England’s second tier contains some of the country’s best supported clubs and they are all pushing for a place in the top division
The Championship play-offs are among the most lucrative and exciting games in English football, with a coveted place in the Premier League at stake.
Taking place after the league phase has concluded, the mini-tournament makes for a compelling end to the season, with only one team going up, while the remaining sides face another year in the second tier.
Goal brings you everything you need to know about the competition phase, when the games were, what TV channels they are available to watch on and more.
- What are the Championship play-offs?
- Which teams qualified for the Championship play-offs in 2021?
- When are the Championship 2021 play-offs?
- When & where is the 2021 Championship play-off final?
- Championship play-offs TV channel & live stream
- Who won last year’s Championship play-offs?
The Championship play-offs in England are knock-out games which occur after the regular Championship season with the aim of deciding which team takes the final promotion to the Premier League.
Two teams – first place and second place – earn automatic promotion, but the teams which finish third, fourth, fifth and sixth enter a play-off series.
A merit system is in place to pair the teams for the semi-finals. Third place plays sixth place in one semi-final and fourth place plays fifth place in the other semi-final.
The Championship semi-finals are traditionally two-legged affairs, but the away goals rule does not apply. The semi-final winners progress to the play-off final.
The teams that will make up the Championship play-off have not yet been confirmed, but there are a number of contenders.
Norwich City appear to be on course for automatic promotion, while Brentford, Watford and Swansea City are all chasing a top-two finish as well.
Championship table 2020-21
Last updated: Games played on March 10, 2021 | Key: (P) – secured promotion | (Q) – qualified for play-offs
Reading will be eager to end a near-decade-long absence from the Premier League and are certainly in the mix for the play-offs, while Bournemouth are seeking an immediate return to the top table.
Barnsley, Cardiff City, Middlesbrough and Stoke City are also in the mix, but they will need their form to be consistent in order to secure a place.
Wayne Rooney’s Derby County are some way off the running, but could potentially claw their way into the reckoning with a good run of form.
Championship play-off final
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The EFL has confirmed that the Championship play-off final will be played at the end of May 2021. Saturday May 29, Sunday May 30 or Monday May 31 are the potential dates and will be confirmed in due course.
Championship play-off semi-finals
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The final day of the Championship regular season will be May 8 or May 9 and the play-off semi-finals usually kick off a week after that.
The 2021 Championship play-off final is scheduled for the end of May 2021, but a precise date has not yet been fixed.
It will be played on one of the following dates: Saturday May 29, Sunday May 30 or Monday May 31.
Wembley Stadium in London will host the Championship play-off final and it is the traditional venue for all EFL promotion deciders, including those for League One and League Two.
It is possible that fans will be allowed into the 90,000-seater stadium for the final, but it will depend on the public health situation in England as the UK government continue to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sky Sports has exclusive broadcasting rights for the Championship in the UK and the play-offs will be shown live on Sky Sports Football. In terms of online streaming, Sky Go is the network’s dedicated service.
In the US, the ESPN / BAMTech network and its online streaming platform ESPN+ are the sole outlets broadcasting the Championship play-offs.
Fulham won the 2020 Championship play-offs to book their place in the 2020-21 Premier League.
They overcame Cardiff City in the semi-final to set up the winner-takes-all tie against Brentford, who had beaten Swansea City.
Managed by Scott Parker, the Cottagers defeated the Bees 2-1 in the final, with all three goals coming in extra time. Joe Bryan scored both of Fulham’s goals, including a spectacular 40-yard free kick.
Henrik Dalsgaard nabbed a consolation goal for Brentford in the final minute, but Parker’s side held on to clinch promotion.
The game was played behind closed doors due to public health concerns related to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Fulham joined West Brom and Leeds United in moving up to the top flight for the 2020-21 campaign.