Championship play-off permutations: Sheffield United, Luton, Middlesbrough and Millwall face off on final day


Illwall will be looking to grab an unlikely Championship play-off spot as another turbulent second-tier campaign draws to a close this afternoon.

Gary Rowett’s Lions put together a five-game unbeaten streak, including a 3-1 win over already-relegated Peterborough on the penultimate weekend of the campaign to keep alive their slim hopes of finishing in the top six and chasing Wembley and a first top flight since 1990, not to mention around £100million.

Millwall faces it on the final day, make no mistake and needs a lot to get in its way if it is to squeeze past the final hurdle.

They are out at Bournemouth on Saturday, hosts Scott Parker having already secured their instant return to the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over fellow promotion chasers Nottingham Forest in midweek.

Bournemouth are already guaranteed to finish second with prolific Fulham who won the title with a 7-0 demolition of Luton last time out, but will be keen to end a memorable campaign on a high.

Currently eighth and three points out of the top six, Millwall need to win at the Vitality Stadium this afternoon while hoping sixth-placed Luton are beaten at home by strugglers Reading and seventh-placed Middlesbrough drop points against Preston at Deepdale.

Fulham’s bombardment of Luton on Monday means Millwall now have a better goal difference than the Hatters, although fifth-placed Sheffield United are comfortably better as things stand and they would need a five-goal swing to catch the Blades today.

If Millwall win, Luton are beaten and Middlesbrough miss out on the three points in Lancashire, then the Lions will be fine.

Sheffield United and Luton would seal their play-off places with wins today of course, while a draw would also be enough for the Blades if either Luton or Middlesbrough do not emerge victorious.

Sheffield United and Middlesbrough are also hoping to crack the top six this afternoon

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Middlesbrough must beat Preston and hope Sheffield United are beaten or Luton drop points. Boro have a better goal difference than Luton, but are two behind United at the start of the day.

Elsewhere in the top six, Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield are level on points, with Forest currently third on a much bigger goal difference.

Forest are at Hull today, while Huddersfield host Bristol City. They are guaranteed to be third and fourth in any order, meaning they won’t face each other in the play-off semi-finals.

The position of the top two cannot change on the final day, with Fulham five points clear of Bournemouth at the top.

Derby, Peterborough and Barnsley are already relegated, with the latter destined to finish bottom four points clear of Posh in 23rd.

Derby (22nd) and Peterborough are level on points so could swap places as they take on Cardiff and Blackpool respectively today, but that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

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