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Championship permutations: The latest promotion, play-offs and relegation scenarios

Written by on April 30, 2024

The 2023-24 Championship campaign has reached its final hurdle.

Leicester City will be returning to the Premier League after their 3-0 victory over Preston North End on Monday secured the league title — their first game since promotion was confirmed following Queens Park Rangers‘ 4-0 win against Leeds United on Friday night.

Rotherham United’s 1-0 defeat by Plymouth Argyle on April 5 confirmed their relegation to League One.

However, there are still several things to be decided heading into the league’s conclusion this week: a final automatic promotion spot, four play-off places and two teams still to be relegated.

Here is everything you need to know before the conclusion of the Championship season on Saturday, May 4.

This article will be updated after Ipswich Town’s game against Coventry City on Tuesday night.


Race for automatic promotion

POS CLUB PLD GD PTS

1

Leicester City (C)

45

50

97

2

Leeds United

45

39

90

3

Ipswich Town

44

32

90

With Leicester having already taken one of the two automatic promotion spots, Ipswich Town and Leeds are the two sides in the best position to take the remaining spot.

Kieran McKenna’s Ipswich have two games to play, with their first away at ninth-place Coventry City, who were a penalty shootout away from beating Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final on April 21. Ipswich then end their season at home to 23rd-placed Huddersfield Town, who have conceded the second-most goals in the division (75).

Leeds’ loss at QPR on April 26 not only confirmed Leicester’s promotion but also handed Ipswich a huge advantage in finishing in the top two and going up automatically.

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With both teams on 90 points but Leeds having a superior goal difference (+39 vs +32), Ipswich need just four points from their last two league games to guarantee a second-place finish.

Leeds, who face fourth-placed Southampton at Elland Road in their final league game, will need to win and hope that Huddersfield can do them an unlikely favour at Portman Road.

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How Leicester City clinched promotion back to the Premier League

Leicester, who have 97 points, have a chance to join the list of the six teams in history to accumulate 100 points or more in a single Championship season but need a victory over relegation-threatened Blackburn Rovers to achieve that feat.

Leicester were charged by the Premier League in March for an alleged breach of its profit and sustainability rules (PSR) and referred to an independent commission but the English Football League (EFL) confirmed in April that it cannot apply a points deduction from the Premier League to Leicester this season.

Whatever the result against Blackburn, Enzo Maresca’s side will lift the Championship trophy after the final whistle.


(Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

Battle for the play-offs

POS CLUB PLD GD PTS

4

Southampton

45

23

84

5

Norwich City

45

16

73

6

West Bromwich Albion

45

20

72

7

Hull City

45

9

70

One of Leeds or Ipswich will have to settle for a place in the play-offs and Southampton, who had threatened to earn an automatic promotion spot before their 2-1 defeat by Cardiff City on April 20, are in fourth place on 84 points with their place already confirmed.

Meanwhile, Norwich City sit in fifth, West Bromwich Albion are in sixth (the final play-off spot) and Hull City occupy seventh.


(Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

In addition to results going their way, Hull will need a victory over 21st-place Plymouth at Home Park to move into the play-offs.

With West Brom and Norwich having significantly healthier goal differences, Hull will need West Brom to lose their game against Preston at the Hawthorns.

Norwich face Birmingham City, who occupy the final relegation spot in 22nd place, at St Andrew’s on the final day.

Mathematically, Hull could overtake Norwich, but with the latter having a goal-difference advantage of seven, it is unlikely.

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Relegation

POS CLUB PLD GD PTS

19

Blackburn Rovers

45

-16

50

20

Sheffield Wednesday

45

-26

50

21

Plymouth Argyle

45

-12

48

22

Birmingham City

45

-16

47

23

Huddersfield Town

45

-27

45

24

Rotherham United (R)

45

-55

24

Rotherham will be playing their football next season in League One but who will join them?

Huddersfield’s uphill task to remain in the Championship took a body blow after their 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Birmingham on April 27 left them three points from safety. Their final-day game against Ipswich makes the possibility of relegation all the more daunting.


(Jess Hornby/PA Images via Getty Images)

Birmingham occupy the league’s final relegation place and face Norwich in their final game of the season. Birmingham are one point behind Plymouth Argyle, with Plymouth also enjoying a marginally superior goal difference (-12 vs -16). Plymouth face play-off hopefuls Hull on the final day of the season as they aim to avoid an immediate return to League One.

Catching 20th-placed Sheffield Wednesday, who are three points ahead of Birmingham, is also made possible by Birmingham’s superior goal difference (-26 vs -16).

Wednesday, whose 3-0 victory over West Brom on April 27 put them three points clear of the relegation zone, face 15th-placed Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Blackburn, who are tied with Wednesday on 50 points, sit in 19th place and are in a similar position going into the final day. They, though, face champions Leicester and will be hoping for an off-day from the champions or the teams below them to fail to win.

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(Top photos: George Wood/Getty Images, Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

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