There’s not an awful lot that needs saying on Relegation Watch this week, apart from....WE ARE STAYING UP!
Well, very, very nearly.
A pair of draws for Reading against Bristol City and West Bromwich Albion over the Easter weekend, combined with Rotherham losing to both Swansea and Birmingham City, means that the Royals sit six points above the bottom three with just two games to go and a superior goal difference.
A whole 13 goals difference in fact, meaning Rotherham would probably need to win both of their remaining games by at least three or four goals to relegate Reading (and hope we don’t pick up any further points). That sounds hard enough, but when you consider the South Yorkshire side haven’t won by more than a goal so far this season, and their two remaining opponents are West Brom (A) and Middlesbrough (H), it looks virtually impossible.
Credit to the Millers though, as they certainly gave Reading a bit of a scare in both matches, taking the lead early on against the Swans and the Blues. However, the only team that can now go down in their place are Milwall, who are three points better off with a game in hand. Neil Harris’ side also have a more favourable run-in with Stoke City (H), Bristol City (H) and Wigan Athletic (A) left to play.
Wigan themselves secured safety after a fantastic weekend, picking up two wins from two games - including a 2-1 victory away to Leeds United, their first three points on the road since August. They then returned to the DW stadium to beat Preston North End 2-0 on Easter Monday.
It means the Latics have overtaken QPR, whose miserable end to the campaign continued with defeats to Blackburn Rovers and Derby County. Reading may even now have ambitions of leapfrogging the Fake Hoops, who have Nottingham Forest (H) and Sheffield Wednesday (A) in their last two fixtures.
Finally Birmingham, Reading’s opponents on the final day, also confirmed their place in the Championship with that aforementioned win over Rotherham, having drawn with Derby on Easter Friday.
One final look at the SkyBet odds confirms that Rotherham aren’t being given much chance of survival at all - the Millers are now 1/100 to join Ipswich Town and Bolton Wanderers in the third tier next season. You can bet on Millwall at 14/1 if you fancy one of the most incredible endings the Championship has ever seen, but please remember to #Gambleaware.
Odds are already available for next season, but sadly Reading are yet to be priced up by the bookmakers. Hopefully in 12 months’ time we’ll have a promotion watch as opposed to a relegation watch!