With just one more game week to go in the regular season of the English Championship there is still a lot to play for at the top; especially for Fulham and Cardiff City. Both teams are vying to play Premier League football once again, but only one can get there without the drama of the playoffs. The question is will it be Fulham or Cardiff?
With Wolverhampton Wanderers already confirmed champions and looking for 100 points, both Cardiff and Fulham could break the 90 point barrier with a win on the weekend. However, that scenario would not be good enough for Fulham who currently sit in 3rd place. So how could it play out?
Here are the scenarios for both sides. If both teams lose then, Cardiff are promoted automatically, but if Fulham win and Cardiff lose then, they leapfrog the Welsh side. If both teams draw, then it’s the Bluebirds back in the Premier League for the first time since 2014 but if they draw and Fulham win then the London club are guaranteed to be playing top-flight football.
So all the cards are pretty much in the hands of Neil Warnock, and his side, who face relegation-threatened Reading. They do come into the game with a 2-0 win against Hull City and will feel positive that they can pick up another win especially playing at home. Their home form has been sensational this year, and they have only lost three games at the Cardiff City Stadium all season. Reading will be concerned as they have not won in four games and have conceded ten goals in those four games.
However, Fulham play similar opposition to Cardiff. They face Birmingham City who are in the same situation as Reading; fearing for their Championship status. With regards to Fulham, they are in the best form you want to be in coming into a promotion battle as they are unbeaten in 23 games! With only five draws in that run they have turned themselves into possible playoff place hopefuls to automatic promotion contenders. Whereas their counterparts are not in as impressive form as for them, they have improved under Garry Monk and will not go down without a fight.
It will make for excellent viewing on the final championship day with four teams playing for different reasons. None of these sides are in the Maldives already with their feet up drinking a Pina Colada; they are scraping it out in the most competitive league to either keep their status in the league or jump up to the promised land of the Premier League.
Second place should be Cardiff’s, and it is theirs to lose realistically. But with the form, Fulham are in they are going to keep them on their toes up until the final whistle. It could come down to just the one goal in either game to determine their futures, and it could be detrimental or exhilarating. It is football at its finest.