Monday, December 9, 2019

Championship Preview: Matchday 46

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 4 May 2019

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Most matters have been resolved ahead of Sunday’s final round of Championship fixtures, though the title is yet to be decided, as is the occupant of the final play-off position.

A point for Norwich City will be enough to see them crowned champions, though that is certainly no forgone conclusion with the Canaries facing a tough trip to Aston Villa, who are certain to finish the campaign in fifth place.

Should Villa take the points, Sheffield United can snatch the trophy from under Norwich’s noses if they can beat Stoke City at the Bet 365 Stadium while Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion, in third and fourth respectively could swap places depending on their results at bottom of the table Ipswich Town and sixth place Derby County.

Last chance

The Rams need to beat the Baggies to be absolutely sure of finishing in the play-off spots, with anything less leaving the door open for both Middlesbrough and Bristol City.

Boro are just a point behind Frank Lampard’s side ahead of their trip to relegated Rotherham United while Lee Johnson’s men travel to Hull City hoping that they will win, and that other results will fall in their favour.

Before their draw at Leeds last weekend, Villa had won ten games on the spin, while the Blades have gone eight games on the row without defeat, winning four of their last six so you may be tempted to back Chris Wilder’s men to finish in first place at a price of 4/1.


Elsewhere, with the relegation places decided there is little to play for aside from pride though at last Bolton Wanderers will be playing following their players refusal to fulfil last weekend’s fixture against Brentford, which has since been awarded as a 1-0 victory for the Bees.

The Trotters end a forgettable campaign at a Nottingham Forest side who will be hoping for more next season, after seeing their hopes of finishing in the top six extinguished in the last couple of months.

Victory for the Reds would be their third in succession, though they are rather good at winning when it matters little.

Just one defeat in their last eight games has seen Swansea City end the season strongly though their inconsistency up to that point destroyed their hopes of an immediate return to the top flight.


The Swans head to Blackburn Rovers while Sheffield Wednesday, who are below Graham Potter’s side in tenth place on goal difference host Queens Park Rangers.

Both Wigan Athletic and Millwall didn’t see their safety confirmed until very late on but face each other with the pressure off at the DW Stadium while Reading, who also looked in trouble until just couple of weeks ago, entertain Birmingham City.


Deke Hardman

Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both and, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.



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