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Ups and downs: Final day Championship permutations

5 May 2018

The title may have already been taken to Molineux, but there is still plenty to play for in the Championship on Sunday, with automatic promotion, Play-Off places and survival all at stake. Keep track of all the permutations ahead of matchday 46 here…


Wolverhampton Wanderers were awarded the Championship Trophy in their final home game of the season last weekend, while Cardiff City are in pole position to secure the second automatic promotion spot, sitting one point ahead of Fulham with just one game to play.

If Cardiff beat Reading, they will be automatically promoted regardless of Fulham’s result against Birmingham City.

If Cardiff only manage a draw against Reading and Fulham beat Birmingham, Fulham will overtake them to gain automatic promotion.

If Fulham draw against Birmingham and Cardiff lose, the two sides will be level on points, but Fulham will be promoted on superior goal difference.

If Fulham lose at St Andrew’s, Cardiff City will be promoted regardless of their result against Reading. 


Whoever finishes third out of Cardiff and Fulham will go into the Play-Offs with Aston Villa and Middlesbrough. They could be joined by sixth-placed Derby County, Preston North End or Millwall.

A win for Derby against Barnsley would guarantee them the final play-off place.

If Derby lose and Preston North End beat Burton Albion, PNE will finish in sixth and take the final play-off spot.

Should Derby only manage a point against Barnsley and Preston win against Burton, the sides will be level on points, but Preston would need to put 10 past Burton to leapfrog the Rams.

Should Derby lose and Preston drop points, a win for Millwall against Aston Villa would see them go level on points with Derby. However, they would also need a 10-goal swing to secure a play-off place.


At the other end of the table, Sunderland’s relegation to League One has already been confirmed with Bolton Wanderers and Burton Albion currently making up the bottom three.

Every side up to Reading, who are in 19th place, could still go down, with Burton and Barnsley on 41 points and Birmingham level with the Royals on 43 points.

Reading face Cardiff and Birmingham travel to Fulham – a win for either side would guarantee survival, while draws would effectively do the same.

For both teams to go down, Barnsley would need to beat Derby while Burton would need a mammoth victory at Preston due to a goal difference 20 worse than the Royals and 10 worse than the Blues.

If Reading lose, they will go down if Birmingham draw and both Barnsley and Burton win. Bolton would need to make up 14 goals to be involved in the equation.

If Birmingham lose, the above scenario applies although Bolton can realistically then enter calculations. Wins for two of Barnsley, Burton and Bolton – who would need a four-goal swing – would send the Blues into League One.

For Barnsley, three points at Derby will effectively keep them up regardless of Burton's result, due to a far superior goal difference. If the Tykes draw, wins for Burton or Bolton would send them down.

Should Barnsley lose, they would be relegated if Burton pick up a point or more at Preston, or if Bolton beat Nottingham Forest.

For Burton – aside from the aforementioned scenarios involving Birmingham and Reading – if they win and Barnsley don't, then the Brewers will survive. A draw will be enough if Barnsley lose and Bolton fail to win.

Bolton must beat Nottingham Forest to realistically have any chance of survival due to Barnsley having a far superior goal difference. A win combined with Barnsley or Burton dropping points – or the Birmingham loss previously mentioned – would keep the Trotters up.


Champions: Wolverhampton Wanderers

Play-Offs: Aston Villa, Middlesbrough

Relegated: Sunderland 

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