Burton, Barnsley, Birmingham, Bolton and Reading – who survives?
Two Bs or not two Bs? That is the question when it comes to the relegation battle at the bottom of the Championship.
Burton Albion, Barnsley, Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers and Reading all remain in danger of a drop to the third-tier.
Two will go down with Sunderland. Three will survive. But who will finish where?
We’ve broken down the hottest relegation battle in town ahead of the final two weeks of the season…
Reading – Pts 43 / Pld 44 / Relegation odds 66/1
After a failed play-off tilt last time around, this season hasn’t gone to plan for Reading. The Royals have struggled throughout the campaign.
However, the appointment of Paul Clement has steadied the ship somewhat.
The ex-Swansea City boss has taken seven points from his opening six matches, which should see the Berkshire side clear of relegation.
Three points at home to Ipswich Town on Saturday will secure their survival ahead of a daunting final day trip to Cardiff City. Reading should still survive even if they lose their final two matches.
Birmingham City / Pts 43 / Pld 44 / Relegation odds 40/1
“They should never have sacked Gary Rowett”, is the familiar refrain when referring to Birmingham City.
But in current boss Garry Monk, the Blues look to finally be heading in the right direction.
The 39-year-old has lost just four games since taking over at St Andrew’s last month. Four wins in their last seven matches have hauled City out of the relegation zone.
A point away at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday should see them safe, dependent on other results.
Bolton Wanderers / Pts 40 / Pld 44 / Relegation odds 5/4
Victory over Aston Villa last month put Bolton six points clear of the drop-zone in 19th place.
Since then the Trotters have lost five matches in a six-game winless run to leave them right back in the relegation shake-up
They’re woefully out of form. And defeat away at in-form Burton on Saturday could leave the writing on the wall for Phil Parkinson’s side.
One league away win all-season long looks ominous for Bolton.
Should results go against them at the weekend, they could be facing the prospect of a must-win clash at home to Nottingham Forest on the final day.
Barnsley / Pts 38 / Pld 43 / Relegation odds 1/6
Last night’s defeat to Nottingham Forest leaves Barnsley in a bit of a pickle.
The Tykes are two points adrift of safety and face a nightmare final two games against play-off hopefuls Brentford and Derby County.
Three victories in their last 30 matches give supporters little hope of a revival. Defensive issues have blighted the Yorkshire side all season.
And now those problems look as though they’re coming home to the roost in the form of a second relegation to League One in the space of four years.
Burton Albion / Pts 38 / Pld 44
The Brewers may have condemned Sunderland to the third-tier on Saturday. But it also gave them hope in their own battle to avoid the drop.
Nigel Clough’s side have now won two on the bounce in the Championship for the first time since December.
If they can make that three in a row in a crucial six-pointer against Bolton on Saturday, they’ll give themselves more than a fighting chance.
A final day trip to play-off chasing Preston North End could be a tall order if the Pirelli Stadium club still require points.
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication