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EFL Permutations: Final day stakes for the Championship, League 1 & 2

Updated on 9:54am GMT 6 May 2023
EFL Permutations: Final day stakes for the Championship, League 1 & 2

It’s been another season of high drama in the EFL.

The regular season draws to a close this weekend and there is still much to be decided in all three tiers in the final round of matches.

League One is the first division to reach a conclusion on Sunday before League Two and the Championship have their judgement days on Monday. 

You’ll find coverage of all three leagues over on our free football tips page. Before you back any of those accas, new bet365 customers can claim £30 in free bets by placing a £10 bet through the link below!


EFL Final Day Permutations

Championship

Burnley have dominated the Championship from pillar to post and could become the first side since Leicester in 2013-14 to reach one hundred points with victory over Cardiff.

Sheffield United will join them in the Premier League next season while Luton and Middlesbrough are confirmed in third and fourth, but the battle for the last two playoff places remains wide open heading into the final day.

Fifth-placed Coventry (69 points) are in pole position for a top-six finish but are one of five teams who still have a mathematical chance of extending their season.

The Sky Blues will confirm their playoff berth if they avoid defeat at Middlesbrough and their superior goal difference means it would take a big swing on that tally for the chasing pack to overcome them even if they are beaten.

Sixth-placed Millwall (68 points) have a two-point cushion to Sunderland in seventh but their goal difference tally leaves them vulnerable to the Black Cats and West Brom if they fail to beat Blackburn. A win over Rovers would secure their playoff berth.

Sunderland (66 points) must beat Preston to have any chance of gatecrashing the top six and then hope they get a two-goal swing with Coventry if the Sky Blues are beaten or hope Millwall don’t win.

West Brom’s (66 points) route is even more complicated. The Baggies would finish in the top six if they beat Swansea and both Millwall and Sunderland lose. Various other results would bring goal difference into play but first and foremost they would have to account for the Swans as a minimum.

Blackburn’s (66 points) goal difference of minus three means that they will have to beat Millwall and then rely on Sunderland and West Brom failing to win their respective assignments. 

Odds of 12-1 about those outcomes all falling into place for Rovers illustrate the size of their task.

At the bottom, Wigan and Blackpool were joined by Reading on Thursday night after Huddersfield got the better of Sheffield United 1-0.

The Royals had a three-point deficit to 21st-placed Huddersfield before the Terriers took on the Blades in their game in hand on Thursday night. 

Huddersfield entered the week knowing that just one point from their remaining two matches would be enough to preserve their second-tier status. 

A victory condemned the Royals to relegation while Neil Warnock’s side avoided a final-day shootout as they host their closest rivals for the drop on Monday.

Reading were as big 66-1 to go down earlier in the season before a six-point deduction and subsequent collapse in form. 

League One

The League One title race has had plenty of twists and turns this season and Sunday’s final fixtures will determine who becomes third-tier champions.  

Sheffield Wednesday looked to have the title in the bag only a couple of months ago – they were 1-40 to be promoted in early March – but have fallen by the wayside, allowing Plymouth (98 points) and Ipswich (97) to cement themselves in the top two.

Both are already assured of promotion but Argyle in pole position to claim the title with a one-point cushion to the Tractor Boys.

Plymouth must simply match Ipswich’s result to be crowned champions whereas Town need to better whatever Argyle achieve at Port Vale on their trip to Fleetwood. 

Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley and Bolton have three of the four playoff berths available sewn up but there is a two-way scrap between Derby and Peterborough for the final top-six place. 

The Rams face Wednesday on the final day and know that victory makes everything else immaterial. 

Posh, meanwhile, will usurp them if the Rams lose and they beat Barnsley. They could also make it if Derby draw but they would need to beat the Tykes by at least three goals.

At the other end of the table, Forest Green have been consigned to their fate for some time now and barring a miracle Accrington Stanley are set to join them in League Two – Stanley need many results to go their way and a seismic goal swing to survive. 

Back-to-back wins have given 19th-placed Oxford United a three-point buffer to the drop zone and their vastly superior goal difference means they are safe.

That has left MK Dons, Morecambe and Cambridge all fighting for 20th position and safety.

Defeat at Burton on Wednesday means the U’s will need both Morecambe and the Dons to drop points while they must beat basement boys Forest Green.

Three wins in a row have given Morecambe, who were 1-500 for relegation last month, hope. 

Another victory against Exeter would take Cambridge out of the equation and then rely on MK Dons failing to win at Burton due to the Dons’ better goal difference (-22 to Morecambe’s -30).

Milton Keynes’ task is more straightforward given their greater goal difference. Victory against Burton would almost certainly be enough and matching or bettering the results of both of their drop rivals would also likely suffice.  

League Two

Leyton Orient were 16-1 chances to win League Two at the start of the season but Orient have sauntered to the title and head into the final day with an eight-point buffer to second-placed Stevenage, whose promotion is also confirmed.

Stockport were sent off short-priced favourites to win the third tier and County have rallied after a slow start. They could pip Northampton to the third and final automatic spot if they beat relegated Hartlepool and the Cobblers fail to win at Tranmere thanks to their superior goal difference. 

That would see history repeat itself for Northampton, who agonisingly fell short on the last day of last season after Bristol Rovers beat Scunthorpe 7-0 to consign the Cobblers to the playoffs from a similar position. A win for the Midlanders would quell any chance of heartache, however.

Whoever of that pair misses out will face the playoffs with the other three spots yet to be confirmed.

Four teams are vying for those three berths with Carlisle, Salford and Bradford all on 75 points while Mansfield are on the outside looking in with 72 following back-to-back defeats.

Carlisle’s goal difference means they are all but assured of a top-seven spot while Salford and Bradford need just a point from their respective games against Gillingham and Leyton Orient to secure a playoff place.

Mansfield need to hope at least one of those teams lose and they beat Colchester. The Stags would need a four-goal swing with Salford and three with Bradford to overtake them in that scenario.

There will be no drama at the other end of the table, however, with Rochdale and Hartlepool’s relegation to the National League already confirmed.  


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