By Josh Roberts
In May of last year it was announced that the play-off system from this season onwards would be changing from the previous format.
Formally the Top 5 would contest the play-offs with the side finishing top being automatically promoted as league winners.
Then the second placed side would play the fifth placed and the third would play the fourth over two legs to determine who would take the trip to Wembley for the play-off final.
Tranmere fans know all about that after last year unfortunate final defeat to Forrest Green, who are finding life tough in League 2 sitting bottom, so Rovers fans can take some solace in that.
However, that system has been abolished with a new one put in place, so how does this affect Tranmere?
Like with the old format, the league winners go up automatically but it’s the places below where it’s all change.
Gone are the old two legged semi-final fixtures featuring four sides, now six sides will compete for promotion in the play-offs.
Should Tranmere finish sixth or seventh, they will play away in a one legged tie against the sides who finish in fourth and fifth.
Should Tranmere finish fourth or fifth, their current league position, they will get home advantage against the sides that finish in sixth or seventh.
Should Tranmere finish second or third, they will get home advantage in a one game shoot out for the final and the luxury of a week off while the sides from fourth to seventh play.
The play-off final itself stays the same as the winners of the two semi-finals will contest.
Obviously the ideal scenario for Rovers is to win the league and go up that way, but failing that, the second and third spots are the next best thing. One home game then onto Wembley to go up would be a very nice way to earn promotion.
However it is vital Tranmere avoid the sixth and seventh spots as they will play all their play-off games away from the fortress that is Prenton Park. It has showed this season that Rovers prefer their home comforts over their away day travels and going into the crucial part of the season, the home advantage will be huge.