What's at stake on Championship's final day?
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What's at stake on Championship's final day?

May 4, 2024

Down at the bottom, Rotherham’s relegation was confirmed some time ago and they will end the season without a single away victory.

Huddersfield Town are almost certain to join them as they need to beat promotion-chasing Ipswich, with Plymouth losing to Hull City and overturn a 15-goal deficit.

Terriers boss Andre Breitenreiter has accepted his side are down and pointed to a low quality pre-season under predecessor Neil Warnock last summer as one of the key reasons for their struggles.

“I heard about the really poor pre-season where players trained once a day and the focus was on playing golf and maybe staying in the pub,” he told BBC Radio Leeds.

“This never leads to success.”

As for who else will be going into League One next season, the pressure is on Birmingham to pull off another great escape, a decade on from their miraculous survival at Bolton.

Blues have endured a torrid campaign after sacking John Eustace and appointing England and Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney.

Rooney’s disastrous spell was cut short in January and Tony Mowbray looked to have them going in the right direction before he had to step down until at least the summer because of ill health.

Former Blues boss Gary Rowett returned after Mark Venus’ spell in caretaker charge but he has also struggled to get results and they slipped into the relegation zone for the first time on 6 April.

They host play-off chasers Norwich on Saturday and goal difference means anything other than a win is likely to mean they will be relegated to the third tier for the first time since 1993-94.

Plymouth, who have not spent a single day in the relegation zone all season, start the day one point above the West Midlands outfit and must match their result to avoid an immediate return to League One.

“[The players] are all desperate to keep the club up and now we’ve just got to produce it on the pitch,” Argyle coach Kevin Nancekivell told BBC Radio Devon.

Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn are two points better off than the Pilgrims on 50 points.

Wednesday had been in the bottom three for eight months before beating Rovers 3-1 two weeks ago.

Rookie boss Danny Rohl has worked wonders after they endured their worst ever start to a season under Xisco Munoz and a draw at Sunderland will be enough for them regardless of other results.

“We have to play with the same intensity as the past weeks. It’s a big opportunity and we worked hard to get to such a point,” Rohl told BBC Radio Sheffield.

“We have to make the final step now and I’m convinced about my team.”

Blackburn are another team not to have been in the bottom three all season who go into the final day with work to do.

A shock 1-0 victory at Leeds, the Whites’ only home loss of the season so far, looked like it would be enough for them but one point from their past two games means they visit champions Leicester, who need a win to reach 100 points, possibly in need of favours from elsewhere.

Rovers boss John Eustace told BBC Radio Lancashire that staying up “will be a cause for celebration”.

You can join us for live text action of the final day of the Championship regular season from 11:30 BST on Saturday, 4 May.

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