League One playoffs 2023: Key fixtures & teams in the picture

The League One play-offs may not possess the glitz and glamour nor the financial perks of the Championship's season finale, but they're still hugely significant in their own right.

There's still some way to go in the 2022/23 season, but fans are undoubtedly looking towards the play-offs and a potential date under the Wembley arch.

It's still all to play for at the top of League One with many teams vying for a play-off berth. Here's the current state of play in the third tier.

How does promotion and relegation work in League One?

Three teams are promoted from League One to the Championship each season. The title winners and runners-up go up automatically with the final place determined by two-legged semi-finals and a final at Wembley. The teams finishing third to sixth qualify for the play-offs. Those three teams are replaced by sides relegated from the Championship.

Meanwhile, the bottom four teams drop out of League One and down to League Two, which sends up another four sides as their replacements.

Which teams could qualify for the 2023 League One play-offs?

There's still a quarter of the season to go but the League One table has started to shape up nicely. It's certainly not as condense as the top half of the Championship, although there are still several teams vying for a play-off spot.

Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth are the current front-runners to earn automatic promotion to the Championship, but Ipswich Town aren't too far behind. They're five points off second-place Plymouth, as are Bolton, but Ian Evatt's side have played two more games than everybody else.

Sixth-place Barnsley are in a strong position considering they've only played 32 games. They've hit form at the right time, with only league leaders Sheffield Wednesday accumulating more points than them over their last six games.

Portsmouth are also among League One's hottest outfits, but they've still got quite a deficit to make up. The south coasters currently sit tenth in the table and nine points off the play-off places.

As of Monday 6 March

Key fixtures ahead of the 2023 League One play-offs

Here's a list of fixtures that could go a long way in determining how the 2023 League One play-offs look:

  • 07/03/23 - Plymouth vs Derby County
  • 07/03/23 - Barnsley vs Portsmouth
  • 07/05/23 - Peterborough vs Shrewsbury
  • 11/03/23 - Barnsley vs Plymouth
  • 11/03/23 - Bolton vs Ipswich Town
  • 17/03/23 - Sheffield Wednesday vs Bolton
  • 18/03/23 - Ipswich Town vs Shrewsbury
  • 18/03/23 - Wycombe vs Barnsley
  • 21/03/23 - Barnsley vs Sheffield Wednesday
  • 25/03/23 - Barnsley vs Ipswich Town
  • 25/03/23 - Peterborough vs Derby County
  • 01/04/23 - Derby County vs Ipswich Town
  • 07/04/23 - Ipswich Town vs Wycombe
  • 07/04/23 - Shrewsbury vs Peterborough
  • 10/04/23 - Barnsley vs Shrewsbury
  • 15/04/23 - Shrewsbury vs Portsmouth
  • 22/04/23 - Peterborough vs Ipswich Town
  • 29/04/23 - Derby County vs Portsmouth
  • 07/05/23 - Barnsley vs Peterborough
  • 07/05/23 - Portsmouth vs Wycombe

There's a potentially decisive fixture seemingly every week from now up until the end of the season. Oh, and don't get us started on what could be a hugely dramatic final day. Four of the current top ten face off against one another on 7 May as Barnsley host Peterborough and Portsmouth take on Wycombe at Fratton Park.

The red-hot Pompey could be well in the mix by the time May rolls around, but they do have some imposing away games down the stretch.

Barnsley will benefit from having most of their decisive fixtures at home, and their games in hand mean they're well placed to pull away from those currently on the outside looking in. If there's one side that does look vulnerable right now, it's Bolton. They've got massive games against Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday upcoming, too.

When are the 2023 League One play-offs?

The weekend of May 6 will be the final one of the League One season and determine what the play-off fixtures will be. After that, the play-off semi-final dates will be announced, but it's already safe to asuume the first legs will be played the following week.

The team that finishes third takes on sixth place, while fourth and fifth will go head to head in the other tie.

When is the 2023 League One play-off final?

The winners of the two semi-finals will face one another at Wembley in a one-legged final, with the winner being promoted to the Championship and the loser remaining in League One.

It has already been confirmed that the match will take place between May 27 and May 29, and will most likely kick off in the afternoon.

Source : 90min