Stanley have 17 league games to upset the pre-season odds and secure a play-off spot in their best-ever season since the club reformed.
The Reds are just two points outside the play-offs with games in hand on most of the teams above them, except Notts County, and the bookies have slashed their odds to occupy a top seven spot come May.
The Magpies are currently in the last play-off spot and Stanley clash with Steve Cotterill’s side a week tomorrow in what could be the biggest game of the season for the Reds so far.
They also face fellow promotion chasers Rotherham, league leaders Rochdale and in-form Chesterfield at the Crown Ground before May while, they have yet to entertain teams they will expect to take points off – Macclesfield, Grimsby, Port Vale, Hereford and Burton in a match which has still to be re-arranged.
Shrewsbury sneaked into the play-offs last season with 69 points, meaning Reds manager John Coleman will be aiming for at least the 70-point mark and, with the Reds on 46 points, it would leave them needing 24 points from their remaining 17 games – eight wins.
From their previous 12 games, the Reds have taken 25 points so Coleman knows it is achievable if Stanley continue their current run of form – it is just a question of lasting the pace now.