Soccer

Championship final day LIVE: Team news and updates as four clubs fight for final play-off places

The final day of the 2021/22 season in the Championship kicks off early on Saturday afternoon, with four clubs set to scrap it out over just two remaining play-off places.

We’ve already had confirmation that Bournemouth will be going back up to the Premier League after securing promotion, while Fulham are also back up after being crowned champions on Monday night with a 7-0 thrashing of Luton Town – who are one of the sides still hoping for a play-off place at the end of today. At the other end of the table, Barnsley, Peterborough and Derby County have all been relegated to League One. Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield are guaranteed a play-off place already, with just their final position to be determined.

Along with Luton, who sit sixth at the start of play, Sheffield United currently occupy one of the remaining and much-coveted spots. But behind them, Middlesbrough can sneak in with a victory if one of those two clubs slip up, while the outsiders are Millwall who need to win and have all three other results go their way. Follow all the latest goals and live action on the final day of the Championship season below:

Championship final day

League Two is also playing the final day later on, with their games all 3pm kick-off.

Forest Green and Exeter are already promoted and will play for the title, with Rovers a point ahead, as the real intrigue shifts to third place and an automatic promotion place.

Their respective opponents Mansfield and Port Vale still harbour automatic promotion hopes of their own but will need a slip-up from third-placed Northampton at Barrow as well as Bristol Rovers, fourth and level on points with the Cobblers. Rovers will look to rack up the goals against relegated Scunthorpe, with their goal difference five worse than Northampton’s.

Mansfield and Vale, though, could still miss out on the play-offs. They are on 76 and 75 points respectively, with Swindon on 74, Sutton 73 and ninth-placed Tranmere 72. Swindon could even dramatically snatch third place but would need to beat Walsall and hope Northampton and Bristol Rovers both lose and Mansfield and Vale do not win.

Oldham and the Iron are relegated.

Championship confirmed line-ups for teams chasing play-off spots

Sheffield United vs Fulham: Foderingham, Stevens, Fleck, Basham, Berge, Egan, Norwood, Robinson, Osborn, Gibbs-White, Ndiaye.

Luton Town vs Reading: Ingram; Bree, Burke, Bradley, Naismith, Bell; Lansbury, Campbell, Clark; Cornick, Jerome.

Middlesbrough vs Preston: Daniels, Dijksteel, Fry, Tavernier, Sporar, Howson, McNair, Watmore, Crooks, Jones, McGree.

Millwall vs Bournemouth: Bialkowski, McNamara, M Wallace, Hutchinson, Cooper, Burke, Saville, Leonard, Bennett, Afobe, B Mitchell

Dean Smith sets sights on Norwich winning Championship as relegation confirmed

Norwich boss Dean Smith immediately set his sights on winning the Championship next season after the Canaries’ Premier League relegation was confirmed in defeat to his old club Aston Villa.

Goals from Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings – the latter cruelly set up by Norwich’s former player of the year Emi Buendia – gave the hosts a 2-0 win on Smith’s return to Villa Park, though by the time the second went in, Norwich were already heading down thanks to Burnley’s 2-1 win at Watford.

Though the relegation comes as little surprise, it was still a painful moment for Smith, who had never previously experienced the drop.

“Obviously I’m bitterly disappointed and I fully take my responsibility as well,” he said. “I think over the last four to five weeks there’s probably been an inevitability about it.

“I’m disappointed that we got relegated today because I thought our performance was good, but unfortunately over the season, the performances have not been good enough and we’ve lacked the quality required in this league.

“(The players) are very down, very dejected. I won’t know my own feeling on getting relegated until I’ve felt it over a few weeks but we have to reflect and move on very quickly now to planning to get back up.”

Dean Smith sets sights on Norwich winning Championship as relegation confirmed

Goals from Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings gave the hosts a 2-0 win on Smith’s return to Villa Park.

Fulham star Fabio Carvalho quiet on summer Liverpool switch

Fabio Carvalho says that he is unsure about his Fulham future after being linked with a summer move away from the club.

The 19-year-old, whose contract expires at the end of the season, came close to a move to Liverpool in January, who have again been connected with the young winger.

Carvalho has scored ten times in the league, playing a key role as Marco Silva’s side cruised to promotion.

The free-scoring London club sealed the Championship title with a 7-0 thrashing of Luton on Monday night, with Carvalho on the scoresheet.

But he was keeping any prospective move under wraps when asked about his next step after the game.

Fulham star Fabio Carvalho quiet on summer Liverpool switch

Carvalho came close to joining Liverpool in January

Championship final day fixtures

And the remaining fixtures in the second tier today:

Birmingham vs Blackburn

Huddersfield vs Bristol City

Hull vs Nottingham Forest

Peterborough vs Blackpool

Stoke vs Coventry

West Brom vs Barnsley

Derby vs Cardiff

Swansea vs QPR.

Again, all are 12:30pm kick-off; the main focus here will be those games involving the play-off places but we’ll keep you updated on the others throughout.

Championship final day fixtures

Here’s what we’re looking at today, with the play-off race. Everything is a 12:30pm BST kick-off.

Bournemouth vs Millwall

Luton vs Reading

Preston vs Middlesbrough

Sheffield United vs Fulham.

And here’s how the teams stand in the league table ahead of kick-off:

5th – Sheffield United, 72 pts, +14GD

6th – Luton, 72 pts, +7

7th – Middlesbrough, 70 pts, +12

8th – Millwall, 69 pts, +9

Championship final day: Fulham crowned champions

Ahead of the play-off spots taking centre-stage today, a quick look back at the start of the week as Fulham confirmed their status as champions – and their star striker hit a record-breaking strike.

Aleksandar Mitrovic took his Championship goal tally for the season to 43 as Fulham sealed the title in devastating fashion with a 7-0 mauling of Luton at Craven Cottage on Monday evening.

Captain Tom Cairney opened the scoring in the 29th minute – the Cottagers’ 100th league goal of the campaign – and Kenny Tete made it two 10 minutes later to ensure the hosts, who sealed promotion to the Premier League on April 19, were in control at the break.

The floodgates opened in the second half with goals from Fabio Carvalho, Bobby Decordova-Reid, substitute Jean Michael Seri and a brace from Mitrovic – confirming a record haul in the second tier for the Serbia striker.

It marked the third time this term that Marco Silva’s side have netted seven goals.

Aleksandar Mitrovic secures Championship goal record as Fulham clinch title in style

Fulham 7-0 Luton: The Cottagers lifted the Championship title in style as Mitrovic struck late to take his goal tally to 43 for the season

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