How difficult are each League 2 club’s remaining fixtures?

At the start of the season I used an aggregation of the bookies’ title odds to grade each club’s fixture schedule (here for the nostalgic) and I was recently asked by FourFourTwo to update it for the Premier League run-in:

I therefore thought it was only fair that I ran the same analysis for the lower leagues.

Someone made the good point that bookies’ odds aren’t the most reliable measure of a club’s current strength. For example a club could have had a nightmarish start to the season but since gotten their act together and started playing like promotion candidates, but are too far off the pace to be realistic promotion contenders, so just using odds would under-rate them. Therefore I’ve used my E Ratings, which I updated earlier today and can be found here in graphical form.

I’ve kept it simple, dividing the 24 teams into four groups of six based on how they rank in the overall ratings. The clubs are in alphabetical order down the side and their fixtures are in chronological order from left to right.

It’s probably pretty obvious what’s going on, but just to be clear the big red bubbles are the toughest matches and the big blue ones are the easiest. I’ve not made any distinction between home and away matches.

L2 fixture difficulty 2016-03-06

Oxford look to have a clear run at automatic promotion now, seeing as they are the only side who don’t have to play one of the strongest sides (a group which includes themselves). Once Accrington and Bristol Rovers get their next few fixtures out of the way, they also have an easy-looking run-in that should keep them in the promotion reckoning.

Northampton have a month-long run of winnable-looking games now, so they look capable of making absolutely certain of their promotion to League 1 well before the season ends.

The relegation battle looks really harrowing, with York, Dag & Red and Hartlepool all facing 3-4 of the division’s top sides in the final weeks.

Wycombe could face a flat end to their campaign with three winnable matches followed by three tough ones in their final six matches.