Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United both saw their chances of finishing in the top six drastically reduced after the final round of the Championship. The Blades earned a creditable goalless draw against second-placed Bournemouth on Saturday lunchtime, while the Terriers picked up a massive 2-0 win over fellow play-off contenders Luton Town on Monday night.
Carlos Corberan’s side are now third in the table SkyBet has them as short as 1/12 (1.08) to finish in the top six, with their gap to seventh-placed Blackburn Rovers now extended to six points after Tony Mowbray’s side drew with Blackpool on Saturday. Eighth-placed Middlesbrough are a point behind with a game less after losing at home to Hull City.
The Blades are currently sixth in the table, two points ahead of Blackburn and three ahead of Chris Wilder’s Boro. They are priced at 1/4 (1.25) to qualify for the play-offs despite crowding at the top of the table, no doubt thanks in no small part to their excellent home record, ability to keep clean sheets and relative kindness. list of fixtures against most of their promotion rivals.
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Wilder thinks 75 points should be enough for teams to guarantee a place in the play-off, although on the current points per game, 73 would be enough to finish sixth. The six points ahead for the contenders include Huddersfield Town v QPR, Middlesbrough v Huddersfield Town, Luton v Nottingham Forest and QPR v Sheffield United.
The current top two, Fulham and Bournemouth, could also have a say in who progresses to the play-offs. Bournemoth are due to face Middlesbrough, Blackburn, Forest and Millwall, while league leaders Fulham still have Forest, Luton and Sheffield United on the agenda.
It may mean Town and Forest fans have half their eyes open to a race for second place. Steve Cooper’s side are six points behind the Cherries after playing the same number of games, while the Terriers are four points behind after playing two more games.
Bookmakers expect Scott Parker’s men to stay the course despite having the division’s toughest fixture list: They are 1/8 (1.13) short of automatic promotion, with Forest at 6/1 (7.00) and Town at 20/1 (21:00). Bournemouth have been the best side in the division against the current top six this season, winning five, drawing two and losing just one of their eight such encounters so far .