So where will U's finish?

COLCHESTER United will probably need 75 or 76 points to reach the League One play-offs this season.

Carl Marston

Colchester soccer, predictions story

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United will probably need 75 or 76 points to reach the League One play-offs this season.

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Paul Lambert's men therefore have only a small margin for error, if they are to make the top six. They are currently on 53 points, which means they might need another 22 or 23 points from their final 10 games.

To only drop seven points or so from 10 games would require the U's winning seven of their last 10 games. That's a big ask.

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Of course it can be done. During their impressive run either side of Christmas, United accumulated 21 points from a 10-game sequence.

I don't think they will quite match that series of results. I've glanced through the remaining fixtures and have predicted that the U's might collect another 18 points. That would make a grand total of 71 points.

Sixth-placed Southend United finished with 76 points last term, while Oldham filled the last place in the League One play-offs the previous year with 75 points.

But don't give up hope. At the end of the 2005-06 season, Swansea made the play-offs with 71 points, as did Hartlepool with the same total in 2004-05.

So it could well go down to the wire.

Three years ago, Phil Parkinson's men needed at least a draw at Yeovil Town on the final day of the campaign to secure automatic promotion to the Championship. They were successful, thanks to a 0-0 draw.

Ironically, the U's will also be at Huish Park for the last game of this season, and this time they might need a victory to scrape into the play-offs.

It can be done.

Here's my predictions:

Crewe (home): win (3)

Leicester (away): lose (0)

Scunthorpe (away): win (3)

Millwall (away) lose (0)

Leeds (home) draw (1)

Leyton Orient (away) win (3)

Brighton (home) win (3)

Hereford (away) draw (1)

Peterborough (home) draw (1)

Yeovil (away) win (3)

Total: 18 points

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