EFL Championship: Promotion, Relegation and Playoff Spots Up For Grabs on Sunday

May 06, 2018 09:00 PM EDT

While Sunday’s soccer action includes a match between Chelsea and Liverpool and the latest installment of El Clasico, the real drama may well take place before either marquee match.

I’m going to try to persuade you to set your alarms for the final day of the English Championship (the division immediately below the Premier League) season, with all 12 matches kicking off at 7:30 a.m. ET.

Setting the Stage

Indeed, there are only two things that have already been assured ahead of gameweek 46 in England’s second tier, with Wolves promoted as champions and Sunderland suffering a second successive relegation.

Meanwhile, second place — the final automatic promotion place to the Premier League — is still up for grabs, along with the sixth spot that earns qualification for the playoffs (a four-team mini tournament to determine the third promotion place) later this month. Considering that promotion to the Premier League can be worth up to $490 million by some estimations, this is a very big deal.

However, it’s at the foot of the table where things are arguably even more intense, as falling to League One (the third division, yes it’s confusing) can prove a catastrophic blow to once-hallowed clubs — just ask Portsmouth and Blackburn.

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