Promotion or relegation: What is at stake this weekend?

Dean Smith takes Norwich to his former employers and boyhood club Aston Villa knowing defeat could send them down if coupled with a Burnley win.

By Press Association Published: 29 April 2022 - 11.11am

Norwich could be relegated from the Premier League this weekend while EFL issues continue to be decided, with a thrilling final day in League One.

Here, the PA news agency takes a more detailed look at what is at stake in the weekend’s fixtures.

Premier League

Dean Smith during his time as Aston Villa manager
Dean Smith could suffer relegation against his former club Aston Villa (Naomi Baker/PA)

Dean Smith takes Norwich to his former employers and boyhood club Aston Villa knowing defeat could send them down if coupled with a Burnley win.

The Clarets play Watford, whose relegation would not be mathematically confirmed by defeat, though they would be 12 points adrift with only 12 to play for and more than 20 behind on goal difference.

The title race has a way to run, with Manchester City just a point ahead of Liverpool.

Championship

Promoted Fulham have another chance to seal the league title. It could happen on Saturday if Bournemouth drop points at Blackburn or, if the Cherries win, Fulham will have the chance to respond in kind against Luton on Monday.

Bournemouth then play third-placed Nottingham Forest on Tuesday in a game which could decide the second promotion spot. Forest first play Swansea on Saturday and the Cherries can clinch promotion by bettering their points haul, and that of Huddersfield, across the three days’ fixtures.

The Terriers, who have just one game against Coventry on Saturday, are secure in the play-offs with the final two places to be decided between Luton, Sheffield United, Middlesbrough, Blackburn and Millwall.

Luton will be in if they beat Fulham while the Blades can take a giant step with victory over a QPR side technically still in the race alongside Coventry.

Peterborough, Derby and Barnsley are relegated.

League One

Wigan manager Leam Richardson, Rotherham's Paul Warne and MK Dons boss Liam Manning, l-r
Wigan manager Leam Richardson, Rotherham’s Paul Warne and MK Dons boss Liam Manning, l-r, have promotion at stake on Saturday (Andrew Matthews/Richard Sellers/Isaac Parkin/PA)

The third tier is set for a remarkable finish, with only Crewe’s relegation mathematically confirmed going into the final game of the season.

Wigan need a point at Shrewsbury to clinch promotion while Rotherham can make sure by beating Gillingham.

MK Dons are the team waiting for any slip-ups, and realistically must beat Plymouth – a draw would leave them hoping Rotherham suffer a six-goal defeat.

Argyle, though, are one of the four teams competing for the other three play-off spots. Sheffield Wednesday have 82 points, Sunderland 81 and Plymouth and Wycombe 80 apiece, and all four play in separate fixtures on Saturday.

Doncaster and AFC Wimbledon would only stave off relegation with wins and dramatic goal swings over Fleetwood – in Rovers’ case, an unrealistic 27 goals – but the final place is firmly in the balance.

Current occupants Gillingham are level on points with Fleetwood, who travel to Bolton, but 14 goals worse off. Morecambe, Sunderland’s opponents, are two points above the drop line but their own poor goal difference – just two better than the Gills’ – means a win could still be required.

League Two

Forest Green Rovers’ Jamille Matt, right, hold off Exeter’s Archie Collins
Forest Green and Exeter will battle for the title over the final two games (Mike Egerton/PA)

Forest Green and Exeter are promoted and, level on 83 points, their battle for the title will span the remaining two games.

The third place will be tightly contested. Northampton are able to clinch promotion this bank holiday weekend but need to beat Exeter and hope Bristol Rovers and Sutton drop points, all on Saturday, followed by defeats for Port Vale and Mansfield on Monday.

Those teams could all secure play-off places this weekend, with Rovers and Sutton needing a Swindon slip-up to help them, while Oldham and Scunthorpe are relegated.

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