League One promotion race: How Barnsley, Portsmouth and Luton could take advantage as Sunderland watch on

Sunderland are out of League One action this weekend - and their promotion rivals will be keen to take full advantage.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 10:11 am
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 10:13 am
Barnsley will be aiming to take advantage of Sunderland's weekend off

While the Black Cats enjoy a rare weekend off, Luton, Barnsley and Portsmouth will continue to battle for promotion to the Championship in what could prove to be another key weekend. But can the trio take advantage? Scroll down and click through the pages to see the tests posed to Sunderland's promotion rivals this weekend:

The table-topping Hatters welcome play-off chasing Doncaster Rovers to Kenilworth Road in what is undoubtedly the tie of the weekend. This fixture could have big implications on the promotion race.
Luton remain unbeaten in League One since October, and are yet to lose a third tier fixture under caretaker manager Mick Harford. Theyll be keen to extend that run this weekend.
In start contrast, the South Yorkshire side are winless in their last four - with manager Grant McCann admitting they will be without two key players this weekend. A tough ask may have just got even harder.

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Many Sunderland fans will be watching Saturdays early kick-off closely, as second place Barnsley travel to a Walsall side who have proven that they can spring a shock this season.
Victory for Barnsley would see them move five points clear of the Black Cats, albeit having played two games more, with assistant manager Dale Tonge admitting they want to pile the pressure on Sunderland.
Pompey are still breathing down Sunderlands necks, and face a trip to a Shrewsbury side who themselves are desperate for points as they look to assuage their relegation fears. This could be a potential banana skin.
Kenny Jackett may have something of a selection headache on his hands, with wideman Ronan Curtis and Viv Solomon-Otabor both sidelined through injury. Could their absence prove key for Pompey?
The Black Cats, of course, will be without a fixture this weekend after their clash with Fleetwood Town was postponed due to international call-ups.
The decision to postpone the clash didnt go down too well with Fleetwoods Irish striker Paddy Madden, who joked he was fuming given that his family were travelling over from Ireland to watch the clash!
The Addicks remain in play-off contention, but Lee Bowyers side will also sit out this round of fixtures after their clash with Wycombe Wanderers was postponed due to international commitments.
The Sky Blues have gone quietly about their business this season, and have slipped under the radar onto the edge of the play-off places. They face struggling Oxford United this weekend.
Having looked nailed-on for a play-off place earlier this season, Posh have no slipped out of the top six and will be keen to start a push back towards the play-off places when they face Southend.
The Seasiders still retain faint play-off hopes, and will come up against former manager Gary Bowyer this weekend as his struggling Bradford City side seek a valuable three points.
Three points are pretty much a must for the Brewers if they want to sustain any hopes of a play-off push, but they will have to find a way past a stubborn Accrington Stanley side.