We’re at the crunch time of the year in England as three Caltex Socceroos face off in a final day bid for promotion to the Premier League.
The 46th and final matchday of the English Championship season sees Mile Jedinak’s Aston Villa travel to Tim Cahill and James Meredith’s Millwall, with a top six finish on the line.
While Jedinak’s Villa are guaranteed to finish fourth regardless of their final day result, but only a win will do for Millwall, who will also need to rely on other results from across the competition.
Here’s what you need to know about the Aussies in action on the final day of the English Championship:
Current ladder for play-offs picture
- Wolverhampton Wanderers – 99 points, +46 goal difference *guaranteed direct promotion
- Cardiff City – 89 points, +30 goal difference
- Fulham – 88 points, +35 goal difference
- Aston Villa – 83 points, +31 goal difference
- Middlesbrough – 75 points, +22 goal difference
- Derby County – 72 points, +19 goal difference
- Preston North End – 70 points, +10 goal difference
- Millwall – 69 points, +10 goal difference
What needs to happen for the Aussies?
Jedinak’s team are guaranteed to finish fourth no matter the outcome of their match against Millwall.
This means the Midlands club have already secured a spot in the Premier League play-offs series.
But for Cahill and Meredith, they need results to go their way should Millwall pick up maximum points at home.
A win over Aston Villa will take Millwall to 72 points, equal with Derby County who occupy sixth spot. This means Millwall will then require Preston North End and Derby to lose to lowly Barnsley and Burton Albion on the final day.
Important to note is Millwall’s goal difference, which leaves them nine goals off Derby.
So while Aston Villa are guaranteed of their status in the play-offs, Millwall need to win, for Preston to lose and for Derby to lose convincingly enough to overturn a nine goal deficit.
How the play-offs work
With the top two teams in the English Championship promoted directly to the Premier League, there is still one spot up for grabs via the play-offs.
This means the teams who finished third to sixth on the English Championship ladder go into a play-off series, which gets underway on Saturday 12 May AEST.
The third-ranked team faces a two-legged play-off against the sixth-ranked team, with the bonus of hosting the second leg of the tie.
This leaves the fourth and fifth-ranked teams to also play a two-legged semi-final tie.
The winner of both play-off ties then head to Wembley Stadium on Monday 27 May AEST for a one-off shot at Premier League promotion.
Other Aussies in action in the English Championship
Bailey Wright’s Bristol City can take plenty of positives from the English Championship season, set to finish just outside the top six.
They host Sheffield United on the final day, where a win could take them to a total of 70 points from the season.
Massimo Luongo’s Queens Park Rangers travel to Leeds United, with both sides within a point of each other in the middle of the table.
Finally, Jackson Irvine’s Hull City have escaped earlier relegation question marks and end the season with a trip to ninth-placed Brentford.
English Championship Round 46 Fixtures
All games to be played at 10.30pm Sunday 6 May AEST
Birmingham v Fulham, Bolton v Nottingham Forest, Brentford v Hull City, Bristol City v Sheffield United, Cardiff City v Reading, Derby County v Barnsley, Ipswich v Middlesbrough, Leeds v QPR, Millwall v Aston Villa, Preston North End v Burton Albion, Sheffield Wednesday v Norwich, Sunderland v Wolverhampton
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