Norwich City’s return to the Premier League could be confirmed this weekend, as the EFL Championship-leading Canaries look to wrap up in style their first (and only) season back in the second division.
Norwich’s magic number – 2
The match couldn’t be anymore simple for Norwich: win this weekend, and they’re back in the Premier League. In fact, Saturday could be even simpler for them: Swansea and Brentford both dropping points (at 7:30 am ET) would seal a top-two place for Norwich before they kick off against 5th-place Bournemouth at 3 pm ET.
It is simply a matter of when, not if, Norwich will be promoted. Saturday seems set for celebratory scenes at Carrow Road, and Daniel Farke’s side richly deserves the rewards. Only four more shots after that, should they fail on Saturday.
Swansea, Brentford battling for 3rd
Watford appear locked into 2nd place (8 points back of Norwich, but 7 ahead of 3rd), which leaves Swansea, Brentford, Bournemouth and Barnsley in an all-out scrap featuring four teams separated by four points from 3rd to 6th, respectively.
Swansea (75) went back above Brentford with a victory over Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday, meaning the Bees (73) now have a game in hand, which they now must win, to reclaim 3rd. The back-and-forth battle between in arguably the 3rd- and 4th-best sides in the league has been, in a word, enthralling. Brentford triumphed in a head-to-head battle in the promotion playoff semifinals last season, and the sides played to a pair of 1-1 draws in the league this season.
A month ago, Bournemouth looked set to miss the playoffs altogether as they were mired in an atrocious run of results and quickly sinking toward mid-table, only to rattle off five straight wins ahead of the weekend and insert themselves into the higher-stakes game of contending for promotion. The final four weeks of the season could reveal the Cherries as this season’s “hot at the right time” team as the playoffs approach in just over a month.
And then there’s red-hot
Daryl Dike Barnsley in 6th. The Tykes are captivating the minds of neutral on-lookers and winning over hearts as the out-of-nowhere underdog of the promotion battle.
How to watch EFL Championship
Dates & times: Weekend schedule below
EFL Championship schedule
Rotherham United v Coventry City — 2 pm ET
Reading v Cardiff City — 1 pm ET
Blackburn Rover v Derby County — 1 pm ET
Luton Town v Watford — 7:30 am ET
Swansea City v Wycombe Wanderers — 7:30 am ET
Brentford v Millwall — 7:30 am ET
Stoke City v Preston North End — 7:30 am ET
Sheffield Wednesday v Bristol City — 7:30 am ET
Nottingham Forest v Huddersfield Town — 7:30 am ET
Middlesbrough v Queens Park Rangers — 7:30 am ET
Norwich City v Bournemouth — 3 pm ET
Rotherham United v Birmingham City — 7 am ET
Coventry City v Barnsley — 10 am ET