EPL Promotion Watch: Battles for 2nd and 6th Intensify Heading into Last Week

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2013

BARNSLEY, ENGLAND - APRIL 27:  Paul McShane of Hull City looks on after the npower Championship match between Barnsley and Hull City at Oakwell Stadium on April 27, 2013 in Barnsley, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

While the champion of the Championship may have been decided already, the race for the remaining promotion spots to the EPL are just beginning to heat up as the English second flight heads into the final weekend of the season. 

The battles for second place and sixth place are the hottest they have been all season, and there are a plethora of possible results that could occur on the penultimate day of the season.

Before we get ready for the final day of the season, here is a look back at this weekend's results. 

With the title locked up already, Cardiff City knew they could afford a draw at home against Bolton Wanderers at the Cardiff City Stadium. 

Craig Noone's 68th-minute equalizer handed the Bluebirds their 86th point of the season as they prepare for the jump to the top flight next season. 

The result meant more to the visitors who are locked in the battle for the final spot in the promotion playoffs, which is sixth place.

Bolton were excited to get the lead over the champions in the 18th minute by way of Chris Eagles, but they were unable to hold on to it. 

As they head into their home match with Blackpool next Saturday, Bolton are ahead of Nottingham Forest by just three goals in goal differential, which is the tiebreaker in the table. Both clubs currently have 67 points. 

The other club in the mix for sixth is Leicester City, who hurt their playoff chances with a loss to third place Watford on Friday night. The Foxes currently sit two points behind both Bolton and Forest, but they do hold an advantage in goal differential if they end up tied after next weekend's matches.

As for Watford, they are challenging Hull City for the second automatic promotion spot after their win at Leicester. Hull once again failed to secure their spot in the EPL next season, as they lost to relegation fighters Barnsley 2-0 at the Oakwell Stadium. 

Hull will host Cardiff next week while Watford will host Leeds United at Vicarage Road. 

Crystal Palace, Brighton and Hove Albion seem to have their respective spots in the promotion playoffs locked up. All that has to be determined between the two clubs is who will finish in fourth place and who will finish in fifth place.

Palace are four points behind the Seagulls with a game in hand, which will be played on Tuesday at Millwall.

Both clubs will face two opponents staring relegation in the face on Saturday with Palace hosting Peterborough United and Brighton hosting Wolves.

Here is how the Championship table looks after this weekend's results. The top two clubs earn automatic promotion to the EPL, while the clubs who finish in third through sixth will compete in a four-club playoff for the final promotion spot.

Club Matches Played Points Goal Differential
Cardiff City 45 86 27
Hull City 45 78 9
Watford 45 77 28
Brighton & Hove Albion 45 72 24
Crystal Palace 44 68 10
Bolton Wanderers 45 67 8
Nottingham Forest 45 67 5
Leicester City 45 65 22


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