As a league, the Sky Bet Championship is becoming more competitive year on year. This season we could potentially see something that hasn’t happened since 1997-98 when the top three sides all achieved 90 or more points. If Cardiff and Fulham both win their last two games then Cardiff will go up with 92points, while Fulham will miss out on automatic promotion and be condemned to the play-offs. If this does happen, then Fulham will be the first team since the history of the Championship in this format to not go up automatically after winning more than 90 points.
Obviously, this is all just speculation, as we still have two games to go and it isn’t in anyway a foregone conclusion that we will win them both, but it does show that history tells us that getting to 90+ points should be enough for us to go up. Can both Cardiff and Fulham do it? Quite possibly, but it would be a very rare occurrence.
The closest the promotion race has been recently was in 2015-16, when Middlesbrough and Brighton went toe to toe to the final day when Middlesbrough’s better goal difference was what clinched them 2nd spot. What made it even more nail-biting was that Middlesbrough and Brighton were playing each other on the last day, and the 1-1 draw was what was enough for Boro.
It is extremely likely that this year that second promotion spot will be decided on the final day. If we were to lose on Friday night at home to Sunderland, then Cardiff can seal promotion with a win over Hull. I can’t see it happening, but stranger things have happened I suppose.
What we can say as a fact, though, is that we need the Cottage to be absolutely rocking on Friday night. Sunderland are already down, but this means that they have nothing to lose, so can play with some element of freedom in that respect. The last team to beat us in the league was Sunderland, so we need to be on the ball to prevent it happening again. If you are lucky enough to be going to Craven Cottage on Friday night then do everything that you can to help the boys out. A win puts the pressure straight back on Cardiff.