Saints are expecting a bumper crowd for this weekend’s make or break play-off clash with Charlton.

The club are predicting an attendance of more than 25,000 for the game against the Addicks which is crucial if Saints are to reach the top six by the end of the season.

Charlton look likely to fill their full allocation of 3,200 as they push for an automatic promotion spot while Saints fans are desperate to see their team make further strides towards the play-offs.

Third highest crowd If Saints do manage to attract 25,000 fans into St Mary’s, it would be their third highest league attendance of the season, behind the crowds of over 30,000 that saw them defeat Exeter on Boxing Day and Leeds last month.

The only other two home sell-outs of the season were for the games against MK Dons and Portsmouth in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and FA Cup respectively.

That underlines the interest in this weekend’s game.

With Huddersfield beating Oldham at home on Tuesday night, Saints have very little margin for error.

They may need to win all of their remaining seven games if they are going to have a chance of making the top six with Saturday’s clash against Charlton and next Tuesday’s trip to Bristol Rovers on paper their hardest remaining fixtures.

Saints are 11 points off of sixth-placed Huddersfield but have a game in hand.

The fact that Saints may now need maximum points from their remaining games is not lost on the club’s supporters.

To show what a fine line Saints are treading, if Huddersfield won four of their remaining six games, or even won three and drew two, it would be mathematically impossible for Saints to catch them.

That’s even if Alan Pardew’s side picked up a maximum 21 points between now and the end of the campaign.

And that’s not taking account whatever fast fading Colchester and improving Bristol Rovers, who are both between Saints and Huddersfield, do for the remainder of the season.

However, logic tells you that a team with 78 points at the end of the season would be hugely unlucky not to get in the play-offs.

76-point average The average needed to finish in sixth place over the last ten third tier campaigns is 76.

Coincidentally, Saints had a big attendance against Charlton at St Mary’s almost a year ago to the day.

That was when over 27,000 supporters turned up to show their support on April 4 – just three days after the club went into administration.

There was no happy ending, though – Saints lost 3-2 to the team that finished bottom of the Championship a few weeks later.

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