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League One: Who will claim the last automatic promotion spot?

Saturday 29th April 2017
The Championship continues to grow. With the rich history and huge financial power, promotion for a League One club is massive nowadays. Football fans will be tuning in on Sunday to see this season's final game, where either Bolton Wanderers or Fleetwood Town will gain promotion by claiming the second spot.

Let's start with Bolton Wanderers. After leading the way in League One until a couple of months ago, they've suffered a bit of a dip in form. Granted, they've managed to cling onto second place, but with just seven points scraped out of their last five games, Phil Parkinson's men are hardly in convincing form. Nevertheless, whether Bolton do manage to achieve promotion the hard way instead of the easy way, I'm sure it won't stop fans from partying late into Sunday night.
After spending 11 consecutive seasons in the Premier League (ranging from 2001 to 2012) they dropped into the Championship. Four years later, Bolton suffered the drop again last season. They now look to return to England's second tier at the first time of asking. On paper, it's fair to say that Parkinson has built a mid-table Championship side while playing in League One. Jay Spearing, Gary Madine and Josh Vela are just a few extremely talented players who are at Parkinson's disposal. It's a good headache for the manager when it comes to team selection.

Bolton end a long, fought-out season with a home tie against Peterborough United. With the Posh securing a 1-0 home win in front of the Sky Sports camera's in November, Bolton will be hungry to record a win in the return fixture, again shown live on TV, to confirm their Championship return.

Fleetwood Town are a credit to their name. They made their first break into the Football League by securing promotion to League Two back in 2012. After almost being relegated from League One last season, the club have progressed massively. They now sit in third place, just two points behind Bolton. If Fleetwood could earn a place in the Championship, it would certainly be a story to remember as they look to make history by finishing second. Should Bolton win on Sunday, Fleetwood fans will be counting their lucky stars as they will enter their guaranteed play-off campaign.

Fleetwood have a considerably weaker side on paper compared to many other League One sides, including Bolton. Whilst they may not have the same financial power as other clubs around them, they've shown how far money really goes. With smart, efficient and extensive scouting they've managed to bring in some real talent at a low cost. David Ball has enjoyed a good stint at Fleetwood since his transfer from Peterborough United back in 2012. After making 177 appearances, Ball has become a fans favourite. He has also become one of their most recognised strikers.

Fleetwood's final fixture is against Port Vale, a side just one point from safety looking to get at least a draw, preferably a win, to stay in League One for another season. A draw won't be good enough for Fleetwood. They will be looking to go out all guns blazing to do the impossible, to overtake Bolton at the final hurdle.

Bolton v Peterborough and Fleetwood v Port Vale both kick off at 12pm on Sunday 30th April.
Jack Drury
19 years of age. Sport and Exercise Science Student at Loughborough University. Peterborough United.

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