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Three teams, two matches, one goal – the Sky Bet Championship promotion race

28 April 2016

Eighty-seven points. That's the points tally possessed by Burnley, Middlesbrough and Brighton & Hove Albion as we head into the penultimate round of Sky Bet Championship fixtures this weekend.

The race for promotion to the top flight is always an exciting one, and it promises to be the most thrilling yet, particularly given Boro play Brighton on the final day.

Here's a look at the three-horse race...

Burnley

Position: 1st
Points: 87
Goal difference: +33

Fixtures: Queens Park Rangers (H - 2nd May), Charlton Athletic (A - 7th May)

Burnley are in the driving seat at the Sky Bet Championship summit and within touching distance of an immediate return to the Premier League after relegation last term.

The Clarets entered the top six in mid-September and haven't looked back since, with their current 21-match unbeaten run, which stretches back to Boxing Day, lifting them to the top.

Taking the final-day fixture into account, Sean Dyche's men could be promoted on Bank Holiday Monday if Boro and Brighton both drop points this weekend, and the Clarets take all three when they face QPR.

Defender Ben Mee: "I think it’s the best season I’ve had and I want to end it on a real high. We are looking forward to Monday. It’s a long wait, and you just want to get it here and now.

"I’ve enjoyed the season as a whole, and obviously at the minute it’s going really well for us. Now we just need to get the job done!”

Middlesbrough

Position: 2nd
Points: 87
Goal difference: +32

Fixtures: Birmingham City (A - 29th April), Brighton (H - 7th May)

It's been another high-flying season for Middlesbrough, who lost out in last year's Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final to Norwich City.

If Boro win their last two games then they will avoid another Play-Off campaign, and the first task is Friday night's showdown at Birmingham City, which is being screened live on Sky Sports.



Brighton & Hove Albion

Position: 3rd
Points: 87
Goal difference: +30

From 20th last season, to the promotion mix this time around – it's been quite a transformation at the Amex Stadium.

Their campaign started with a 21-match unbeaten run, made up of 11 wins and 10 draws, before losing for the first time in 2015/16 against Middlesbrough in December.

Two wins would see Brighton up, but they have arguably the toughest game of the three this weekend as they face fifth-placed Derby in another match screened live on Sky Sports on Monday. However, they've been in scintillating form in recent weeks, winning their most recent five, scoring 16 goals.

Defender Liam Rosenior: “It would be fantastic for the club if we can get promoted, what a story it would be.

“It’s every player’s dream to play in the Premier League, but to be honest, I think sometimes you have to detach yourself from that and not get carried away.”

“We have to go out and play and enjoy the situation we find ourselves in. Give absolutely everything we can on the pitch and hopefully it all works out for us come the end of the season.”

Don't miss it!

We'll be providing updates from all the matches involving the three promotion-chasing teams on our Sky Bet Championship divisional account - via @SkyBetChamp.



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