HomeSoccerChampionship 2019-20: 5 teams likely to get relegated

Championship 2019-20: 5 teams likely to get relegated

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The EFL in a statement earlier this week announced that all the League One clubs have voted in favour of ending the domestic season with immediate effect. The decision means that while the Premier League and the Championship will be decided on the pitch, the case will be different in the third division of English football.

The play-offs will go ahead though, with four teams fighting to decide who goes through as the third team alongside Coventry City and Rotherham United to play in the Championship next season.

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The promotion of three teams from League One means that as many teams will also be relegated from the second tier in order to keep the equation intact.

Relegation is always a bitter pill to swallow for any team belonging to any division. It not only affects the reputation of a club and breaks the hearts of their fans but also forces the board to incur huge financial losses. To add to the misery, the club are forced into selling some of their star players to balance the books and that is why every team try everything in their capacity to avoid the red zone. But that is an inevitability.

The Championship table as it stands sees Charlton Athletic, Luton Town and Barnsley being placed in the bottom three. However, the resumption of action following the unforeseen break can turn all the equations upside down.

So, let us discuss five possible contenders for relegation from the Championship at the end of the season.

#1 Barnsley

The team placed rock bottom look the most natural candidate to go down. Managing just 34 points from 37 games, Barnsley doesn’t seem to have too much chance of saving their season.

There was a change in management mid-season, with Daniel Stendel leaving the club back in October to be replaced by Gerhard Struber. However, instead of seeing a change in fortune, things have gone from bad to worse with the team dropping from 23rd to 24th spot in the Championship standings.

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Though the team had witnessed a resurgence of form in the middle of February, they failed to capitalise on that and look almost certain to be playing in League One next season.   

#2 Luton Town

With just one-point separating Luton Town from Barnsley, the hope of salvation looks grim for the Hatters. The club have been grappling with major financial difficulties, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which forced the board to part ways with manager Graeme Jones and his staff.

Chief recruitment officer Mick Harford has been given the task of taking over on a temporary basis, having done that previously following the departure of Nathan Jones in January 2019. The club said in a statement:

“Given the current circumstances affecting not only football but the world as a whole, the club are taking an early move to restructure in order to reduce its cost base and to create efficiencies within the football department.”

Given the current turmoil inherent within the club and the point difference that exists between them and those above, the successive promotion earners could go back to League One after just one season in the Championship.

#3 Charlton Athletic

Sky Sports pundit and former Leeds United star David Prutton said in an interview back in March that Charlton Athletic have a tough job in hand to save their Championship season after seeing things go horribly wrong during the second half of the season.

Lee Bowyer’s side had won four of their first six league games but injuries and certain off-the-field issues have led to their downfall.

“I think that they look vulnerable.”

David Prutton told Sky Sports.

Charlton’s hope of saving the season were dealt a body blow when manager Bowyer revealed earlier this month that three players, including their top goalscorer Lyle Taylor, have refused to turn out for the team.

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The 30-year-old’s contract at the club ends in June and the player insists that an injury now could jeopardise what he terms as a “life-changing move.”

While the odds prior to the break suggested that the Addicks might have saved their season, the situation looks bad right now and in spite of the club striking a deal with Premier League side West Ham to extend the loan of Josh Cullen, the team might well be on their way down.

#4 Hull City

In the lead-up to the unscheduled break, Hull City had earned the notorious distinction of staying winless in eleven back-to-back games, losing nine of those.

While the break might have done wonders to the confidence of Grant McCann’s side, the other teams above them must have done the same as well. This is one of Hull’s worst phase and the situation looks unlikely to improve soon.

Fixtures against fellow relegation battlers Charlton Athletic, Birmingham City, Middlesbrough, Wigan Athletic and Luton Town will turn out to be tough, given the fact that each of the sides are jostling among themselves to survive in the Championship.

#5 Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough face one of the toughest run-ins heading to the final nine games, given the fact that the average league position of the nine Championship teams they face is 12.8 compared to Stoke’s (12.2), Huddersfield’s (12.1), Charlton’s (11.8) and Barnsley’s (11.2).

The club have an inexperienced manager in charge in the form of Jonathan Woodgate, who have a tough job in hand. Middlesbrough fans are not used to seeing their club playing in the third division, having featured in the Premier League during the 2016-17 season.

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And that additional pressure of delivering the goods for the fans might get them into trouble. In the lead up to the break, Middlesbrough had developed a notorious ten-game winless run before a 1-0 win against Charlton Athletic, and the break seems to have come at a wrong time for Boro.

However, the equations are quite unique this time around. At present, just eight points separate the last eight Championship sides and things could easily heat up in the remaining nine games, starting from 20th June. Only time will tell which teams are going to stay up and which aren’t.

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