).

That’s also true for Barrow (90.5%), who followed up a 3-1 win over Grimsby Town with a 2-1 loss at Morecambe, as well as out-of-form Crewe Alexandra (89.6%), winners just once in their last seven games (D2 L4). They drew 0-0 at Gillingham on Friday but suffered an embarrassing 3-0 home defeat to bottom-place Forest Green on Monday.

Crawley Town were in danger of undoing their recent good work in the charge for the final play-off spot when they lost 2-0 at home to Doncaster on Friday. However, an impressive 4-0 victory at Newport County on Monday catapulted them back into the top seven and increased their probability of making the play-offs to 61.7%.

Morecambe’s back-to-back wins over Accrington Stanley and Barrow see them one place outside the play-offs and with a 14.7% chance of sneaking in, though Walsall in 11th are still considered likeliest of the outsiders to do so at 22.4%, presumably due to their games in hand on the chasing pack. They did recover from a hammering in Milton Keynes with a late 2-1 home win over Salford City on Monday.

The relegation battle continues to throw up surprise results. Sutton United are giving it their very best go, beating Salford and Swindon Town to move out of the bottom two for the first time since August. However, their likelihood of going down is still up at 74.0% due to Colchester United’s three games in hand.

Danny Cowley’s side are also picking up useful points, having only lost two of their last 13 games, though that run also includes nine draws. They beat Newport 2-1 on Friday before earning a respectable point in a 1-1 draw at Tranmere Rovers on Monday. Despite now being in the bottom two, Colchester are given just a 20.6% chance of being relegated.

Grimsby still can’t quite escape the dogfight, losing 3-1 at Barrow before dropping two points late on against Bradford City as they conceded a 93rd-minute penalty in a 1-1 draw at Blundell Park. They sit two points above Colchester having played a game more, and a point ahead of Sutton having played two games fewer, with their relegation chances now at 13.2%.

Forest Green looked doomed when they lost 3-0 at home to leaders Stockport last Friday, but they followed that up with an astonishing win by the same score at Crewe. They are now three points from safety with a game in hand on Sutton, though have played two games more than Colchester. Steve Cotterill’s men remain likely to drop into the National League, with their relegation chances still up at 92.0%.

League Two promotion chances 3 April

27 March

Ahead of a massive game in the race for promotion on Good Friday when Wrexham host Mansfield Town, we thought we’d look at the latest Opta supercomputer predictions in League Two.

Mansfield still lead the way but dropped two unexpected points last Saturday against relegation-threatened Colchester United. Lewis Brunt equalised after Harry Anderson had given Colchester an early advantage at the One Call Stadium, but Nigel Clough’s side were unable to find a winner.

That 1-1 draw only slightly hampered Mansfield’s promotion hopes, which have dipped from 97.9% to 96.0%, but it has hurt their title hopes more. Having been given a 70.1% chance of a first-place finish last week, they now have just a 50/50 chance, with them ending the season top in 50.0% of the supercomputer’s simulations.

The big winners of last weekend were Stockport County, who thrashed MK Dons 5-0 at Edgeley Park. The visitors actually had more shots than Stockport (13-10), but Dave Challinor’s side were ruthless in their finishing. Their already strong 88.4% likelihood of going up to League One has now risen to 94.6%, with a 40.1% chance of pipping Mansfield to the title.

Wrexham got back to winning ways after back-to-back home defeats, beating Grimsby Town 3-1 at Blundell Park. A brace from Andy Cannon and Paul Mullin’s 16th league goal of the season secured victory, and gave Phil Parkinson’s men a big boost in their promotion chances, especially after MK Dons’ defeat at Stockport. Wrexham saw their top-three likelihood rocket from 53.9% to 74.3%, with a 9.0% shot of finishing top.

MK Dons have therefore taken quite a hit in their promotion hopes, with the supercomputer reducing their chances from 31.0% to just 14.2%, while Crewe Alexandra also saw a steep drop from 19.7% to 10.5% after their 1-1 draw at home to AFC Wimbledon, meaning they’ve won just one of their last five games (D1 L3).

League Two promotion predictor 27 March

Barrow took advantage with a 1-0 win against Newport County, improving their promotion chances to 10.1% (up from 8.7%), with MK Dons (84.0%), Crewe (85.7%) and Barrow (83.1%) now even more likely to make up three-quarters of this season’s League Two play-offs.

Crawley Town further staked their claim to join them with a 3-1 win at Tranmere Rovers; Scott Lindsey’s men boosting their play-off chances in the process from 28.2% to 45.9%, with 10th-place Walsall (23.6%) still considered the Red Devils’ biggest threat to that final spot in the top seven.

As for the fight against relegation, Sutton United claimed a huge 3-1 win over Accrington Stanley to go within a point of safety. Unfortunately for Steve Morison’s side, Colchester above them still have three games in hand, and themselves earned a very credible point at leaders Mansfield last time out. Sutton did manage to reduce their relegation chances from 92.7% to 87.9%, but Colchester’s point actually did them more favours as their relegation probability dropped from 28.7% to 19.1%.

That was largely down to Forest Green Rovers losing 2-0 at Doncaster Rovers, sending them to the bottom of the table and increasing their chances of relegation from 76.2% to 89.6%.

League Two Opta predictor 27 March

22 March

Mansfield Town took a big stride towards promotion last weekend. Nigel Clough’s side had lost three of their previous six games, but thrashed Bradford City 5-1 at the University of Bradford Stadium to boost their top-three chances.

They were aided by the team that had beaten them the previous midweek, Tranmere Rovers, who also added Mansfield’s promotion rivals Wrexham to their list of vanquished foes. Nigel Adkins’ men beat the Welsh side 1-0 at the Racecourse Ground thanks to a Luke Norris goal.

Crawley Town’s late equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Stockport County on Monday night benefitted the Stags further still, and Mansfield are now given a mighty 97.9% chance of securing a place in the top three come the season’s end by the Opta supercomputer, and a 70.1% possibility of winning the title.

Stockport sit four points behind Mansfield with a game in hand, but could do with getting back on track soon. Dave Challinor’s side have won just one of their last seven games (D4 L2), though still have an 88.4% chance of automatic promotion.

Wrexham haven’t fared much better recently, winning only two of their last seven (D3 L2), and are only in the final automatic promotion spot ahead of MK Dons on goal difference. They have a 53.9% chance of finishing in the top three, as things stand, while MK Dons sit at 31.0% after an important 3-1 win over Crewe Alexandra last weekend.

League Two title-top three chances 22 March

That defeat reduced Crewe’s chances of finding their way into the top three to 19.7%, while Barrow (8.7%) are the only remaining team to have a greater than 1.0% likelihood, though had to settle for a disappointing 0-0 draw with Harrogate last time out. MK Dons (68.1%), Crewe (77.1%) and Barrow (80.0%) are all considered far likelier than not to make the play-offs.

The favourites to join them as things stand are Crawley (28.2%). Scott Lindsey’s men were favourites for relegation with many at the start of the season but have picked up momentum in recent weeks to make a late play-off charge. They have a tough run coming up that includes trips to Newport County, Mansfield and Wrexham, but with one or two games in hand over the teams above them and five wins in their last seven games (D1 L1), the Red Devils could participate in the play-offs for the first time since debuting in the Football League in 2011.

According to the supercomputer, their nearest challengers in the race for the top seven will be Walsall (25.8%), Newport (22.1%) and AFC Wimbledon (20.3%).

As for the relegation scrap, Sutton United gave themselves a fighting chance with a 1-0 win at fellow strugglers Forest Green Rovers on Saturday. That dragged the bottom side to just three points from safety, though their goal difference is nine worse than 22nd-place Colchester United, who also have three games in hand. Sutton still have a 92.7% chance of going down, but that’s an improvement of 5.1% from last week. Forest Green’s chance of relegation has gone from 63.6% to 76.2%.

Danny Cowley’s Colchester got a point against Walsall to reduce their likelihood of dropping out of the Football League from 32.7% to 28.7%, while Grimsby Town’s draw at Gillingham takes them to just a 2.3% of being sucked into the bottom two.

League Two predictor table

15 March

It was a fantastic midweek for Crewe Alexandra, with Lee Bell’s side the only one of the current top six in League Two to win across the matchday.

Their 1-0 win over struggling Sutton United pulled them within three points of the automatic promotion spots ahead of a massive clash with MK Dons this weekend. The two sides are tied on 64 points, with Milton Keynes having played a game more than Crewe, and the winner of Saturday’s match could take a step closer to automatic promotion.

Based on the current Opta supercomputer projections, Crewe finished inside the top three of League Two in a quarter of the 10,000 season simulations, ahead of MK Dons (17.8%). If the game produces a winner this weekend, it’s likely to severely damage the losing side’s chances of automatic promotion.

League Two Promotion Odds 2023-24

Mansfield currently lead League Two, but a midweek 2-1 defeat to Tranmere was their third loss in six league matches. Luckily for them, the majority of promotion-chasing sides in the competition are struggling for form.

Only one of the current top eight sides – AFC Wimbledon – have managed to win both of their last two matches. Stockport County, who are second heading into this weekend, have won just six points from their last six league games. They will be buoyed by coming from 2-0 down to win a point at Salford on Thursday night, however. They will have to wait until every other automatic promotion hopeful has played before their Monday night trip to Crawley Town.

Automatic promotion seems highly likely for both Mansfield (90.7%) and Stockport (87.4%) based on the Opta supercomputer’s current season simulations, while Wrexham follow having finished inside the top three in 69.2% of those 10,000 season sims.

Crawley have been in excellent form of late, with only Crewe (2.00) averaging more points per game in 2024 than them (1.83). The Red Devils have won five of their last six League Two matches and are given a 24.8% chance of finishing inside the play-off places at the end of the season. The teams most likely to finish between fourth and seventh at the end of the season are currently Barrow (79.0%), MK Dons (78.3%), Crewe (72.0%), AFC Wimbledon (33.7%) and Wrexham (30.6%).

Two sides will drop down to the National League, with Sutton’s hopes of avoiding relegation currently looking very bleak. They were relegated in 97.8% of the current projections, followed by Forest Green Rovers (63.6%) and Colchester United (32.7%). Colchester are currently one point behind the vegan-powered side from Gloucestershire but have two games in hand.

League Two Predictions March 15

How Does the Opta Supercomputer Model Work?

• Opta’s League Prediction model estimates the likelihood of teams finishing in each position in the competition. We can therefore see how successful a team’s season is likely to be, whether it’s their relegation or title chances.

• The model estimates the probability of each match outcome (win, draw or loss) by using betting market odds and Opta Power Rankings. The odds and rankings are based on historical and recent team performances.

• The model considers the strength of opponents by using these match outcome probabilities and simulates the remaining fixtures in the competition thousands of times. By analysing the outcome of each of these simulations, the model can see how often teams finished in each league position to create our final predictions.

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