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EDITORIAL

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What each team in the Championship relegation battle needs to do to survive…

Considering it is regularly lauded as the maddest, weirdest, and most unpredictable league in the world, a glance at this season’s Championship table kind of dispels all those old tropes.

Champions? Sorted. Automatic promotion? Sorted. Playoff spots? Sorted. Teams you’d forgotten existed that will spend next year letting their fanbase down and doing the same thing? Pretty much sorted.

With just one round of fixtures left in the second tier’s 2020/21 campaign, where’s all the drama and madness?

Ahhhh, not a single team has been relegated yet. There it is.

Four teams are fighting it out for the last remaining survival spot, and two of the said four couples are facing each other this Saturday. It’s going to be entertaining.

With so many variables to be considered heading into game week 46, we’ve taken a look at the four teams involved in this season’s relegation dogfight and outlined exactly what they need to do to retain their Championship status.

Derby County

Position: 21st
Points: 43
Goal Difference: -22

When Wayne Rooney was handed the Derby manager’s job on a full-time basis last November, the Rams’ campaign enjoyed a mini resurgence as they went unbeaten in six.

However, they’ve slipped back into their old ways and just one win in their last 14 outings – including six defeats on the spin – leaves them lingering perilously above the drop zone.

They’re three points above every team in the bottom three, though they have a worse goal difference than Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham, while the Millers have a game in hand and Rooney’s men face the Owls on the final day.

What do they need to do to survive?

Derby’s task is simple – don’t get beaten against Wednesday at Pride Park, and they’ll survive.

If Derby does get beaten on Saturday and Rotherham wins, then Wayne Rooney’s men are down.

Rotherham

Position: 22nd
Points: 40
Goal Difference: -16

On paper Rotherham look to have a pretty decent chance of survival given they’ve got a game in hand to play on their rivals, though they had about three games in hand over their opponents a few weeks ago, and they’ve blown most of them.

Warne’s side saw a host of their games canceled earlier this season amid the coronavirus pandemic, and their survival bid has possibly been hampered as they’ve had to shoehorn their extra games into such a short period in the latter part of the campaign.

What do they need to do to survive?
Rotherham’s destiny is out of their own hands after they fail to capitalize on their game at hand on Thursday. They’ll be hoping things don’t go well in Derby’s match, and they get a win at Cardiff.

Three points from their final outing will also likely be enough if Sheffield Wednesday beat Derby and don’t bag a ridiculous amount of goals – which is highly unlikely

Sheffield Wednesday

Position: 23rd
Points: 40
Goal Difference: -21

Three managers in a single season probably give you an indication as to how Wednesday’s campaign has gone.

If their 12-point penalty hadn’t been reduced to six following appeal they’d be down by now, but they head into the final day with a fighting chance of survival.

Last Saturday’s home clash against out-of-form Nottingham Forest looked to be a must-win, and when Derby took the lead at Swansea later that afternoon, the Owls were down, though Rooney’s men’s collapse gave Darren Moore’s side a second bite at the cherry.

What do they need to do to survive?
Wednesday’s task is simple – they have to beat Derby to stand any chance of survival, and even then, it may prove to be too little too late.

If they do beat Derby, their survival hopes are assured. They are remaining two clashes. Moore’s men do now have their destinies in their hands.

Wycombe Wanderers

Position: 24th
Points: 40
Goal Difference: -33

I’ll level with you here – Wycombe is down, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to look at a picture of Gareth Ainsworth’s glorious locks.

The writing was on the wall for the Chairboys after they lost all of their first seven games of the season, and this Saturday, they’ll finally be put out of their misery.

What do they need to do to survive?
A miracle. Or…

  1. Hope Sheffield Wednesday beat Derby on Saturday.
  2. Beat Middlesbrough at least 14-0 (possibly more depending on Rotherham’s results).

Good luck, lads!