Pundits and bookies backing Stags’ promotion dream

The Stags quartet at the EFL awards night
The Stags quartet at the EFL awards night

As Mansfield Town head into their last five games in second place, Sky Sports TV EFL pundits believe they will achieve their automatic promotion dream.

Stags head to Northampton Town on Saturday in a week when they beat Cambridge 1-0 and then had four members of the side – Krystian Pearce, CJ Hamilton, Tyler Walker and Mal Benning - at the Sky Bet EFL awards night as part of the prestigious League Two Team of the Season.

The Sky Bet League Two Team of the Season

The Sky Bet League Two Team of the Season

Skipper Pearce was also named in the overall EFL Team of the Season.

Now their promotion push has the backing of the experts, who believe they will last the pace as rivals Bury and MK Dons falter.

Scott Minto, Danny Higginbotham, David Prutton, Don Goodman, Andy Hinchcliffe and Keith Andrews gave their opinions on the race ahead and Minto said: “It is a toss-up between Mansfield and Bury now for me, but the Stags have the momentum at the moment.

Higginbotham has Stags to finish second and MK to miss out, saying: “Bury are on a poor run now but I think they will bounce back,” while Prutton agreed: “I feel like Bury will recover and Mansfield will edge out MK Dons.”

Hinchcliffe has Stags to finish second and MK to miss out, but also believes: “Bury are on a poor run right now but they have the ability in their squad to recover.”

However, Goodman believes Bury will miss out, saying: “I think the top three at the moment will stick it out.

Andrews was the only punter predicting heartbreak for Mansfield, saying: “Bury will get back on track and MK Dons should get over the line with the squad they have.”

Stags are currently favourites with the bookies for promotion from the four sides fighting for the two places.

Tyler Walker’s 24th goal of the season saw a below-par Stags home against Cambridge on Saturday ahead of this weekend’s trip to face former Mansfield Town manager Keith Curle and his mid-table Northampton Town side.

Bury, who face a winding-up order in court tomorrow, are at home to Colchester on Saturday while MK Dons are at promotion rivals Tranmere Rovers in the division’s biggest game.