The Football League Trophy strides toward its conclusion as we reach the area-finals stage, and the battle for a coveted place in this year's showpiece final at Wembley.

In the southern section League One promotion hopefuls Peterborough United and Swindon Town square off against each other.

The northern section is contested by Fleetwood Town and the current dominant force in League Two, leaders Chesterfield. 

Chesterfield are recent winners of the lower-league prestige tournament, defeating Swindon 2-0 in 2012, per BBC Sport.

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A repeat of that final is very much on the cards. 

The Spireites travel to Fleetwood in the first leg, after a draw with their opponents earlier in the season.

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook was philosophical about his team's chances, saying, per The Sheffield Star): 

I genuinely think it’s a 50-50 tie. We had a really good game at their place earlier in the season which finished 1-1 and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were two really close games again.

We are both in a similar situation in that we are in and around the promotion race and have a chance of reaching Wembley.

We are delighted to be in this position. If any team has the chance to go to Wembley for a major national final, you should grab it with both hands.

If Chesterfield can continue their fantastic form, they are sure favourites to make it to the final for the second time in three years. They are the top scorers in League Two, hitting 47 goals in their 29 games and only losing five matches all season, per BBC Sport.

Fleetwood have lost twice as many games as their opponents this season but still only lie six points behind them due to their impressive win total of 15 matches this season, per BBC Sport.

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This match is by no means a forgone conclusion, and despite Chesterfield's rich history in the competition, the former non-league club could very much cause an upset.

In the southern section, both Peterborough and Swindon are separated by just four points and have almost identical records, per BBC Sport

Both teams have huge aspirations of returning to The Championship.

Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony has spoken of how hard recent times have been for his club, saying, per BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, via BBC Sport: "Watching our gates disappear. It's been horrendous, With the capitulation against Oldham, it's been a really rough spell. It's been a tough transfer window."

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MacAnthony will be hoping the Football League Trophy will offer his club some respite. They are more than capable of winning the tournament from here and using the success to propel them back to where they want to be.  

I predict Peterborough will comfortably dispatch Swindon and then go on to win the Football League Trophy at the national stadium.