May 9, 2018 1.28 pm This story is over 69 months old

Lincoln must ‘defy the odds’ in play-offs

Can Danny Cowley’s side beat the odds?

Lincoln City will be hoping to defy the odds and earn another trip to Wembley this season, but according to one bookmaker the Imps could have their work cut out.

The Imps beat Shrewsbury to win the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley in April and another match at the national stadium could be on the cards if they overcome favourites Exeter to secure a place in the League Two play-off final on May 28.

Lincoln welcome Exeter to Sincil Bank on Saturday, May 12 (3pm kick-off) before the return leg at St James Park on May 17 (7.45pm kick-off), with the winner facing either Notts County or Coventry in the final.

Research by bookmaker Sportingbet has analysed the history of the play-offs to determine the chances of each team.

Play-off odds

Exeter are favourites as 45% of the clubs who finish fourth go on to win the play-offs.

Over half of the clubs (59%) who finish seventh, like Lincoln did, lose at the semi-final stage of the play-offs.

However, 27% do go on to win the play-offs so it could look good for underdogs Lincoln if they can overcome the Grecians to reach the final.

The effect of league position on a team’s chances of promotion. Photo: Sportingbet

The effect of league form on chances of promotion. Photo: Sportingbet

Attack and defensive records. Photo: Sportingbet


Paul Tisdale is one of the longest serving managers in the Football League and his Exeter side will be hoping to go one better after losing 2-1 to Blackpool in last season’s League Two Play-off Final.

Lincoln manager Danny Cowley will be hoping for a second successive promotion after leading the Imps to the National League title last season.

Both sides won one of the two league meetings this season – the Imps claimed a 3-2 victory at Sincil Bank in March, while the Grecians came out on top 1-0 in the reverse fixture.

Head-to-head record against play-off teams. Photo: Sportingbet

In the other semi-final Lincoln should be supporting Notts County if odds are anything to go by.

The Imps got more points against Coventry – the team who won more points during the season has only won 39% of the semi-finals and 38% of finals.

Cowley’s men earned three points against Exeter and Coventry, but just one against Notts County.