Championship Final Day Preview

Published on 4 May 2024 at 12:00

It judgement day in the Championship with the fate at the top and bottom of the league still to be decided...

Here's what can happen:

battle for second place :

Kieran McKenna's meteoric rise in his first managerial job at Ipswich Town could reach its pinnacle this Saturday, with successive promotion into the Premier League. Ipswich Town are on the brink of ending their twenty four year absence from the top flight, if they claim a point or more against relegation threatened Huddersfield Town.

After overcoming a congested fixture list with three games in seven days resulting in three successive draws, Ipswich Town put themselves in the driving seat of securing the second automatic promotion place with a 2-1 win over Coventry City on Tuesday night.

As for Leeds United, their hopes of an immediate return back to the Premier League look to be through the Play-offs after their recent decline in form taking four points from their previous five league games.

They are on 90 points, three behind the Tractor Boys and need a miracle this weekend. They must rely on Ipswich Town to lose against a Huddersfield side fighting for their life and they have to beat potential Play-off rivals Southampton in a blockbuster final day game. If this happened they would secure second place due to their superior goal difference.

On game week 41, Southampton were seen as a potential gate-crasher in the hunt for automatic promotion with two games in hand, but three consecutive defeats including a 5-0 humiliation to champions Leicester City has meant Russel Martin's Saints have had to settle for the Play-offs.

Southampton can still de-rail their rivals Leeds season with a win on Saturday to confine the Yorkshire side to the Play-offs.


promotion party

It's been a turbulent season for Leicester City, who surrended a 17 point lead they took into the new year. Enzo Maresca's side have achieved winning the title the hard way with seven defeats in 2024, while their rivals Ipswich Town and Leeds United accelerated up the table to close the gap to just within four points.

They currently have 97 points, and can cap off a remarkable campaign with a win at the King Power Stadium on the final day against Blackburn Rovers which would see them reach 100 points.

Jamie Vardy has been instrumental in their last three successive wins, scoring four goals to take the 37 year old's tally to 18 goals for the season and he could be set to sign a one year contract extension after sealing promotion back to the Premier League.

It has been a brilliant debut managerial campaign for Enzo Maresca who has instilled a high press, counter-attacking 4-3-3 system to re-vitalise Leicester City following relegation last season.

He has re-built an ageing squad re-investing the £50m fee received for James Maddison into young exciting individuals such as Stephy Mavididi, Abdul Issahaku, Mads Hermansen and Yunus Akgun.


fight for survival

It has been a long season for Rotherham United supporters, who accepted their fate as a League One club for the 2024-25 season early on. They have scored the fewest goals ever in a Championship season (32) and even with a win on Saturday against Cardiff City they will break their own record for lowest points tally.

The Millers last win came on Monday 1st April against Millwall which was just their fourth win of the campaign. Besides Rotherham two relegation spots are still undecided with five teams involved.

Huddersfield Town look set to end their 12 seasons above the third tier, they have to beat Leeds United by 15 goals or more which is impossible... nothing is in football however, the Terriers are going down just unofficially as of now.

Birmingham new dawn under American owner Tom Wagner has been disastrous. In October, they decided to sack John Eustace with the club in sixth for 'big name' Wayne Rooney.

The former DC United manager, averaged 0.7 points per game with nine losses in his short 15 game stint at St. Andrews. The appointment of Tony Mowbray did not resurrect Rooney's damage and in early February Birmingham were managerless again with Mowbray in hospital for the foreseeable. 

Two wins in their last 10 games signals a side destined for the drop, even the interim appointment of former manager Gary Rowett has not salvaged a short-term comeback.

They have to beat Play-off hopefuls Norwich City to survive. Meanwhile, Blackburn Rovers, Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth Argyle are all hovering above the dreaded dropzone with Wednesday and Blackburn needing a point to ensure safety whilst Plymouth have to beat Hull City.


The play-offs looked to be straight-forward this season with Southampton, Norwich City and West Brom all secure in the top six, however three successive losses for West Brom, has them peering over their shoulders on the final day.

Hull City are two points behind the Baggies after a run of six games unbeaten and could hijack sixth place on Saturday if they beat Plymouth Argyle and West Brom lose to Preston North End.

Norwich City have 73 points and a superior goal difference over Hull City which means they should secure the Play-offs baring a miracle.

Despite, an excellent U-turn in Middlesbrough's season under Michael Carrick with a 10 game unbeaten run that placed them in contention for a late play-off push, unfortunately it their good form has come just too late.

Similarly, Preston North End and Coventry City's promising seasons have ultimately fizzled out into a boring mid-table finish.


Written by Lewis Eadie 

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