Can Stevenage Sustain Their Playoff Form?

By Pete H

English Football League One side Stevenage are pushing for promotion to the Championship. They are currently in 7th place in the league after 31 games played, with just 16 games left to play before the end of the season. Let’s dive straight in to see if Stevenage FC can sustain their form and make it into the playoff places at the end of the 2023-4 campaign. To do so, they would need to finish in the top six.  

Can Stevenage FC finish in the playoff places?

The quickest, easiest, and most reliable way to determine if Stevenage FC can finish in the playoffs would be to check the latest odds on some of the most trusted sports betting platforms online and then compare those odds. 

To sign up to a fully licensed and regulated iGaming site in the United Kingdom and place bets, you must be at least 18 years old. UK online bookmakers are well-known for having some of the iGaming industry’s most competitive odds. 

There are several benefits of new player specials at sites like this. That includes reliable in-play betting services as the action unfolds. Plus, you get a guaranteed welcome bonus can be claimed as soon as your new account has been activated.  

If you were to place a bet on Stevenage right now to qualify for the playoffs by finishing in the top 6 this season, you would currently be looking at average odds of around 2/5 (fractional odds), meaning they have a whopping 71.40% chance of actually achieving this. 

Stevenage finishing in the top two is much less likely (14/1, with only a 6.7% implied probability rate). Winning the league outright is even less likely (28/1, with only 3.40% implied probability rate). 

In other words, if you place a bet right now on Stevenage, a much safer bet would be on them finishing in the top 6. That’s instead of them winning the league or coming second. Don’t forget that anything can happen in football, especially in the run-up to the end of the season. 

Also, try to remember that no bets are ever guaranteed to win or return you a profit and that these odds are subject to change at any time. 

Current form and position in the league

Since losing 1-0 away in the Third Round of the FA Cup to Maidstone United on 6 January, Stevenage’s form looks rocky. They beat Shrewsbury 1-0 away on 13 January. Then, they travelled away on 27 January, beating Wigan Athletic 3-2. 

Their next league game was played at home, which saw them beat Blackpool 1-0. They lost 1-0 at home in their next game against Reading and then drew 2-2 away to Port Vale. In their most recent game on 13 February, they lost 3-2 to Bristol Rovers. 

So far, they have played 31 games, won 15, drawn 8, lost 8, scored 46, and conceded 33, giving them a +53-goal difference (GD). The teams that are currently in the playoff zone are Oxford United (6th place), Peterborough (5th), Barnsley (4th), and Bolton (3rd). 

Derby are currently in second place, and Portsmouth are at the top of the table. If these two teams stay where they are until the end of the season, they will automatically win promotion to the Championship. 

Only one team from the playoffs would join the top two teams with promotion. Stevenage fans will be holding their breath until the end of the season. The question? Is it possible they can achieve the unthinkable. 

Is it possible to sustain their playoff form in their remaining games?

There’s a good chance Stevenage can sustain their playoff form between now and the end of the season. However, it will be challenging with several important fixtures still to play. 

On 17 February, they travelled away to play Derby County. Then, on 24 February, they were at home (the Lamex Stadium) to Wycombe. On 27 February, they hosted Cambridge United. And then, on 2 March, they are away to Lincoln City. 

In some of their other upcoming fixtures, they also play Fleetwood at home (9 March) and Peterborough away (12 March). Leyton Orient at home is also on the horizon (16 March). It will be interesting to see if Stevenage can make the playoffs after these games. 

If they win promotion via the playoffs, the Championship will be the highest position the club has ever achieved. Stevenage FC was founded in 1976 following the demise of the town’s former club.

They finished in second place in EFL League Two at the end of last season (2022-3) and won automatic promotion. They would rather repeat that this year instead of making do with a dreaded playoff place. But that’s looking highly unlikely at this stage in the season. To win automatic promotion would mean facing a huge uphill struggle. 

Final note

In another boost to the club’s morale, manager Steve Evans signed a contract extension. In doing so, he’ll be with the club until June 2026. The 61-year-old took the helm in March 2022 and was the first manager to earn promotion to the third tier of English football (League One) in 10 years. 

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