Rivers of emotion flow through Nottingham

Forest, backed by 6,000 fans, go to Bradford City needing to win while results go against Barnsley (at Walsall) and Swansea (at Chesterfield) if they are to reach the League One play-offs. Doncaster - away to a Tranmere outfit whose manager, Brian Little, stepped down yesterday - also retain an outside chance of prolonging their campaign.

Frank Barlow, whose caretaker managerial partnership with Ian "Charlie" McParland has transformed Forest, said that he would be "extremely disappointed" if he had to "get anyone up for this game". He added: "It might even be a case of bringing one or two of them down."

Southend are already promoted and will be champions if they beat Bristol City. If they do not, Essex rivals Colchester can take the title by winning at Yeovil. The only other side who can go up automatically are Brentford, who must defeat Bournemouth and rely on a Yeovil victory.

At the bottom of League One, Rotherham and Milton Keynes Dons collide in the knowledge that defeat would result in dropping a division. A draw would favour the Yorkshire team. Hartlepool and Blackpool are also vying to avoid the two remaining relegation places.

League Two will have an unusually high number of capacity crowds as seven clubs start the afternoon in danger of accompanying Rushden & Diamonds in the Conference. Notts, the League's oldest club, slashed ticket prices for their critical meeting with fellow stragglers Bury.

Gudjon Thordarson, manager of a Notts side that topped the table last autumn, claimed that he was "more excited than nervous", but doubtless spoke for all the teams in trouble by adding: "When you look at our position in the past few weeks, you ask yourself, 'Just what is happening?'"

What has happened is a Lazarus-like revival by the seemingly doomed Torquay under Ian Atkins, allied to the failure of Stockport, Barnet, Macclesfield, Oxford and the rest to conjure anything comparable. Oxford, who fired Atkins and are now back under Jim Smith's tutelage, are in the most parlous position with arguably the toughest game.

League Cup winners at Wembley only 20 years ago, they play Leyton Orient knowing that victory will preserve their status, but anything less could send them down. The task is complicated by the fact that Orient will be promoted with Carlisle and Northampton if they win. No wonder giant posters at Oxford's ground proclaim "Fever Pitch at the Kassam Stadium", even if they are advertising an Elton John show.

The phrase "biggest game in our history" is often used glibly, but it certainly applies for the less-than-magnificent seven. The Torquay chairman, Mike Bateson, summed up the maelstrom of emotions vividly. "My nerves are disintegrating into numbness," he said, neglecting to specify whether that represented improvement or deterioration.

Ups and downs: Closing on the finish line in the Premiership, League One and League Two


Champions and relegation: decided.

Fourth Champions' League place: Tottenham will clinch it with a win against West Ham tomorrow. If they draw, Arsenal must win at home to Wigan. If Spurs lose, then Arsenal can draw to finish fourth.


Champions: A win for Southend will make them Champions but if they lose or draw and Colchester win, then they will take the title.

Automatic promotion: Southend have already qualified for promotion. Colchester need only a point to finish second. If they lose and Brentford win, then the Bees will take the second automatic promotion place.

Play-offs: Brentford and Huddersfield guaranteed. Barnsley need a win to make certain of a play-off place, as do Swansea. If Barnsley draw, then only Swansea and Nottingham Forest can overtake them with wins. If Swansea draw, then Forest and Doncaster can reach the play-offs with wins. If Barnsley and Swansea both lose, then either Forest, Doncaster or Bristol City could qualify. And even then Bristol City would need to win by a mountain of goals.

Relegation: Walsall, Swindon relegated. A point will be enough for Blackpool to stay up, but Rotherham need a win to make sure. MK Dons and Hartlepool must get three points and hope that Blackpool and Rotherham lose, anything less and the former will be relegated.


Champions: Carlisle are virtually guaranteed to end the season as champions thanks to their superior goal difference. Only a freakish defeat and Northampton winning by a mountain of goals can deny them the title.

Automatic promotion: Northampton are promoted. Leyton Orient will clinch the remaining play-off place with a win but if they lose or draw, Grimsby could take their place.

Play-offs: Cheltenham, Wycombe. Lincoln City need a point to take the last place. However, if they lose and Peterborough or Darlington win convincingly, they will miss out.

Relegation: Rushden & Diamonds relegated. Any one of seven can be relegated. Oxford need a win to have any chance of staying up but even then Stockport, Notts County, Barnet, Torquay and Macclesfield can send them down with a win. A point for Bury will guarantee their safety.

FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam