As expected, the Championship, England’s second tier, has followed the Premier League by announcing it will make a return. The action will get underway once again, with Fulham vs Brentford kicking off proceedings on June 20 at 12.30 pm. Championship football remaining fixtures will take place across sixteen matchdays, with the final game of the 2019/20 season on Wednesday, July 22.
The Situation At The Top
Leeds are currently top of the division with seventy-one points on the board, with Slaven Bilic’s West Brom a point behind them in second. Third-placed Fulham is six points adrift of the automatic promotion places. So, you would expect Leeds and West Brom to hold their nerve and make their respective returns to the top-flight. Although, the pair will both meet Fulham on the pitch in the coming weeks.
Championship Football Playoffs
The playoff places in the Championship football could deliver the most thrilling part of the league’s resumption; with teams as far down to Swansea in eleventh all likely to fancy their chances of making the top six. Fulham have likely done enough already, plus Brentford and Nottingham Forest are also well placed. However, the last playoff spot, currently occupied by Alex Neil’s Preston, is still very much up for grabs.
Bottom Of The Table
At the other end of the division, Barnsley and Luton look like they will be heading to League One, barring a miracle. It is the third relegation place where there could be some movement, and Charlton is currently in 22nd and two points adrift of safety. Hull, Wigan and Middlesbrough are all at immediate risk; with the Tigers dropping like a stone after selling Jarrod Bowed and Kamil Grosicki.
A factor which could come into play and have a significant impact is already taking place at Charlton. Star striker Lyle Taylor, who has a deal with the club until June 30, is effectively refusing to play for the Addicks in their upcoming fixtures and will depart when his contract expires. Taylor is citing he fears getting injured which could then hinder him securing a lifechanging move at the end of the season.
Most, if not all clubs, have players contracted up until June 30 2020; with many beginning to exercise pre-existing extension clauses at their discretion to ensure they remain available for selection. For players lacking these clauses, it will be a case of negotiating an extension which runs until the end of the season as a minimum. But, if a deal isn’t agreed, players can and will walk away. This will no doubt impact who finishes where in the league.
Championship football return is less than two weeks away, with some games to air on Sky Sports. However, there is a lot which can and will happen between now and then. Especially with teams returning to contact training and beginning to see who will and who won’t be available for selection. Exciting times are ahead, and there could be a surprise or two along the way.