Perhaps it might be difficult to better last season’s Championship relegation battle, but as this campaign enters the latter stages, a high number of clubs are still at risk.
Barnsley and Luton Town both put together incredible runs to avoid the Championship drop when the season resumed last June. Surprisingly, neither side are at immediate risk of relegation this time around. The Hatters sit in 16th place and 12 points above Rotherham United in 22nd, whilst the Tykes occupy a play-off position.
Championship Relegation Battle Becoming Increasingly Gripping
Uphill Tasks for Sheffield Wednesday and Wycombe Wanderers
Sheffield Wednesday have been in a relegation battle from the onset. They started the season with a 12-point deduction – a figure that has since been cut to six – and have spent a mere two weeks outside of the bottom three.
The Owls’ chances of survival were boosted mid-December, accumulating 19 points in nine games. However, six straight defeats since then, means that they are now seven points adrift from Championship safety.
Regarding Wycombe, this season has panned out exactly how most would have expected. They have been resilient and have not just rolled over, but they have lacked that Championship quality to pick up enough points. Considering they have been operating on the lowest budget in the division, it was an uphill task from the get-go.
Rotherham United, Birmingham City and Coventry City Also at High Risk
At first glance, Rotherham United look like the team with the most to do. They are three points from safety but possess three games in hand on the ground-sharing duo. The Millers also have a much superior goal difference which could prove vital as the season reaches its concluding stages.
For Rotherham, the sheer amount of fixtures they need to fulfil remains the biggest problem. They still have 14 games to play this season, meaning that they barely get a rest from now to the end of the campaign.
The Millers have a relatively smooth run-in until the last four games of the season. During this tough spell, they visit Barnsley, Brentford and Cardiff City and host a recently improved Blackburn Rovers.
A team also sitting quite uncomfortably right now, is Birmingham City. They have not played third-tier football in 26 years and that is a run that they will be battling to extend. Narrow wins against Sheffield Wednesday and Queens Park Rangers have helped keep their head just above the water, but there are tougher tests to come in what remains of the season.
On paper, the Blues have the toughest run-in, with the points per game of their remaining opponents totalling a division high of 1.51]. Sandwiched into an already difficult schedule, are three massive relegation battles. In the last five games of the season, Birmingham host Nottingham Forest, in-between travelling to Rotherham and Derby County.
Coventry City also finds themselves in apparent danger. They may be six points clear of the Millers, but the Sky Blues’ inferior goal difference and the fact that Rotherham have three games in hand, will worry Mark Robins‘ men.
Coventry have the kindest run-in on paper and their last four fixtures come against teams who will most likely be safe already.
Huddersfield Town, Derby County and Nottingham Forest Not Yet Clear of Championship Relegation Battle
Huddersfield Town also sit six points ahead of Rotherham and are on an awful run that has seen just a single win in their last 13 games. Fortunately enough for the Terriers, they have one of the easiest run-ins on paper.
Derby and Nottingham Forest are still not clear of relegation either. They have both been revitalised in recent months but still, sit seven and eight points from the Championship drop respectively.