Leeds to end on a high

  • By: Craig Chisnall
  • Last Updated: May 1 2014, 10:53 BST

Craig Chisnall previews the final round of matches in the Sky Bet Football League with Leeds fancied to beat Derby.

Ross McCormack: Has been in blistering form for Leeds all season
Ross McCormack: Has been in blistering form for Leeds all season

It has been anything but dull at Leeds this season but I'm backing them to end it in fine style by seeing off play-off bound Derby at a big price.

With Brian McDermott at the helm I had them down as play-off contenders themselves at the start of the campaign but the off-field chaos has undermined their challenge.

McDermott was even sacked at one point when Massimo Cellino first arrived on the scene to begin his long-running takeover only to be reinstated days later.

Cellino's elongated arrival was also a distraction and McDermott's future is still far from clear but things have been much improved on the pitch in recent weeks.

They've beaten strugglers Blackpool, Barnsley and Birmingham in three of their last four games, losing the other to Nottingham Forest. And they will be desperate to go out in style to show Cellino a managerial change may not be needed after all.

Derby are also assured of third place and boss Steve McClaren has admitted he may make several changes by handing key personnel a rest.

That's likely to include defenders Jake Buxton and Richard Keogh, goalscoring midfielder Craig Bryson and top scorer Chris Martin. Leeds are around 2/1 to take advantage and well worthy of investment.

Another big price that looks too good to ignore is the 2/1 offered on Bristol City to win at Crawley.

The Robins, just like Leeds, have under-performed this term - particularly in the first-half of the season when they were in relegation trouble.

But since they appointed Steve Cotterill they have climbed comfortably clear of the drop zone and a win on Saturday could lead to a top-half finish.

They head to Sussex on the back of five-match unbeaten run and have lost just once in their last ten matches.

And in Sam Baldock they have a striker who will be desperate to get on the score sheet as he bids to stay top of the goalscoring charts and come good on my 18/1 tip at the start of the season. The former West Ham frontman is one ahead of Peterborough's Britt Assombalonga heading into the weekend.

In League 2 I'm going with Accrington to complete a fine second-half to the season with a win over AFC Wimbledon.

A win over the Dons could move Stanley up to the heady heights of 13th - a fine achievement when you consider they didn't win in the league until October.

Rookie boss James Beattie always retained faith that his side would rise up the table and the former Southampton striker deserves plenty of credit for the way he has taken on this job.

Accrington have easily the lowest gates in the Football League and that of course has an impact on playing budget.

But Beattie has moulded a squad full of spirit and made great use of the loan market with Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli starring in their upturn.

Their impressive win at Oxford last weekend ended the U's play-off hopes and they will go into the final game in great shape.

They've only won five times at the Crown Ground but the 7/5 with Sky Bet looks good value.