One more team was confirmed as part of the 2018/19 Sky Bet Championship while the number that could play in next season’s second tier dwindled on a busy day of football. The Sky Bet League One and Two seasons ended today, Saturday 5 May, and while a few clubs still have all to play in 2017/18, most now know their fate. Brentford know they will be playing Sky Bet Championship football in 2018/19 and Brentford fans can plan for the last full season at Griffin Park before a move to our new home in late 2019 to be the fifth in a row in the second tier of English football.
The Bees are one of ten Sky Bet Championship teams that can no longer go up or down and will stay in the second tier next term no matter what happens on the final day tomorrow. And those ten know that Stoke City will be joining them. The Potters were relegated from the Premier League earlier after losing at home to Crystal Palace and are in the second tier for the first time since 2008.
Stoke’s game at Griffin Park next season will be their first competitive visit since 2002. At that point the two teams were battling for promotion from the third tier and Brentford won 1-0 but Stoke got their revenge, and some, by beating The Bees in the Play-Off Final a few weeks later. The two teams coming up automatically from League One were already confirmed and Wigan Athletic pipped Blackburn Rovers to the third tier title after beating Doncaster Rovers.
The 13 teams confirmed in the Championship next season are as follows:
Queens Park Rangers
That means that the Brentford v Hull City fixture taking place tomorrow will also take place next season. Tickets are still available for this season’s finale. More information is available here.
The 11 remaining places in the Championship for next season will be filled over the 22 days and there are 20 teams that could fill them. Three teams will be coming down from the Premier League and with eight days of the season to go, four teams are trying to avoid joining Stoke in the second tier. West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City currently occupy the final relegation spots but they can still catch Southampton and Huddersfield Town.
One place in the Championship will go to the League One Play-Off winners and four teams now know they will fight for that spot. Shrewsbury Town will play Charlton Athletic in one Semi-Final while Rotherham United and Scunthorpe United will play in the other. The winner of those two ties will play at Wembley on May 27 for a place in the second tier.
The eight remaining spots in the division for next season will be filled by current Championship teams. There are seven teams fighting for two remaining promotion spots with Wolverhampton Wanderers already securing a Premier League spot for next season. One of Cardiff City or Fulham will win automatic promotion with the former in pole position. The other will fight for promotion via the Play-Offs with Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and one other team. Derby County are currently occupying the last Play-Off spot but can be overtaken by Preston North End or, if they pick up a very big win on the final day of the season, Millwall.
At the other end of the table, Sunderland have been relegated and there are five teams battling to avoid joining them in League One. Bolton Wanderers and Burton Albion are currently in the drop zone but if either or both win tomorrow there are three teams – Barnsley, Birmingham City and Reading – that could go down.
Whatever happens before the end of the month, the Sky Bet Championship will be a thrilling division next season. Season Tickets will go back on sale tomorrow and Early Bird prices are available until 31 May. Full information on Season Tickets can be seen at seasontickets.brentfordfc.com.