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Championship last day lowdown

Wolves have captured the Championship title, but there are plenty of promotion and relegation issues to be determined on Sunday - the final day of the season.

Birmingham, Sheffield United and Reading all have hopes of automatic promotion, while Cardiff, Burnley and Preston are battling for two play-off spots. Meanwhile, Norwich and Barnsley are locked in a relegation battle.

BBC Sport outlines the permutations for the final day of the 2008/09 season.

AUTOMATIC PROMOTION

Wolves have already won the Championship title - and will be joined by Birmingham, Sheffield United or Reading.

KEY FIXTURES
Crystal Palace v Sheffield Utd
Reading v Birmingham

Birmingham - who visit Reading on Sunday - will be promoted if they win at the Madejski Stadium. A draw will only be sufficient for them if Sheffield United fail to win - while defeat for the Blues will see them drop into the play-offs.

Sheffield United need to win at Crystal Palace to have any hope of automatic promotion. However, their fate will be determined by the result of the Reading-Birmingham game - if Sheffield United and Reading both win, or if United win and the Reading-Birmingham game is drawn, the Blades will be promoted.

PAUL FLETCHER'S BLOG
BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher

Reading also need to win to have any hope of finishing second - but they would also need Sheffield United to fail to win at Selhurst Park for the Royals to be promoted.

If Reading win and the Blades draw, all three teams will finish on 80 points, but Reading's goal difference will see them promoted.

PLAY-OFFS

The two unsuccessful teams from Birmingham, Sheffield United and Reading (see above) will enter the play-offs.

KEY FIXTURES
Burnley v Bristol City
Preston v QPR
Sheffield Wednesday v Cardiff

The other two places will be filled by two from Cardiff, Burnley and Preston.

Cardiff will guarantee their play-off place if they avoid defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. If they lose at Hillsborough, the Bluebirds would have to rely on Burnley losing (or drawing, provided Cardiff's defeat is by fewer than five goals), or Preston failing to win (while making up a two-goal swing in goal difference) if they are to stay in the play-offs.

Burnley will cement their play-off place if they beat Bristol City at Turf Moor. If they draw, the Clarets would need Preston to fail to win, or Cardiff to lose by five goals or more, for them to remain in the top six. If Burnley lose, they will only make the play-offs if Preston fail to win.

Preston know only a win will give them any hope of reaching the play-offs. But they will also need either Cardiff to lose (with a two-goal swing in goal difference) or Burnley to fail to win, for North End to reach the top six.

RELEGATION

Charlton and Southampton are already relegated - and will be joined by either Norwich or Barnsley.

KEY FIXTURES
Charlton v Norwich
Plymouth v Barnsley

The equation is simple. Norwich will be relegated unless they win at Charlton and Barnsley lose at Plymouth - in which case Barnsley will be relegated instead.



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The Coca-Cola Football League Championship Table
30 January 2010 19:21
    P GD PTS
1 Newcastle 27 27 56
2 Nottm Forest 28 23 52

3 West Brom 27 26 50
4 Cardiff 27 22 45
5 Swansea 27 3 42
6 Sheff Utd 27 4 41

7 Blackpool 27 10 40
8 Leicester 26 2 39
9 Middlesbrough 28 7 37
10 Bristol City 27 -4 36
11 Preston 26 -2 35
12 QPR 27 -4 34
13 Doncaster 26 -1 33
14 Coventry 28 -8 33
15 Barnsley 26 -8 33
16 Scunthorpe 27 -13 33
17 Watford 26 -6 32
18 Derby 28 -11 32
19 Sheff Wed 28 -12 31
20 Crystal Palace 27 2 30
21 Ipswich 27 -8 29

22 Reading 27 -16 26
23 Plymouth 26 -14 24
24 Peterborough 28 -19 18


see also
League One last day lowdown
01 May 09 |  League One
League Two last day lowdown
01 May 09 |  League Two
Ups and downs
27 Apr 09 |  Football


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