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As we enter what is often referred to as the “business end of the season” in the football calendar, the race for promotion to the Premier League is on.

Teams competing at the top of the EFL Championship are just weeks away from securing promotion to England’s top division.

This season sees the Premier League’s three relegated sides from 2022/23 in the top four of the table: Leeds United, Leicester City and Southampton. 

Former Manchester United assistant coach, Kieran McKenna has his Ipswich Town also competing. The Tractor Boys are aiming to play in the Premier League for the first time since 2002.

The Sporting News takes a look at the playoff picture, and how promotion works.

MORE: Premier League table 2023/24 updated standings

EFL Championship 2023/24 table and promotion picture

Southampton have ground to make up on the top three but Russell Martin’s side can close things up if they win their two games in hand Leeds and Ipswich.

The top two will secure automatic promotion, whereas teams placed between third and sixth will complete in a playoff. More on that below.

Updated on Sunday, March 17, 2024

Pos Team Points Matches
Played
Goals
Scored
Goal
Difference
1. Leeds United 82 38 70 +42
2. Leicester City 82 37 74 +41
—— ——————— ——— ———— ——— ————
3. Ipswich Town 81 38 80 +31
4. Southampton 73 36 73 +26
5. West Brom 66 38 59 +23
6. Norwich 61 38 69 +15
—— ——————— ——— ———— ——— ————
7. Hull City 58 31 53 +7
8. Coventry 57 37 59 +16
9. Preston 56 37 49 -5
10. Middlesbrough 54 38 53 +1

How does promotion to the Premier League work?

Promotion from the Championship to the Premier League is a highly competitive process where three of the best teams can gain English top-flight status.

At the end of each season, the top two teams in the Championship table automatically secure promotion to England’s top division.

The third promotion spot is determined through a playoff system involving the teams finishing third to sixth.

The top two of those teams are seeded, therefore third place plays sixth and fourth place faces off against fifth over two legs. The third and fourth teams will have the advantage of playing the second leg at home.

The winners then meet in the playoff final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, May 26.

Extra-time and penalties will be used in the semifinal second legs and final if they teams cannot be separated.

The team that wins the playoff final claims the final promotion spot, earning the opportunity to compete against the top clubs in the country in the Premier League in 2024/25

Promotion not only brings financial rewards but also elevates a club’s status and opens doors to greater exposure on a national and international level, while making teams an attractive transfer destination for players at home and abroad.

Remaining fixtures for Leeds, Leicester, Ipswich and Southampton

With the table being incredibly tight at the top, here’s a look at the remaining fixtures for those fighting for the automatic promotion places:

Leeds Result Leicester Result Ipswich Result Southampton Result
Watford (A) Bristol City (A) Blackburn (A) Middlesbrough (H)
Hull City (H) Norwich (H) Southampton (H) Ipswich (A)
Coventry (A) Birmingham City (H) Norwich (A) Blackburn (A)
Sunderland (H) Millwall (A) Watford (H) Coventry (H)
Blackburn (H) Plymouth (A) Middlesbrough (H) Watford (H)
Middlesbrough (A) West Brom (H) Hull City (A) Preston (H)
QPR (A) Southampton (H) Coventry (A) Cardiff (A)
  Preston (A)   Leicester (A)
      Stoke (H)
Southampton (H) Blackburn (H) Huddersfield (H) Leeds (A)



Read the full article here

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