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5 teams which can earn promotion to Premier League next season

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Football fans around the world got a new lease of life when it was announced late last month that action would resume in countries such as Spain, Italy and England in the middle of June.

Statistics show that around 3.2 billion people around the world tune in to watch English football and in spite of the prospect of the games being played inside empty stadiums, the excitement is quite comprehendible. While the Premier League is set to resume on 17th June, the Championship will kick-start three days later.

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Championship has nine rounds left to be played and with just 10 points separating the teams placed between fourth and 13th on the table, a lot of twists and turns are in store for the fans around the world. A fair few teams still have a chance of playing in the Premier League next season.

However, everything will depend on how things pan out once action resumes on the 20th of this month. A report last season revealed that earning promotion to the Premier League could help the teams earn an additional £170 million over three seasons.

It is unknown what financial impact the COVID-19 outbreak could have on that prize money but it is still going to be a substantial up-gradation which could impact the club’s visibility around the world. Therefore, every side within the reach of the top six will push themselves to get over the line.

So, here is a list of five teams who can earn promotion to the Premier League at the end of the season.

#1 Leeds United

The Whites are currently the favourites to return to the Premier League next season. Leeds United have one of the world’s most experienced managers in the form of Marcelo Bielsa at the helm, with the Argentine’s sole purpose being to help the Yorkshire giants restore their former glory.  

Bielsa came close to achieving his goal last season, only to fall short after losing to Derby County in the playoffs. The 64-year-old has taken the bull by the horn in the present campaign and in spite of the unscheduled break, the Peacocks remain favourites to not only return to the Premier League but to do so by winning the Championship.

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Leeds are currently on a five-game winning run and skipper Liam Cooper claimed in a recent interview that his team are 85-90 per cent fit and will be ready to kick on from where they had left off before the COVID-19-enforced break.

“I’d probably say we are probably at 85 or 90 per cent at the minute. And that’s running fitness.”

#2 West Bromwich Albion

With an experienced Slaven Bilic at the helm, the Baggies remain the second side who have the potential to secure automatic promotion to the Premier League along with Leeds United. West Brom were occupying the top spot for most of the season until recently. In fact, three of their five losses over the course of the season have come in their last 10 games, thus giving Leeds United the chance to replace them at the top.

However, with a six-point lead over third-placed Fulham, West Brom are expected to hold on to their nerves and get over the line.

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Former Baggies star Kevin Phillips in a recent interview said that playing inside empty stadiums might actually help the team.

“Without supporters there they may just be able to relax a little bit more and play their own game. And if they are relaxed their quality will come through.”

#3 Fulham

The Cottagers, who are placed third on the Championship table, have the most recent experience of playing in the Premier League among the top six. Fulham secured promotion through the playoffs at the end of the 2017-18 season and there is no reason why they can’t do it again this year.

Once the EFL confirmed that action would resume on 20th June, Fulham star Tom Cairney took to Instagram to express his eagerness to finish the job his side had started.

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They are unbeaten in their last four league games, winning two of them. Even if they fail to bridge the gap between themselves and second-placed West Brom to secure automatic promotion to the Premier League, they can surely make it via the play-offs.

#4 Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest are one of the contenders for promotion to the Premier League next season, given the kind of passion they have shown throughout.

Wins against Leeds United and Brentford showed that Sabri Lamouchi’s side have the quality to sustain the pressure. They have also shown passion with the entire team gathering to celebrate after Tyler Walker scored Forest’s second goal in the 2-0 win over Leeds back in February.

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After missing out on promotion last season, the Forest players’ determination and passion could push them up to the top tier if not anything else.

#5 Blackburn Rovers

With an average age of 26.5 years, Blackburn have one of the youngest squads in the Championship at present. At the helm of the club, they have an experienced Tony Mowbray, who has been there at Ewood Park since 2017.

The manager has been building the team from scratch and has managed to rope in quality players such as Lewis Holtby, who has the experience of playing for teams such as Schalke 04 and Tottenham.

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As Blackburn are currently placed 10th on the table, not many would put their money on them to go through. But the lack of pressure can work in their favour as they look to find their way back to the top flight for the first time since 2012. Obviously, one has to remember that just three points separate them from sixth-placed Preston.

And once they get to the play-offs Mowbray’s experience can see them through.

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