There are just seven games of the English football season remaining and that means the list of teams that will compete in the 2018/19 Sky Bet Championship is moving closer to completion. With the Sky Bet Play-Off Finals just over a week away, three of the six teams that will fight over one weekend for promotion have now been decided and one more team had their fate confirmed last night. A 0-0 draw at Villa Park meant that Aston Villa beat Middlesbrough 1-0 on aggregate to secure a spot in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final. And that means Middlesbrough are confirmed as the 22nd team in the Championship for next season.
The tie was decided by a single goal from Mile Jedinak in the First Leg on Saturday evening. Middlesbrough battled for a way back in to the tie last night – and may have earned extra time had Villa goalkeeper Sam Johnstone not saved an effort from Adama Traoré when outside his penalty area – but could not find a way through. That means Middlesbrough will be in the second tier again next season.
The North East side had been hoping to bounce back to the top flight after relegation last term. Instead, that Premier League season remains the only one since 2008/09. Middlesbrough have become something of a bogey team for Brentford since The Bees were promoted to the Championship in 2014. The Bees lost six times to the North East outfit in two seasons, including both legs of a Play-Off Semi-Final in 2015, and drew both games this season.
The 22 teams confirmed in the Championship next season are as follows:
West Bromwich Albion
Preston North End
Queens Park Rangers
The two remaining places in the Championship for next season will be filled over the next 11 days and there are now just five teams that could fill them. One place in the Championship will go to the League One Play-Off winners and Shrewsbury Town have already booked their place in the Wembley final with a 2-0 aggregate win over Charlton Athletic. They will face either Rotherham United or Scunthorpe United, who drew 2-2 in their first meeting, at Wembley on 27 May for a place in the second tier. The League Two Play-Off Final will be the final game of the domestic season a day later.
The remaining spot in the division for next season will be filled by either Villa or Fulham. They will meet in the Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley on 26 May. One team will go up and the other two will have another visit to Griffin Park to look forward to.
Lots of Bees supporters have already secured their places for our 2018/19 Championship season. All seats are now on General Sale so don’t forget to buy your 2018/19 Season Tickets here before our Early Bird Deadline on Thursday 31 May.