EFL Championship: What do the Promotion-chasing Sides Need to Secure their Fate?
As we enter the final few game weeks of the season, the Championship is gearing up for a thrilling finish. Derby County’s relegation is already confirmed, with a defeat to Queens Park Rangers ultimately sending Wayne Rooney’s side through the trap door. Barnsley will likely follow suit, while Peterborough United is putting up a late scrap after winning successive ties.
At the other end of the table, the fight for promotion is wide open — with football betting online fluctuating all the time. Fulham has all but wrapped up the title while Bournemouth has the second of the automatic promotion places at their peril, but there are still a number of teams vying for the four sought-after playoff spots.
So, with not many games left to play, let’s take a look at what the promotion-chasing sides need in order to seal their fate. Read on to find out more!
It was only a matter of time before Fulham’s promotion back to the promised land of the Premier League was confirmed.
The Cottagers were denied their early celebrations last weekend, as Nottingham Forest thrashed West Bromwich Albion (4-0). But it was only put on ice, with a win over Preston North End (3-0) next time out all Marco Silva’s men needed to pop the champagne.
The Cherries have a nice cushion in second, but their return to the top flight is not as straightforward as Fulham’s. Winless in three, Scott Parker’s men beat Coventry City 3-0 to get back on track and remain in prime position for a second. Three wins in their remaining five games will be enough to see Bournemouth secure second, but it will probably take less than that.
Four points behind Parker’s men in third, having played a couple of games more than the south coast outfit, Huddersfield Town’s main goal at this stage will be to secure the top seed in the playoffs. With an eight-point cushion over seventh, one more win from their remaining three games will be enough for Carlos Corberán’s side to confirm their play-off place.
Also, just one win away from a place in the play-offs, Luton Town fans must be pinching themselves at this point of the season. The unlikeliest of playoff contenders, the Hatters went three games without a victory but bounced back with crucial wins over Forest and Cardiff City over Easter. A win over Blackpool on Saturday would send Kenilworth Road into delirium.
Steve Cooper’s men might be fifth in the table, but with two games in hand over the rest of the play-off hopefuls, they are arguably in the best position. In fact, they still have an outside chance of second if Bournemouth capitulates. Still, victories in both of their games in hand will put them 11 points clear of Millwall (7th) and that would be enough for a place in the play-offs.
Things are certainly not as rosy for Sheffield United as we approach the final few games. Four points adrift of Forest and five behind Luton, the Blades will likely be more worried about the teams below them — with Millwall just a point behind and Blackburn Rovers, Middlesbrough, and QPR all within three. Boro also has a game in hand, so Paul Heckingbottom’s men will want to win all of their remaining three games for a play-off place.