EFL Championship: Promotion and Relegation Battles Explained

Championship promotion relegation

The 2019/20 Championship season finally reaches its conclusion on Wednesday night with both promotion and relegation places still to be settled. The final day comes 81 days later than originally planned, but it will still have all the same nail-biting excitement.

EFL Championship: Promotion and Relegation Battles Explained

A Decisive Day in the Championship

Leeds United have already been crowned champions after West Bromwich Albion and Brentford both dropped crucial points last week.

However, this is still much to play for at both ends of the table. Three teams can still earn automatic promotion to the Premier League; there are still two play-off places being chased, and seven clubs can still go down.

As is the norm on the final day, all twelve fixtures kick-off simultaneously at 7:30 pm.

West Brom, Brentford and Fulham Going for Automatic Promotion

All three of West Brom, Brentford and Fulham are still in with a chance of joining Leeds in the automatic promotion spots. West Brom currently sit second on 82 points, and if they win against Queens Park Rangers then they are up – simple as that.

Should the Baggies drop points and Brentford win at home to Barnsley, then it will be the West London side to gain promotion. If both West Brom and Fulham lose, just a point will do it for Brentford – they have 81 points and a much superior goal difference.

For Scott Parker‘s Fulham side to leapfrog their rivals into second place, it will require more luck. The Cottagers are a point further back from Brentford on 80 points. They’ll need to win and hope their local neighbours don’t win and that West Brom lose.

Forest and Cardiff Look Set for Championship Play-Offs

The battle for the remaining play-off spots is slightly more straight forward. If Nottingham Forest win then they will secure fifth-place; should they draw with Stoke City. then they will be in the play-offs. Cardiff, however, could still overtake them.

Cardiff City also need just a point to secure sixth-place. But if they win and Forest drop points, they could move up to fifth place.

Swansea City are the only other side still in contention for the play-offs. They need to win and hope fierce rivals Cardiff lose. Should Forest lose, a five-goal swing is the only way that the Swans could replace them in the play-offs.

Seven Sides Fighting Championship Relegation

Now, if you thought the automatic promotion places and play-off spots were confusing, you might want to take a deep breath.

No side has yet to have their relegation confirmed from the Championship, and seven clubs are still at risk of dropping down to League One. This year’s relegation battle has been made even more complex by Wigan Athletic‘s 12-point deduction for entering administration earlier this month.

As things stand, Wigan are 13th with 58 points. If they lose, then they’ll fall into the relegation zone once their points have been deducted. However, even a win may not be enough for them to stave off the drop.

Bottom of the league Hull City will require a miracle to stay up on the final day. The Tigers sit three points behind 21st placed Charlton Athletic and are 16 goals worse off on goal difference. They need the Addicks and Luton Town to lose by significant margins, hope Barnsley don’t win and record a big result against Cardiff for any chance of surviving.

Only a win at Brentford will do for second-to-bottom Barnsley. The Yorkshire side sit one point above Hull on 46 points and must beat the promotion hopefuls whilst relying on Charlton and Luton to slip up.

Luton, who sit in 22nd, have a much inferior goal difference to Charlton, with both clubs level on 48 points. If Charlton better Luton’s result then they are in with a chance. but that’s easier said than done when playing Leeds United.

Middlesbrough and Birmingham City could still be dragged into the dropzone despite being two points better off than the two southern clubs. They both need to record wins against Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County respectively, to guarantee their Championship status.

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