League One promotion race: How Sunderland, Portsmouth, Luton and Barnsley could see their hopes change during key fixtures

Sunderland and their promotion rivals are entering the business end of the season - and face tough tests this weekend as they look to continue their push towards the Championship.

Friday, 15th March 2019, 10:05 am
Updated Friday, 15th March 2019, 10:13 am
Sunderland and their rivals face a key weekend in League One

While the Black Cats welcome Walsall to the Stadium of Light, the sides around them will face similarly difficult assignments in what could prove to be a key weekend in the hunt for automatic promotion and the play-off places. Scroll down and click through the pages to see who Sunderland's rivals will face over another busy period of fixtures in the third tier:

The clash of the two promotion rivals at the Keepmoat Stadium promises to be an enthralling. Barnsley, sat second, will be looking to but more distance between themselves and Sunderland.
Rovers currently sit 6th in League One and - having failed to win in their last five league outings - will be keen to returning to winning ways to continue their play-off hopes.

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Barnsley will be missing suspended duo Cameron McGeehan and Jacob Brown, while Doncaster boss Grant McCann is set to serve a touchline ban.
Luton Town will welcome Gillingham on Saturday - in a game which should leave them confident of securing three points.
While they suffered defeat at the Stadium of Light recently, the Gills have secured some good results of late to climb away from relegation danger. Indeed, they have lost just two of their last five games.
Luton are still yet to lose in the league since Mick Harford took temporary charge at Kenilworth Road, and the side will be keen to see that record extended this weekend.
Sunderland could close the gap on Barnsley - should they slip-up away at Doncaster - but will have to find a way past a Walsall side boosted by the return of top scorer Andy Cook.
Sunderland have failed to beat Walsall in their three meetings so far this campaign, and Jack Ross will be hoping to banish that hoodoo come 5pm on Saturday.
After a difficult run of form since the turn of the year, Pompey have picked up some valuable results of late to keep them in the promotion mix. They are unbeaten in their last three fixtures.
But the Iron can't be taken lightly. They have secured some surprising results already this term and are capable of causing a shock - as Sunderland know only too well.
A bumper crowd is expected as Peterborough welcome Coventry City on Saturday - with both sides still harbouring play-off hopes ahead of the final weeks of the campaign.
The Brewers welcome the Seasiders in a game which could prove pivotal for both teams - who currently sit on the periphery of the top six and are eyeing a late surge.
Fleetwood Town's play-off hopes are fading, and anything less then three points against in-form Plymouth Argyle may put an end to their desire for a top six finish.