The 46-game grind known as the English League Championship comes to a close tomorrow. As ever, there are numerous promotion, playoff and relegation issues yet to be decided.
For American fans, the battle for the last playoff spot will be the most interesting: Stuart Holden and Tim Ream’s sixth-place Bolton Wanderers needs to win at home against Blackpool and hope that Nottingham Forest is unable to rout Zak Whitbread’s Leicester City in order to guarantee the final spot. Forest and Bolton both have 67 points, but Bolton has a three-goal better goal-difference. City, meanwhile, is just two points behind both clubs, but has a far superior goal difference, which means a Bolton loss and a win against Forest would secure the last playoff spot.
Elsewhere, second-place Hull City can secure automatic promotion to the Premier League next season if it can defeat Cardiff City, which was crowned champion ten days ago, but Steve Bruce’s men have taken just one point from its last three games. If Hull draws or loses, Gianfranco Zola’s Watford could eke into the automatic promotion slot with a win against Leeds United.
At the bottom of the standings, Wolves, currently in 19th-place with 51 points, looks set for back-to-back relegations even if it manages to beat playoff-bound Brighton on Saturday. Ahead of Wolves, Barnsley, Peterborough, Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall and Huddersfield Town are all separated by three points. The crucial games are Barnsley versus Huddersfield, Peterborough against Crystal Palace, Sheffield Wednesday versus Middlesbrough, and Millwall versus Derby County.