The battle for promotion is in the home straight.

With many believing Luton Town have already sewn up one of the top two places with four games to go, it leaves Charlton facing Sunderland, Barnsley and Portsmouth for that second spot.

It will be tight.

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Barnsley, currently three points ahead of Charlton are second, but crucially Sunderland and Portsmouth are two behind the Tykes but both with a game in hand.

Pompey do have to visit the Stadium of Light before the end of the season which could prove crucial for the Addicks, but they know they’ll need both sides, and Barnsley to drop points elsewhere too.

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Barnsley had looked like they had the second spot in the bag a month ago, but the chasing pack reeled them in after poor results against Doncaster, Coventry and Burton gave the initiative to those around them.

They remain outsiders for second after an indifferent run of recent form but will no doubt take confidence from their latest performance.

Their impressive 4-2 win over Fleetwood at Oakwell didn’t get the plaudits it deserved after a post-match incident involving managers Daniel Stendel and Joey Barton, but don’t think The Tykes aren’t up for the challenge.

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"It was a welcome victory," Cameron McGeehan told the club website.

"We've had a little poor spell recently so it was good to get back to winning ways.

"Every game's tough now, the pressure of trying to get promotion, but last week we reset ourselves.

"I think the performance on Saturday reflected well in that respect and we just need to push on now."

Remaining fixtures: Shrewsbury (H), Plymouth Argyle (A), Blackpool (H), Bristol Rovers (A)


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Similar to Portsmouth they know if they win all their games, they’ll go up.

It’s in their hands.

They may have lost out in a nine-goal thriller with Coventry at the weekend but manager Jack Ross remained confident.

The result meant they have dropped out of the top two, but while they trail second-placed Barnsley by two points, they have a game in hand.

“We’re still in a position where if we win our five games, we get promoted,” he said.

“What this has done is made the only way we can guarantee that is by winning all five. That is not easy, but it can be done.

“It brings pressure, and I’m going to need every single player who goes out there to be able to deal with that pressure.

Remaining fixtures: Doncaster (H), Peterborough (A), Portsmouth (H), Fleetwood (H), Southend United (A)

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Portsmouth have seen their automatic promotion credentials gather pace since their 2-1 defeat at The Valley.

Winning their last five matches, throw in a Checkatrade Trophy win at Wembley, and Kenny Jackett’s men must think promotion is theirs to lose.

If they win their remaining fixtures, they go up- it’s that simple.

On paper however they have a tough run in.

Burton, Coventry, Sunderland, Peterborough and Accrington are no walk-overs, and in the trip to Mackem-country could be decisive.

The form team in the division at the moment was confirmed with a 4-1 win over Rochdale on Saturday, and with scoring 14 goals in their last five outings, Jackett is all too aware of the importance of goal difference.

"With five games still to go, I don’t think we are thinking along those lines, we are looking at points,” he said.

"It (goal difference) might be important, you are always looking and seeing those small margins,”

"Sometimes tables which are tight and competitive like this one do come down to goal difference, I understand that.

"Saturday’s three-clear goals certainly helps, but most importantly it’s the three points – and a very positive attacking performance from ourselves at Fratton Park."

Remaining fixtures: Burton (A), Coventry (H), Sunderland (A), Peterborough (H), Accrington Stanley (H)