Experienced Blades to edge thrilling promotion battle

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THE finishing line is in sight. Players are physically and mentally tired after a long, gruelling season.

Results, not performances, are the priority for clubs now. One more gargantuan effort is required.

The enthralling League One promotion race looks set to go the distance. The probability is either Sheffield United or Sheffield Wednesday are poised to miss out on automatic promotion and have to settle for a play-off spot. Who knows, it is not beyond the realms of possibility both could end up in the end of season shoot-out.

I’m going to stick my neck on the line, having watched both clubs several times as an impartial observer this season, that United, with influential duo Neill Collins and Kevin McDonald close to first-team returns, are going to finish second behind Charlton Athletic.

This is strictly my personal opinion but I think United, by a whisker, will narrowly pip the Owls in the standings and get back into the Championship at the first time of asking.

Both Sheffield clubs will drop points at Notts County and although I’m expecting the Owls to win the vast majority of their remaining matches at Hillsborough, when it comes to the crunch, the Blades, who have a wealth of experience in their ranks, will hold their nerve.

Final table:

1. Charlton Athletic

2. Sheffield United

3. Sheffield Wednesday

4. MK Dons

5. Huddersfield Town

6. Notts County