By Sam Johnson
As the championship league season is closely approaching its end, with just one round of fixtures remaining, there is still plenty to play for as there is the scrap for two play-off places along with one relegation place still on the line between Huddersfield Town and Reading, who both face each other on the final day.
However, with Huddersfield currently out of the relegation zone by three points, it could possibly be all over by the time that they face Reading on Monday afternoon, as Huddersfield face already promoted Sheffield United on Thursday evening at the John Smith’s stadium, where just one point will help secure their safety and send Reading packing to League One.
It seemed near impossible for Huddersfield to retain their Championship status for next season in February, when they brought back an experienced figure in Neil Warnock, but an incredible run of form has dragged them out of the relegation zone with their destiny now lying in their own hands.
Whereas it now seems a lost cause for Reading, who find themselves in 22nd after a poor run of form and a six points deduction which has ultimately led to the sacking of Paul Ince after 14 months in charge, with former player Noel Hunt taking charge for the rest of the season.
It certainly seems as though it is advantage Huddersfield in the fight for survival, but in the Championship, it is possible for anything to happen.
Whereas at the other side of the table, there are plenty of possibilities for the play off positions, with Luton and Middlesborough already guaranteed play offs, it is now a fight off for the remaining two positions between teams such as Coventry, Millwall, Blackburn, Sunderland and West Brom.
The number of teams in contention for the play offs was narrowed down last weekend, where it was confirmed that Swansea, Preston, Norwich and Watford would have to settle for another season of Championship football.
With Coventry away to Michael Carrick’s Middlesborough, Millwall hosting fellow play-off rivals in Blackburn, Sunderland away to Ryan Lowe’s Preston and West Brom away to Swansea, there is still plenty to play for on the last day in terms of attempting to secure a play-off position to gain promotion to the Premier League.
The two automatic promotion positions are already confirmed and have been for several weeks now, with Burnley and Sheffield United claiming them, with Vincent Kompany’s side comfortably finishing above the rest of the teams in the league, making them return to the Premier League at the very first attempt.
Whereas at the other side of the table, both Wigan Athletic and Blackpool have already had their fates confirmed, as they will both be playing League One football next season, after a disastrous season for both sides with both teams having sacked two managers, in Leam Richardson and Kolo Toure for Wigan, and Michael Appleton and Mick McCarthy for Blackpool.
Regardless of what happens come the end of these round of fixtures on Monday afternoon, one thing for sure is that it promises to be an exciting ending.