EFL permutations: Northampton, Ipswich and Plymouth close in on promotion

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Promotion and relegation is on the line as most EFL clubs play their penultimate matches of the season over the bank holiday weekend.

The automatic promotion places in the Sky Bet Championship are set in stone but with other issues at stake across all three divisions, the PA news agency looks at the state of play.


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Blackpool interim manager Stephen Dobbie, left, and Wigan boss Shaun Maloney
Blackpool interim manager Stephen Dobbie, left, and Wigan boss Shaun Maloney

Burnley are champions and Sheffield United clinched promotion on Wednesday night.

Luton and Middlesbrough are guaranteed play-off places. Coventry can join them with a game to spare if they beat Birmingham and several other results go their way, but the immediate interest is at the bottom of the table.

Wigan play fellow strugglers Reading away on Saturday and will be relegated if they lose. If they draw, they need Huddersfield to lose at Cardiff on Sunday while if the Latics win they would need the Terriers to drop points or Rotherham to lose on Monday.

Blackpool, just a point better off than the Latics, must beat Millwall on Friday or match Huddersfield’s result and hope Reading do not win.

Reading can go down this weekend if they lose, Huddersfield win and Rotherham pick up a point. QPR can clinch survival with a victory, as can Rotherham as long as Reading and Huddersfield do not also win. Cardiff only need a point to guarantee their Championship future.

League One

Plymouth and Ipswich have the chance to clinch promotion with wins at home to Burton and Exeter respectively, or by matching third-placed Sheffield Wednesday’s result at Shrewsbury.

Argyle will be crowned champions if they win and Town lose, and are up unless Wednesday win and they do not.

Wednesday are guaranteed a play-off place at least. Barnsley are in the play-offs and Bolton and Derby can both join them if they win and Peterborough do not.

Morecambe and Accrington could be relegated if they lose to Lincoln and Cambridge respectively, MK Dons beat Barnsley and Oxford get a point against relegated Forest Green. Even draws would not be enough if Oxford and MK both win.

Cambridge are second-bottom but have a game in hand, meaning their fate cannot be confirmed until Wednesday at the earliest.

League Two

Northampton and Stevenage have the opportunity on Saturday to clinch promotion alongside champions Leyton Orient.

Victories for either, against Bradford and Grimsby respectively, would make sure – otherwise, they would need none of Stockport, Carlisle and Bradford to win. Boro must match that trio’s results but Northampton would be promoted instantly if the chasing pack all drop points.

Stockport and Carlisle can clinch play-off places if they better either Salford or Mansfield’s results.

Hartlepool will be relegated unless they win both their remaining games and Crawley lose both of theirs, with a six-goal swing in Pools’ favour.