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Preview: Championship final day

21 July 2020

With promotion, Play-Off and relegation places still to be decided in the Sky Bet Championship, Wednesday night’s action signifies the end of the season but also throws up one more fascinating round of fixtures to cap off another campaign to remember.

After a weekend of action that saw Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United promoted to the Premier League as champions, we look forward to see who will join his side in the top flight next season. 

West Bromwich Albion, Brentford and Fulham are all in with a shout of automatic promotion.

Slaven Bilic’s Baggies were beaten away from home by Huddersfield Town on Friday night which left the door open for Thomas Frank’s Brentford side against Stoke City.

But West Brom were handed a lifeline, as Lee Gregory netted the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win against the Bees.

Fulham, on the other hand, heaped pressure on both sides at the weekend with an impressive 5-3 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

So, here’s the state of play heading into the final round of fixtures: if West Brom beat Queens Park Rangers, the Baggies will return to the Premier League.

If they don’t, it leaves the door open for Brentford and Fulham; the Bees would claim automatic promotion if they beat Barnsley and West Brom fail to win on home soil.

Fulham could sneak that final automatic promotion spot if they see off Wigan Athletic and both Brentford and West Brom fail to win.

That final Play-Off place is also still up for grabs in the Sky Bet Championship with three teams battling it out.

Nottingham Forest in fifth and Cardiff City in sixth are in pole position for securing Play-Off football, but must ensure that they do the business themselves on Wednesday night.

Swansea are hot on the tails of their Welsh rivals; with a win at Reading and results going in their favour, they could leapfrog the Bluebirds into that final spot.

However, for that to happen, Cardiff would have to lose at home to bottom club Hull City.

Forest failed to secure their spot in the Play-Offs after a 93rd-minute loss to relegation candidates Barnsley on Sunday afternoon.

With a better goal difference by five to Swansea, a point should be enough for Sabri Lamouchi’s men at home to Stoke City - but in this division, you cannot take anything for granted.

The excitement does not stop there, as we look towards the bottom of the table, where there is still a possibility that several teams could face the dreaded drop.

Obviously, only three of those seven teams can be relegated to Sky Bet League One.

Hull City have the biggest task in front of them, not only facing Cardiff City who are facing their own Play-Off battle, but even if the Tigers win they will need a 16-goal swing and teams above them to lose to ensure their spot in the Championship for another season. 

Barnsley sit in 23rd spot and helped their fight for survival with a win over Forest on Sunday.

But they have the unenviable task of heading to automatic promotion chasers Brentford on Wednesday night.

Three points and losses for Luton Town and Charlton Athletic above them would see the Tykes keep their place within the division.

The Hatters and the Addicks are on 48 points each with the former occupying the final relegation spot.

Nathan Jones’ side host Blackburn, while Lee Bowyer - who will no doubt be delighted with Leeds’ promotion back to the Premier League - will be hoping for a helping hand off his former club when they visit Elland Road in that final game.

Birmingham City and Middlesbrough sit outside of the drop zone by two points - they will be keen to get the job done over Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.

After Danny Cowley produced three points against West Brom on Friday night, he all but sealed the Terriers’ place in the Championship for another season, but was relieved of his duties on Sunday.

A point against Millwall should keep them out of trouble. 

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