Brentford are 6/4 favourites to win the play-offs in bwin’s Championship promotion odds after Watford joined Norwich in securing an immediate return to the Premier League. Watford’s win against Millwall was enough to secure a top-two finish and means Brentford must again try and go up through the play-offs.
Swansea have struggled for consistency of late but only need a draw when visiting Reading to be assured of a place in the Championship play-offs. The Royals are just outside the top six and could still sneak in if closing the season with a trio of wins, but whether they have the quality is open to question.
Watford can edge closer to securing automatic promotion from the Championship by winning at Middlesbrough, as well as putting pressure on Norwich in the title race. The Hornets are chasing a seventh straight victory while Boro’s top-six hopes have been rocked by losses either side of the international break.
Brentford head into their final nine matches of the season trailing both Watford and Swansea in the race for the second automatic promotion place behind Norwich. After two successive draws and just three wins from nine matches, the pressure is on if they are to avoid having to go through the play-offs again.
Huddersfield and Cardiff could both be involved in exciting ends to the season but for very different reasons ahead of Friday night’s Championship clash. The Terriers have been sucked into the relegation battle after a dismal run of results, while Cardiff have surged up the table under Mick McCarthy.
There will be important points at stake as well as the Brian Clough Trophy when Nottingham Forest make the short trip to Derby. Unfortunately for neutrals, the bitter rivalry between these teams often means it is a scrappy affair and seven league meetings in the last four seasons have produced just eight goals.
Watford have looked like genuine contenders for a quick return to the Premier League of late and are taken to prove too strong for QPR at Vicarage Road. Rangers are rated a solid, but unspectacular mid-table Championship outfit at best, so this is the kind of test the Hornets should safely negotiate.