So it comes down to this final game. Well some things come down to the final game anyway. Charlton are already champions (well deserved as under Chris Powell they’ve played some excellent football in the last few seasons) and the dust has already settled on the relegation dog fight. What’s left to be decided is who will join Charlton in the Championship via automatic promotion, and who’s going to be hoping for a trip to Wembley culminating in promotion through the playoffs.
Not so very long ago it was Sheffield Utd in the box seat, in fact they were nipping at the heels of Charlton and looked like pushing the league all the way. They’ve slipped in the last few matches though and let their steel city rivals Wednesday take possession of second. How much the form of Utd can be put down to the court case involving their star striker (not to be referred to under any circumstances as a former Norwich player. Damn) is open to debate, but no team wants to lose a 30+ goal striker at the business end of the season.
Wednesday go into the final round of fixtures knowing that a home win against already relegated Wycombe on Saturday will take them up, a draw would leave Utd needing to beat Exeter (also down) away. If Wednesday capitulate and lose their game then the blades would need only a draw by warrant of their superior goal difference.......but without their star striker to score any more for them. Wednesday are a generous 1.16 to go up with BoDog, with Utd a longer 2.5 with BetFair. That includes the playoffs so your bet would be good regardless of how they make it to the promised land.
With both the Sheffield teams still harbouring hopes of automatic promotion (and just being better than the chasing pack in general) the odds of any other team making it up are correspondingly longer. The seemingly unbeatable (but often drawing) Huddersfield of the first half of the season is no longer with us, but they’ve a team to beat any (in this league at least) on it’s day and they’re our pick of the others to have a go via the playoffs. 3s with BetFair. If you fancy a long shot then Carlisle can be taken at 15s with StanJames to make the playoffs (they’ll need to better the results of both Notts County and Stevenage to do it) and 67s to go all the way and triumph in the playoff final.
Teams being promoted from League 1 are making a decent fist of things in the Championship in the next season. Norwich and Southampton have both completed back to back promotions and whoever joins Charlton in the next league up next season will fancy their chances. What you need is a quality striker, Sheffield Utd had one, Huddersfield still have one.