If Fleetwood are to climb into the top three as their manager thinks they can do, they could need to make up a 13-goal deficit, assesses Ian Lamont, who backs them to thrash Morecambe and thinks York can gain another narrow win...
"With a string of 1-0 wins, Nigel Worthington’s York appear to be turning into Burton, but without the glut of shots off target. There are a few, of course, with glaring misses at the likes of AFC Wimbledon and Mansfield fresh in the memory."
Graham Alexander wants Fleetwood to overhaul Chesterfield and finish third to go up automatically. So, it is fair to assume he thinks they can close the 13-goal gap, as the Spireites have +26 as well as a three-point advantage.
Iain Hume, Preston's on-loan front man at Highbury, is bullish, setting the Cod Army the target of wining their remaining fixtures and telling them not to listen to people saying Chesterfield have to slip up.
Morecambe's statistics are in Fleetwood's favour. The visitors have conceded the second highest number of goals away (34) while Fleetwood's home goals scored tally (37) is the division's highest. Morecambe have Andrew Fleming suspended, too, and are on a poor run.
Since winning at Mansfield on November 30, the Shrimps' away record is: 10 games without a victory, five goals for and 20 against, including letting in five twice, at Accrington and Plymouth who were in great form at the time.
Morecambe's Boxing Day's derby win over Fleetwood was the last time they kept a clean sheet. A repeat looks a tall order now David Ball, Antoni Sarcevic and Jon Parkin are all fit and vying for places. Hume's arrival in March keeps the rest on their toes.
Sarcevic has 11 league goals, including four in six games, and is really starting to find his feet, so will fancy his chances - as will Fleetwood, who have won two of the three meetings between the clubs, say Opta.
There seems little doubt of a home win and it is priced accordingly at 1.75/7, with over 2.5 goals surprisingly high at 2.26/5. To seek real value, we have to trust that Alexander's plea to his players effectively to score goals is heeded and take a chance on over 3.5 goals at 4.03/1.
Fleetwood have nine clean sheets in 18 matches, which detracts from the attempt to land the gamble, unless Morecambe manage a goal or get a pasting (quite possible) - or both.
One can only assume the distraction of Chesterfield's run to the JP Trophy final is to blame for their recent away run which reads lose, win, lose, draw, lose, draw, a pattern which suggests Hartlepool have a chance of winning.
But four defeats on the bounce for Colin Cooper's men says otherwise, as does Opta's stat that Hartlepool have failed to score in a league high 18 games this season.
Paul Cook's visitors have four draws in eight games overall, but despite that they remain in the top three. The manager is sure to use Fleetwood's positivity as motivation and remains fired up after last weekend's draw with Newport.
Jimmy Ryan is suspended, Ollie Banks is recovering from an operation on his foot, but this is crux time for the visitors and the fringe men now have their chance to shine. Dan Kearns' loan from Peterborough is up after the game, so what a send-off it would be to win.
Back Chesterfield @ 2.35/4
Is it 'footballers believing they can win all their remaining games' week?
Sam Slocombe, who saved of a penalty in a 1-0 win at Torquay, has joined Fleetwood's Iain Hume in demanding maximum points from the final five games. He is also worrying about how the team has dropped too many points this season. A perfectionist in the making.
Just think how far they would be ahead if they hadn't, seems to be the argument, on the back of what Opta confirm is a divisional high 20 clean sheets - and five in a row.
But five draws in 2014 at home (from eight) and Bury's bright form suggest the Iron will not have things all their own way at Glanford Park, despite that record 25-game unbeaten run.
It is about time Daniel Nardiello added to his nine goals for Bury. David Flitcroft's side weren't bothered that Northampton really needed the points two Saturdays ago and belted them 3-0, with Hallam Hope scoring against to see off Exeter last time.
The only choice is whether to back the draw or simply lay the hosts.
Back the draw @ 3.412/5
A home win on York is priced the same as Bristol Rovers to beat Torquay. I predict an error-strewn riot at the Memorial Stadium, but it is impossible to judge which way that game will swing.
The Minstermen seem a firmer proposition, with the caveat they are playing the side which loves to be every team's bogey men.
With a string of 1-0 wins, Nigel Worthington's men appear to be turning into Burton, but without the glut of shots off target. There are a few, of course, with glaring misses at the likes of AFC Wimbledon and Mansfield fresh in the memory. A 1-0 home win tempts at 7.06/1 as does Under 1.5 goals @ 3.02/1.
But what they lack in a 20-goal striker has been more than made up for in a stubborn defence which has conceded just once in 11 games - a remarkable run in any division.
Their last two games might have been goallless, but then they were against high-flying Rochdale and Burton. Now they return to facing a less fancied team and Michael Coulsdon, Josh Carson, Ryans Bowman, Brobbel and Jarvis will relish the chance to seek just one good chance to win again.
Accrington had 12 shots off target at home to Northampton, a ratio James Beattie will expect them to improve. Kai Naismith and Kayode Odejayi will want to continue to impress, and Stanley have plenty of clean sheets of their own (seven in 14 games). Expect a low-scoring game and the home team's desire to stay in the play-off places to win the day.
Back York @ 2.26/5
Wagered: 158 points
Returned: 129.84 points
FA Cup +5.1pt