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Championship preview

The Championship campaign draws to a dramatic conclusion on Saturday with numerous promotion, play-off and relegation issues still to be decided.

Last Updated: 03/05/13 at 14:23

Gianfranco Zola and Steve Bruce have their sights set on Premier League

Gianfranco Zola and Steve Bruce have their sights set on Premier League

Promotion, relegation and play-off issues to be decided on final day

The Championship campaign draws to a dramatic conclusion on Saturday with numerous promotion, play-off and relegation issues still to be decided.

Of the 12 fixtures taking place on Saturday lunchtime, nine of them have a bearing on matters at either end of the table on what promises to be a nerve-shredding afternoon for supporters.

Hull City can secure promotion to the Premier League with victory over champions Cardiff at the KC Stadium, but Steve Bruce's men are staggering towards the finishing line having taken just one point from their last three fixtures.

The Tigers' troubles have allowed Watford to remain in the hunt for second place as they play host to Leeds United, with the Hornets needing to better Hull's result if they are to claim a place back among England's elite.

At the other end of the table, Wolves look destined to join Bristol City in League One next season, with the Molineux outfit heading to play-off bound Brighton knowing that even a win may not be enough to prevent back-to-back relegations.

Barnsley are the other side who currently occupy an unwanted place among the Championship's bottom three, with their trip to Huddersfield - who are still in danger of the drop themselves despite having amassed 57 points - one of the pivotal fixtures of the day.

Safety

Peterborough are out of the drop zone by virtue of their superior goal difference and have their fate in their own hands as they make the trip to Crystal Palace, with the Eagles in danger of losing their place in the top six following a run of nine games without a victory.

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Sheffield Wednesday suffered a narrow defeat to Posh at London Road last time out and welcome Middlesbrough to Hillsborough just one point above the line marked for safety, with Owls fans sure to be keeping in touch with events at Huddersfield and Palace.

FA Cup semi-finalists Millwall have a two-point cushion over the bottom three and know a draw against Derby at Pride Park this weekend should be good enough, given their superior goal difference over the Tykes.

Bolton currently occupy sixth place as they prepare to welcome Blackpool to the Reebok Stadium, but with Nottingham Forest and Leicester - who go head-to-head at the City Ground - within striking distance, they cannot afford to slip up.

The three fixtures where the pressure is off see Birmingham play host to Blackburn, Burnley welcome Ipswich to Turf Moor and Charlton tackle rock-bottom Bristol City at The Valley.

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Readers' Comments

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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