Championship

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

Ross Jackson
May 4, 2021, 11:45 AM GMT+1
Wayne Rooney's side blew a glorious chance to be safe on Saturday
Wayne Rooney's side blew a glorious chance to be safe on Saturday / Athena Pictures/Getty Images
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Considering it is regularly lauded as the maddest, weirdest and most unpredictable league in the world, a quick glance at this season's Championship table kinda 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 exactly the same thing? Pretty much sorted.

Darren Moore's Sheffield Wednesday could still survive
Darren Moore's Sheffield Wednesday could still survive / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

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 actually been relegated yet. There it is.

Four teams are fighting it out for the last remaining survival spot and with Rotherham holding a game in hand and two of said four teams facing each other this Saturday, it's definitely going to be entertaining.

With so many variables to be considered heading into gameweek 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

Wayne Rooney's side occupy the 21st spot for now
Wayne Rooney's side occupy the 21st spot for now / Athena Pictures/Getty Images

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?

A lot depends on Rotherham's game in hand away at Luton on Tuesday night.

If Paul Warne's men fall to defeat against the Hatters then Derby's task is simple - don't get beat against Wednesday at Pride Park and they'll survive.

If Derby do get beat on Saturday then - regardless of Rotherham's result on Tuesday or Saturday - Rooney's men are down.

Rotherham

Paul Warne's men hold a game in hand over their rivals
Paul Warne's men hold a game in hand over their rivals / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

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 rivals a few weeks ago and they've blown most of them.

Warne's side saw a host of their games cancelled 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 of time in the latter part of the campaign.

What do they need to do to survive?

Rotherham's destiny is in their own hands.

Four points from their two games away at Luton and Cardiff will see them safe.

Three points from either of their outings will also likely be enough if Sheffield Wednesday beat Derby and don't bag a ridiculous amount of goals - which is highly unlikely.

Anything less than three points from their two games and they're down.

Sheffield Wednesday

Darren Moore's men need to win to have any chance of survival
Darren Moore's men need to win to have any chance of survival / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

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

Three managers in a single season probably gives 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 all depends on Rotherham's remaining two clashes. Moore's men need to hope Warne's side pick up less than four points otherwise it's curtains for their Championship stay.

Wycombe Wanderers

Gareth Ainsworth's Wycombe are all but mathematically relegated
Gareth Ainsworth's Wycombe are all but mathematically relegated / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

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

We'll level with you here - Wycombe are down, but we 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 Rotherham don't take more than four points from their final two games.
2. Hope Sheffield Wednesday beat Derby on Saturday.
3. Beat Middlesbrough at least 14-0 (possibly more depending on Rotherham's results).

Good luck lads!

Fixtures remaining

Tuesday 4 May
Luton vs Rotherham

Saturday 8 May
Derby
vs Sheffield Wednesday
Cardiff vs Rotherham
Middlesbrough vs Wycombe

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