Championship Focus: Top Six all but certain, but who will clinch auto promotion?
There are 5-6 matches left in the English Championship season, and the Top Six is looking pretty darn certain.
Who makes it to the automatic promotion spots and who contends the four-team promotion playoff is another story altogether.
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Before we get to the table ramifications, here are the matches that shaped things.
Burnley 1-0 Leeds United
Scott Arfield scored in the first minute, and that’s all the Clarets needed to stay atop the table.
Middlesbrough 1-0 Preston North End
Boro continues to control its own destiny thanks to a first-half goal from Albert Adomah.
Fulham 2-1 Cardiff City
American 20-year-old Emerson Hyndman’s first senior goal put a serious crimp in Cardiff’s hope of making the playoff.
Huddersfield Town 2-2 Hull City
The Tigers needed to come back twice in order to snare a point. In the process, they likely sacrificed their chance at the Top Two.
Derby County 4-1 Bolton
Johnny Russell starred, picking up a brace as the Rams cruised while condemning Bolton to the drop.
Burnley, Middlesbrough and Brighton still have legit shouts at claiming instant promotion to the Premier League. The Clarets lead the table with 80 points but the aforementioned chasers have played one less match.
Boro could pass Burnley if it wins its match in hand. Brighton visits Nottingham Forest on Monday to make up its match in hand.
Hull City, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday look set for a spot between 4-6, especially after Fulham shocked Cardiff.