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Match Previews

Sky Bet EFL: Matchday preview

5 May 2017

The Sky Bet Championship and Sky Bet League Two come to a conclusion this weekend, and the Sky Bet League One Play-Offs are up and running, too.

There's still plenty at stake, and here's our preview ahead of the weekend action...

Relegation – one of three to drop

The Sky Bet Championship is going down to the wire, and the Sky Sports cameras will be at both Griffin Park and the City Ground as Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest battle to avoid relegation.

TV Games: Click here for the EFL Final Day fixtures on Sky Sports

Rovers, currently 22nd, travel to Brentford for their crunch clash, aiming to overtake Mark Warburton's Forest, who play host to Ipswich Town.

If both teams do triumph on the final day, then it's over to Birmingham City, who would then require three points at Bristol City to survive.

Champions – Brighton or Newcastle?

Brighton & Hove Albion looked to have the Sky Bet Championship title wrapped up just a fortnight ago, but back-to-back defeats against Norwich City and Bristol City have given Newcastle United renewed hope.

Top spot is still in the hands of the Seagulls, who will be champions with victory away at Aston Villa, but Rafa Benitez and his men can put the pressure on with a result at home to Barnsley.

If the Magpies better the result of Chris Hughton's side, then it will be they who clinch the crown and lift the trophy in front of the Toon Army.

Trophy scenarios: Click here for Final Day presentation info

Around the grounds

Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham could well meet in the Play-Offs, but first they close out the regular season going head-to-head at Hillsborough.

Huddersfield Town and Reading have booked their spot, too – The Terriers finish at home to Cardiff City, and Jaap Stam's side sign off with a visit to Burton Albion, who secured survival last week.

Leeds United go to relegated Wigan Athletic needing a landslide victory to oust the Cottagers from a top-six spot, and rock-bottom Rotherham United host Derby County looking for a sixth win of the season.
Table: Click here to see the Sky Bet Championship table

Sky Bet Championship: Final Day fixtures (12 noon kick-off)

Sunday 7th May 2017

Aston Villa v Brighton & Hove Albion
Brentford v Blackburn Rovers (live on Sky Sports)
Bristol City v Birmingham City
Burton Albion v Reading
Huddersfield Town v Cardiff City
Newcastle United v Barnsley
Norwich City v Queens Park Rangers
Nottingham Forest v Ipswich Town (live on Sky Sports)
Rotherham United v Derby County
Sheffield Wednesday v Fulham
Wigan Athletic v Leeds United
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Preston North End

Social media: Follow @SkyBetChamp on Twitter for goal updates

Advantage, Bradford

Bradford City will take a narrow advantage to Fleetwood Town on Sunday, thanks to Rory McArdle's second-half header in the first leg of the Play-Off Semi-Final.

The Bantams created the better chances throughout, but it was the centre-back who finally broke the deadlock, rising highest in the 77th minute.

Review: Click here for more on the Play-Off semi-final first legs


The two Sky Bet League One fixtures between Millwall and Scunthorpe United this season produced seven goals, but neither side could find the back of the net in a tense affair at the Den.

In a game of few chances, Lions striker Lee Gregory spurned the best of them, and the pair will now face off at Glanford Park for a place at Wembley.

Sky Bet League One Play-Offs: Second Leg fixtures (6:30pm kick-off)

Sunday 7th May 2017

Fleetwood Town v Bradford City (live on Sky Sports) 
Scunthorpe United v Millwall (live on Sky Sports)

Social media: Follow @SkyBetLeagueOne on Twitter for goal updates

Push for the Play-Offs

Seven sides are still in the hunt for a place in the Sky Bet League Two Play-Offs, and seventh-placed Blackpool can book their place with victory at home to Leyton Orient.

The task for Carlisle United, currently sixth, is tougher on paper. They face the long trip south to Exeter City, who are one place higher and have already secured their spot in the top seven.

Stevenage haven't won in five games, and need to end that barren run at home to Accrington Stanley if they are to keep their promotion aspirations alive.

Colchester United and Mansfield also need three points to stand a chance, while Wycombe Wanderers and Cambridge United go head-to-head both looking to extend their season.

It's going to be fun!

Three-way title race

Plymouth Argyle are in pole position to be crowned Sky Bet League Two champions, and the trophy will be at Blundell Park, ready to be presented if the Pilgrims get over the line against Grimsby Town.

Since sealing promotion, long-term leaders Doncaster Rovers have gone four games without a win, and three straight defeats saw them drop to second last weekend. They now face Hartlepool United, a match crucial at both ends of the table, and one which will be shown live on Sky Sports.

Portsmouth have won six of their last seven games, drawing the other, and they could still get their hands on the trophy, needing to beat Cheltenham Town at Fratton Park to stand a chance.

State of Play: Click here for the EFL matchday permutations

Around the grounds

As mentioned, Hartlepool travel to Doncaster needing victory to ensure their Sky Bet League Two survival. Relegation rivals Newport County look to complete their great escape at home to Notts County.

Luton Town have booked a Play-Off spot, and can secure fourth place at home to Morecambe – a point will guarantee the Hatters finish above Exeter.

John Akinde is neck and neck with Doncaster's John Marquis at the top of the goalscoring charts, and the Barnet front man could take the honours if he adds to his 26 goals away at Crewe Alexandra.

Table: Click here to see the Sky Bet League Two table

Sky Bet League Two: Final Day fixtures (5:30pm kick-off)

Saturday 6th May 2017

Blackpool v Leyton Orient
Colchester United v Yeovil Town
Crawley Town v Mansfield Town
Crewe Alexandra v Barnet
Exeter City v Carlisle United
Grimsby Town v Plymouth Argyle
Hartlepool United v Doncaster Rovers (live on Sky Sports)
Luton Town v Morecambe
Newport County v Notts County
Portsmouth v Cheltenham Town
Stevenage v Accrington Stanley
Wycombe Wanderers v Cambridge United

Social media: Follow @SkyBetLeagueTwo on Twitter for goal updates

Match officials: Click here to see the referees on EFL duty this weekend

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