Football fans would have been rejoicing on Sunday evening, as it was revealed that the Championship would be restarting on the 20th June. The decision comes days after it was revealed that the Premier League would be restarting just a couple of days before that date.
The race to the Premier League has been competitive throughout the season, but with nine games remaining, West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United still hold the top two places. The same clubs have been competing for the title throughout the season to this point, with the Baggies still holding a six-point advantage over Fulham.
It would seem that Fulham, as well as the sides below them, are holding out for a playoff spot, but which side is best placed to win the lucrative post-season competition?
Favourites For The Playoffs
The outright favourites to win the playoffs will be Fulham. They have had an excellent season under the stewardship of Scott Parker, as only West Brom and Leeds have won more than their total of 18 games this season. There is no doubting that Fulham have one of the best strikers in the league, as Aleksandar Mitrovic is undoubtedly Premier League quality.
He has scored 23 goals so far this season, and if he can maintain this run in the post-season, then it would be incredibly difficult to see anyone stopping Fulham.
Brentford will also be considered one of the leading chances, and success in the playoffs could be their best chance of securing the futures of some of their star players, including Ollie Watkins. The 24-year-old has already been linked with a move to the Premier League and has scored 22 goals this season in the Championship.
So, Brentford will also be hoping for promotion, as they will be moving into their new state-of-the-art stadium at the beginning of next season. However, it would seem that they will have the trickier semi-final clash as they will likely be coming up against Nottingham Forest.
Outsiders For The Playoffs
Nottingham Forest will be the best placed of the outsiders for the playoffs. Forest have enjoyed an excellent campaign this season, and look to be well placed for a berth in the playoffs. However, there will be doubts surrounding whether they will be able to compete against the best sides in the playoffs, as they have only scored 48 goals this season.
They lack the firepower of the other sides competing, with that record being the third-worst in the top half of the Championship. Defensively they also leak too many goals. Preston are currently the occupants on the final playoff spot.
To even finish in the playoffs would be a huge success for Preston, as they are typically fighting at the other end of the Championship. Their young side has dared their fans to dream this year, but their form before the break-in play in the Championship had severely dipped.
They had lost their last three, which has opened the door for the teams just below them. Bristol City are just one point behind, while Millwall and Cardiff City are two points behind them.
The final nine games of the season could see a side from outside the playoff places come from out of nowhere to give themselves the best chance. Momentum is everything when it comes to the playoffs, which means sides such as Derby County and Swansea City should also not be ruled out just yet.
It promises to be a captivating end to the season in the Championship, with all of the top 12 still feeling that they could be playing in the Premier League next season.
As the sport is slowly back coming to action, from the Bundesliga, to the MLS table returning in June, it’s also time to rethink your soccer bets. Check out BetAmerica.com for the best odds on soccer.Date Of Update: 11 June 2020, 08:23