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Winner takes all: Middlesbrough and Brighton face off for Sky Bet Championship promotion

6 May 2016

The equation is simple for Middlesbrough and Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend: win, and promotion from the Sky Bet Championship will be achieved.

The pair clash live on Sky Sports on Saturday lunchtime, with Boro sitting second and Brighton third - both on 88 points.

They are two adrift of leaders Burnley, who are already promoted, but the winner can leapfrog the Clarets to the title should they slip up on the final day at Charlton Athletic.

In front of what is expected to be a packed crowd at the Riverside Stadium, a draw would also see Boro into the Premier League courtesy of their greater goal difference.

Read more: State of play: All the possible ups and downs in The Football League

The last meeting between these two was also a memorable one. Back in December, Boro romped to a 3-0 win at the Amex after goals from Kike, Albert Adomah and Cristhian Stuani ended Brighton's 21-match unbeaten start to the campaign.



Play-Offs await the unsuccessful

The loser will be reduced to a place in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs, where they’ll face sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday over two legs on Friday 13th and Monday 16th May.

Actor Karanka’s Boro made the end-of-season showdowns as recently as last season when, after defeating Brentford across two games in the semi-finals, they lost 2-0 to Norwich City in the showpiece at Wembley Stadium.

As for Brighton, defeat on Saturday would see them in the Play-Offs for the first time since 2014, when they fell at the semi-final stage to Derby County. The Seagulls also made the cut in 2013, but were again defeated, this time at the hands of eventual Play-Off Final winners Crystal Palace.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton, like Karanka, has previous Play-Off experience, having taken Birmingham City into the top six in 2012. He also has a Championship promotion on his CV ahead of Saturday’s decider, from 2010, when he steered Newcastle United to the title.

Read more: Chris Hughton named Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month

Don’t miss it!

Middlesbrough and Brighton’s do-or-die promotion clash will be screened live on Sky Sports on Saturday lunchtime, and you can also follow the drama on our live Twitter feed - @SkyBetChamp.



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