EFL Championship Final Day Preview
The Championship Enters Its Final Fixtures
The fiercely contested Championship season reaches its conclusion on Wednesday evening, and there are matters still outstanding at both ends of the table in what promises to be a thrilling finale. Here we have all you need to know ahead of the final fixtures of the season.
Leeds have already been promoted as champions but the second automatic promotion spot is up for grabs, the battle for the play-off places, and the scrap against relegation have gone down to the wire with multiple clubs with plenty to play for on the final night.
With permutations aplenty, it’s time to dust off the calculators for many and sit back and watch the drama unfold. That is if your club isn’t involved of course, in which case there mightn’t be much sitting.
Bristol C/Preston only final day Ch'ship game not 'live'
R=relegation P=promotion PO=playoffs
Bham v Derby R
B'ford v Barnsley P/R
Cardiff v Hull PO/R
Leeds v Ch'ton R
Luton v Bburn R
M'wall v Hudd R
Forest v Stoke PO
Reading v Swans PO
SWed v Boro R
WBA v QPR P
Wig v Fham P/R
— Alex Kay-Jelski (@AlexKayJelski) July 19, 2020
As is always the case with final day fixtures, all matches kick-off at the same time, 7.30 pm in this case. Meaning by around 9.30 pm we should know who has joined Leeds in the top flight, who will battle out the play-offs, and who faces next season in League One.
In the automatic promotion race, one club must emerge from the three interested parties. West Brom and Brentford are separated by only a point in second and third respectively, while Fulham has a slimmer chance, sitting a further point behind in fourth. In the box seat, the Baggies know a win for them in their home match with QPR will seal their promotion.
Both Brentford and Fulham must win their respective matches with Barnsley and Wigan to give themselves a chance of finishing second, should West Brom fail to pick up three points.
Friday: 2nd place West Brom lose to Huddersfield Town, Leeds are promoted 🎉
Saturday: 3rd place Brentford lose to Stoke City, Leeds are champions 🏆
The Championship is one crazy league 🤯 pic.twitter.com/BrVVLbfp6I
— Goal (@goal) July 18, 2020
Two of the aforementioned three will at least have the security of a play-off spot to fall back on should their automatic dreams be quashed. Who they may meet is still p in their air also. Nottingham Forest and Cardiff currently occupy the last two places in the top six, but Swansea sit three points behind them in seventh, ready to pounce on any slip-up.
Swansea have made a late surge for the play-offs, partly down to the arrival of on-loan Liverpool forward Rhian Brewster, who’s goals have been influential in the Swans rise up the table.
A goal every 158 minutes for Rhian Brewster for Swansea so far this season.
What a talent 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/P5OWV6kjNo
— Anfield Edition (@AnfieldEdition) July 15, 2020
In a surreal quirk of fate, there are currently no teams mathematically relegated from the Championship going into the final fixtures. By this stage in the season normally at least one or two teams have had their fates sealed, not during 2020. Hull are perhaps the safest bet to go down however, with dreadful recent form, including an 8-0 defeat, they sit three points behind Charlton in the last position of safety, with a significantly worse goal difference.
Barnsley also needs to win their final game, no easy task away at Brentford, in order to have a chance of survival. The South Yorkshire side are one point better off than Hull and nothing but a victory will be good enough.
Charlton face the daunting trip to Elland Road to face newly crowned champions Leeds, knowing a heavy defeat could see Luton overtake them into a position of safety. A rejuvenated Luton side will host Blackburn, a side with nothing but pride to play for, on Wednesday night. Luton have given themselves a fighting chance since the return of Nathan Jones as manager, when just a few short weeks ago it seemed as if the writing was on the wall for the Hatters.
1⃣ Automatic promotion place (three teams competing)
2⃣ Play-off places (three teams competing)
3⃣ Relegation places (eight teams competing 😱)
🥵 All to be decided on the final night of action this Wednesday!
🤔 Is there a more competitive league than the Championship? pic.twitter.com/JnYlxk8tNJ
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 20, 2020
Wigan who currently sit in 13th, on the face of it appears to be safe from the drop. However, with an impending 12 point deduction, they too are looking over the shoulder at results in the hope they can beat the drop. The administration-hit Latics are on 58 points but after the deduction, they could yet finish in the bottom three. Paul Cook’s side will need to beat Fulham and hope other results go in their favour to guarantee safety.
There has been much conjecture and rumour about when the deduction may be imposed on both Wigan and perhaps Sheffield Wednesday, although it seems the EFL are standing firm on the punishment being inflicted on the completion of this seasons fixtures.
The Championship campaign may conclude on Wednesday… but it will still not be known which clubs are going down.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 21, 2020
Not only are Fulham and Brentford battling it out for automatic promotion, but their individuals also have a battle for supremacy of their own. The Championship top scorer race has come down to the final day also. Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic heads the pack on 26 goals, whilst Brentford’s Ollie Watkins pushes him all the way on 25. Any goals from either striker could well prove crucial to their teams final day success as well as their own.
Final Fixtures In Full
Birmingham v Derby
Brentford v Barnsley
Bristol City v Preston
Cardiff City v Hull
Leeds United v Charlton
Luton v Blackburn
Millwall v Huddersfield
Nottingham Forest v Stoke
Reading v Swansea
Sheffield Wednesday v Middlesbrough
West Brom v QPR
Wigan v Fulham
We hope you enjoyed this article ‘The Championship Enters Its Final Fixtures’. How do you think the table will look after the last round of fixtures? Let us know!
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