Another glorious Championship campaign is coming to a close. Sheffield United and Norwich will be headed to the Premier League, while there’s a mouth-watering variety of big-named sides ready to face off for the final promotion sport.
Final day is usually filled with relegation drama, but that might not be the case this year. Rotherham, Bolton and Ipswich are already gone, but the title remains up for grabs and then there’s the battle for the final play-off spot.
So, while there may be countless dead rubbers, there’s still a couple of themes that really matters on a final day like this – sides who have players looking for deals and home teams.
This is largely due to sides who have underachieved but contain some star players, and because home sides still have a weight of expectation, while away fans are only there for a jolly-up. With that being said, here’s a nice accumulator for you to start off your weekend.
Derby County v West Brom: Derby County – 10/11
So, one of these sides needs to win and the other needs to rest players ahead of playing in the play-off semi-final.
This isn’t rocket science. Derby may always be blessed with eventual failure after prolonged hope, but they’ve landed on their feet with this one.
Lampard can storm into the play-offs with a win, and that combined with a partisan home crowd should see them over the line.
Wigan v Millwall: Wigan – 11/10
The DW Stadium is hardly the Maracana, but there’s just a sense that Millwall have given up, and now that their relegation woes are out the window, a p**s-up to Wigan and onto Blackpool seems a nice way to spend a bank holiday Sunday. Especially for some grimy south Londoners.
Wigan have quietly been decent at home this season, too. 38 points is the tenth-best record in the division, and level with the likes of Sheffield Wednesday. That’s only three points shy of Villa’s total.
You know it makes sense.
Aston Villa v Norwich City: Norwich City – 7/5
Villa will be wrapping their players in cotton wool, while Norwich will be out to express themselves on a showcase due to their promotion party. They won’t want to turn up and be hammered, only to go on to try and celebrate that night.
The home fans won’t like it, but they will understand it. The primary focus in Aston now has to be on promotion and this game is nothing but a distraction for them.
Norwich have a clean bill of health and one of the better young benches in the division, meaning they won’t be miles below standard even if they shuffle the pack.
Reading v Birmingham: Birmingham – 6/4
Reading took just 29 points at home all season, just a point more than Birmingham took away from home during the campaign.
The Madejski is hardly a fortress and with an average attendance this year of just over 14,000 in the gate, Che Adams will be putting on a show in a side that are set up to take advantage of sides on their own patch.
Adams is well aware that scouts galore are watching him and this is another one of his chances to show off his ability before a Premier League move in the summer.
*All odds correct at time of posting.