EFL final weekend – Who can go up or down?

The final weekend of the English Football League (EFL) season is set to take place this weekend, with plenty at stake in all three divisions.

Whilst the top six places are already confirmed in the Championship, there are still two relegation spots to decide.

Meanwhile in League One, the race for the final play-off places has gone down to the final day, and the battle for automatic promotion is far from over as well.

Let’s take a look at the permutations for the last weekend of EFL action:


At the top end of the table, Norwich have already been confirmed as champions, marking an immediate return to the Premier League after relegation last season.

They’ll be joined by Watford, who also dropped down from the top flight last term.

Behind them, there’s several positions still to sort out:

Play-off places

In a remarkably unusual occurrence, all four play-off spots were decided with two games left to play in the season.

Brentford are guaranteed to finish third regardless of the result.

Swansea currently sit fourth. Fifth-placed Bournemouth could overtake them with a win over Stoke City if Steve Cooper’s side fall to defeat against Watford, with the Cherries having a superior goal difference.

Barnsley, in sixth position, could go up to fourth with a win of their own if other results go their way, but would require an 11-goal swing to overtake the Swans.

Relegation places

EFL final weekend Derby
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The battle to stay up this season could not be any more tense.

The only team who have survival in their own hands is Derby County. Wayne Rooney’s side face 23rd-placed Sheffield Wednesday on the final day, with at least one side guaranteed to drop into League One at the end of the game.

Derby County (21st, 43pts)

  • Will avoid relegation with a victory against Sheffield Wednesday
  • Defeat to Wednesday would send them down
  • Could go down with a draw if Rotherham lose to Cardiff

Rotherham United (22nd, 41pts)

  • Must beat Cardiff to have any chance of staying up
  • Need Sheffield Wednesday to beat Derby, or a draw given their superior goal difference over the Rams

Sheffield Wednesday (23rd, 40pts)

  • Must beat Derby to have any chance of staying up
  • Would require Rotherham to lose or draw against Cardiff

Wycombe Wanderers (24th, 40pts)

  • Must beat Middlesbrough to have any chance of staying up
  • Require Sheffield Wednesday to beat Derby and for Rotherham to fail to win against Cardiff
  • Need to win by at least 13 goals

League One

League One is in a similar position to the Championship as far as its automatic promotion spots are concerned. Both Hull and Peterborough have already secured second tier football for next season.

Blackpool, Sunderland and Lincoln will all contest the play-offs, with the three sides separated by just one point.

Play-off places

EFL final weekend Pompey
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The race for the final play-off place will head into a final day.

Portsmouth currently occupy sixth place, with Oxford United and Charlton Athletic one point behind them.

Portsmouth (6th, 72pts)

  • Will be confirmed in the play-offs should they defeat Accrington at home
  • A draw or defeat could be enough, although they would require Oxford (who have a superior goal difference) to lose and Charlton to lose if the latter result occurred by a margin of two goals or more

Oxford United (7th, 71pts)

  • Require at least a draw against Burton Albion to have any chance of making the play-offs
  • A draw would be enough to overtake Portsmouth if they lose, but Karl Robinson’s side would need Charlton to fail to win

Charlton Athletic (8th, 71pts)

  • Require at least a draw against Hull to have any chance of making the play-offs
  • Could overtake Oxford if both sides win but need a five-goal swing in their favour

Relegation places

All four relegation places are already decided going into the last day.

Both Rochdale and Northampton were relegated after failing to win their most recent midweek fixtures, whilst Swindon and Bristol Rovers‘ fates were sealed two weeks ago.

League Two

Cheltenham Town will definitely play League One football next season, and will win the League Two title should they beat Harrogate on the final day.

Below them, Cambridge United, Bolton Wanderers and Morecambe can all still be promoted.

Promotion places

Cambridge United (2nd, 77pts)

  • Will achieve promotion with a win over already-relegated Grimsby Town
  • A draw should almost certainly be enough, unless Morecambe win and there is a 12-goal swing

Bolton Wanderers (3rd, 76pts)

  • Will achieve promotion with a win against Crawley Town
  • A draw will also be enough if Morecambe fail to win

Morecambe (4th, 75pts)

  • Must record at least a point against Bradford City to have any chance of promotion
  • Would overtake Bolton if the Trotters lose to Crawley, given Morecambe’s superior goal difference
  • Could go as high as second with a win, but would need Cambridge to lose and Bolton to draw

Play-off places

EFL final weekend Newport
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A total of four teams are contesting the final two play-off places.

Newport County and Tranmere Rovers currently occupy the all-important fifth and sixth places, with Forest Green Rovers and Exeter City still in with a chance of overtaking them.

Newport County (5th, 72pts)

  • Will be confirmed in the play-offs should they defeat already-relegated Southend United
  • A draw will also be enough, unless Tranmere and Forest Green win and there is a 10-goal swing for the latter

Tranmere Rovers (6th, 72pts)

  • Will be confirmed in the play-offs should they defeat Colchester United
  • A draw will also be enough unless Forest Green win

Forest Green Rovers (7th, 70pts)

  • Require a win at Oldham Athletic to stand any chance of the play-offs
  • Would need Tranmere to fail to win in order to make the top six, unless Newport lose and there is a 10-goal swing

Exeter City (8th, 69pts)

  • Require a win against Barrow to stand any chance of the play-offs
  • Superior goal difference would put them ahead of Newport or Tranmere if either team loses
  • Need two of the three teams above them to lose

Relegation places

Both relegation places from League Two are already confirmed, with Southend United and Grimsby Town both preparing to play in the National League next season.

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