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The CRAZY SCRAP to Stay in The Championship

5 minute read Published March 12, 2024

As we’re approaching the final fourth of the 23/24 season, it looks like English football is having one of the most interesting ends to a season in a long while. Three teams are competing for the Premier League title for the first time in years. At the bottom of that table, three or four teams are doing what they can to stay out of the relegation spots.

In the Championship, four teams are fighting for the promotion spots, even if Southampton are falling off the pace just a little bit. Nerves all around. Where it gets really interesting though, is at the bottom of the Championship table.

The drop from the Championship from League One is grueling for any club. You hear a lot about the difference in economics between the Championship and the Premier League, but the drop off in terms of money is also substantial between the second and third tier. TV-money, solidarity payments and sponsorship money are worlds apart.

That’s what seven teams that are currently less than a game's worth of points away from each other are fighting for.

Position Team Goal Difference Points
15 Swansea -12 43
16 Millwall -12 43
17 Plymouth Argyle -7 41
18 Blackburn Rovers -13 41
19 Stoke City -15 41
20 QPR -14 39
21 Birmingham -15 39
22 Huddersfield -19 38
23 Sheffield Wednesday -25 38
24 Rotherham -47 19

Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday are the teams currently occupying the relegation spots. Sheffield Wednesday place last on goal difference. In a relegation fight this tight, the goal difference may very well be the deciding factor. Sheffield Wednesday have also had an issue with discipline this season. They’ve had five red cards, the joint most of any club in the Championship, together with Blackburn.


While Sheffield Wednesday are 23rd and have the worst goal difference, their form is very good. They’ve taken twelve points from the last five games and have gained a lot of ground. QPR have also picked up their results in the past few games, taking ten out of an available 15. All other teams seem on a very similar trajectory, getting four points from those five games.

After a disastrous start to the season, Birmingham decided to sack Wayne Rooney in January. Rooney only got three wins in fifteen games. There hasn’t been a miracle of a turnaround, but they’ve at least gotten four wins since then and seem like a better team. Please also note that Birmingham has played a game less than the others. They take on Middlesbrough tonight.

Together with Huddersfield and Rotherham, Birmingham were involved in the relegation battle last year too but they all managed to hang on for another season. Rotherham is for sure going down this season, even if they’re not mathematically there yet.

Blackburn Rovers are on a seven game winless streak (eight if you include the FA Cup). 

QPR and Stoke City

The two former Premier League clubs have been hovering between the relegation battle and the middle of the table for years now. QPR is one of the teams that have spent the longest in the league, this being their ninth consecutive season. They’ve had the odd top of the table finish, but are usually just fine in the middle. Stoke City have been unable to take the step back to the Premier League, since they dropped out in 2018.

At the top of this group of teams within three points sit Plymouth Argyle. The Pilgrims have by far the best goal difference in this group, thanks to scoring a lot. They’re actually in eighth for goals scored in the Championship. What’s holding them back is their away form. Their away record gets them 0.62 points and 0.84 goals scored per game. At home they average 1.56 points, and score 2.11 goals per game. That’s the fourth most goals scored per game at home, and the eighth best on points. A big difference they’ll need to sort out.

The frontrunners

Only two points ahead, Swansea and Millwall are also involved. Swansea have picked up their form, even if they did lose to Bristol City this weekend, in a game where they had 73% of possession. Bristol City scored in the 73rd minute and the game finished 1-0. Millwall won against Birmingham on Saturday to create that little bit of a gap. Millwall are in relatively good form and haven’t lost in the last four games.

They are, however, still only four points clear of the relegation spots. Just two games separate them from the drop. 

Games up ahead

The remaining nine (ten for Birmingham) games are all going to be like going to a final for these clubs. April will be a very interesting month. There’s a beehive of relegation fighting teams playing each other. We’ll see the bottom of the table crystallizing a bit then.

A win can make such a difference in a relegation battle. If a team finds a vein of form they can easily climb a few positions. Of course, the opposite is also true. And the step down is steep for everyone – supporters, players and club.

Keep your eyes peeled, this’ll be interesting!

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