Four teams and only two spots available, with just two games remaining for the Championship’s top four sides, it will be a nail biting finish.
As it stands Watford are sitting at the top of the table with 85 points, only a point clear of second-placed Bournemouth and third-placed Middlesbrough, who are both two points clear of Norwich, who sit in fourth.
With Watford leading the way they are favourites to finish first, for many, and with Norwich sitting bottom of the pack they would be classed as outsiders, but when it comes to the Championship, you just can’t be sure.
All four teams play this coming weekend, with Watford, Middlesbrough and Norwich all having matches on Saturday, while Bournemouth come up against Bolton Wanderers on Monday night. Watford start off the day with an early kick-off away to Brighton, who need only one win to secure Championship status. Watford will be going in with high spirits having never lost at the Amex Stadium.
Middlesbrough are away at Fulham in a 3pm kick-off. This will be Boro’s first visit to Craven Cottage since late 2008, a match which they lost 3-0. However, they will fancy themselves having only lost one of the last five. Fulham would need to lose both remaining games heavily and other results to go sour in order to get relegated, so the Londoners are more or less safe.
Norwich are also away from home this weekend, playing relegation-threatened Rotherham, who are four points away from the danger zone but have three games remaining, so a win this weekend and a Millwall defeat would mean the Yorkshire club are safe.
Norwich fans may have mixed feelings about the game. A pro is that they have not lost away to Rotherham since 1981, but a con is that their more recent league encounters have all ended in draws.
Bournemouth play on Monday night at home to Bolton. The Cherries could be as low as fourth by kick-off but could be straight back up to second with a win. The fans may be a bit concerned at the fact that they have not beaten Bolton at home since 1991. However, they have only lost one of their last eleven matches at home, stretching back to the start of January.
More to follow next week…
Stuart Connolly, Pundit Arena