There are two full rounds of matches left in the Sky Bet Championship season, the first of which takes place on Saturday, and although we already know who is leaving the division at the top end of the table, we may find out who is to be relegated in this set of games.
We have two matches live on the TV over in the UK on Saturday on what has all the makings of being a dramatic and then with it emotional day as relegations can be confirmed on a day where the title can also be won.
Saturday’s fixtures are as follows: (3pm unless stated, UK TV in brackets)
Sheffield Wednesday v Nottingham Forest (12.30 – Sky Main Event & Sky Football)
Birmingham City v Cardiff City
Brentford v Watford
Huddersfield Town v Coventry City
Luton Town v Middlesbrough
Millwall v Bristol City
Norwich City v Reading
Preston North End v Barnsley
Rotherham United v Blackburn Rovers
Stoke City v Queens Park Rangers
Swansea City v Derby County (Sky Main Event & Sky Football)
Wycombe Wanderers v AFC Bournemouth
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It is a pretty simple equation in the first of the TV matches where Sheffield Wednesday host Nottingham Forest. Anything but a win for the home side will see their relegation to League 1 confirmed. Forest have eeked their way to safety so aren’t playing for anything important. The second TV game could see Derby County seal their survival. They will be safe if they win and Rotherham United do not beat Blackburn Rovers. Rotherham will live to fight another day whatever happens in their match if Derby do not beat a Swansea City side who are preparing for the play-offs at the Liberty Stadium. The other match of note comes from Carrow Road where a win for Norwich City over Reading will see them crowned champions of the league.
Best of the Rest
If Norwich lose that match to Reading then Watford can keep their title credentials alive if they can find a win away to Reading. The only other team playing for something on the day are Wycombe Wanderers. They need to see off AFC Bournemouth and do it with plenty to spare if they are to keep any chances of staying up intact. Of the rest there is a clash between two top half sides at Kenilworth Road where Luton Town host Middlesbrough while improving Preston host Barnsley in another good looking match, albeit one without a competitive edge on it. The other form side in the division are Birmingham City. They host Cardiff City, again in a match where neither team are playing for anything.
I’ve taken Rotherham on a couple of times recently and I’m going to do that again. Credit to them for being competitive in matches the best they can but their last three matches have been on TV and they have looked like a team whose goose hasn’t just been cooked but cremated and the last thing they would have needed after a heavy schedule is to have been chasing Brentford around for a while. Blackburn Rovers have no such issues. They have had a normal schedule and have a big squad to keep key players fresh.
Blackburn have been very inconsistent this season and quite frustrating for their fans but they have shown an upturn in form since Easter. Whether that was because there was suddenly the threat of relegation or the pitches getting a little bit less boggy I’m not sure but it is certainly welcomed. They are the outsiders for this match but that is only because they are not playing for anything whereas their opponents are playing for their livelihoods in this division. You can’t get away from the fact that Rotherham look a shattered side though and with the attacking threat Blackburn have, if they can get in front they could overwhelm the Millers here.
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