Who will be relegated from the Championship?

We are now very much at the 'business end' of the Championship season with so much still to be decided at both the top and bottom of the table. 

Realistically, it looks like a battle between Blackburn Rovers, Nottingham Forest and Birmingham City to avoid falling into the final relegation spot and being sent down to League One

Both Bristol City and Burton Albion achieved positive results over the Easter weekend, which has put them both on 48 points as they look to have almost secured their safety.

Rotherham United have already been mathematically relegated having only achieved four wins all season and Wigan Athletic have all but joined them after a 2-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday which followed a mini-revival from the Latics.

Rovers building some momentum 

After looking doomed following a 2-0 defeat to Barnsley at Ewood Park a couple of weeks ago, Blackburn have had a superb Easter weekend under Tony Mowbray to give them a fighting chance of survival. 

They followed up a huge 1-0 win away at Nottingham Forest on Good Friday with a 1-1 draw at home to Bristol City on Easter Monday to move them to within one point of safety. 

Tammy Abraham had given Bristol City the lead at Blackburn. (picture: Getty Images / Stephen White - CameraSport)
Tammy Abraham had given Bristol City the lead at Blackburn. (picture: Getty Images / Stephen White - CameraSport)

Despite their recent good form, the run-in for Mowbray's men looks like a tough one. They face Wolverhampton Wanderers away from home on Saturday who recently beat play-off chasing Leeds United 1-0 at Elland Road on Easter Monday.

However, Wolves did have relegation worries themselves only a matter of weeks ago before a dramatic upturn in form and Blackburn will view this as a winnable game.

They then face mid-table Aston Villa at home who will go to Ewood Park with little to play for after their slim play-off hopes have disappeared of late. 

Rovers then face Brentford away at Griffin Park which is arguably one of the toughest away games to have. The Bees have also been in superb form of late with both loan-signing Jota and Lasse Vibe scoring goals for fun. 

Forest suffering from lack of cutting edge

Performances have not been the issue for Mark Warburton's Forest side of late as they now face the prospect of a return to League One. It has been the lack of quality in the final third which has been particularly evident in the last few games, most notably the 1-0 defeat to Cardiff City on Easter Monday. 

Mark Warburton despairs as Vellios hits the bar against Cardiff City. (picture: Getty Images / Stu Forster)
Mark Warburton despairs as Vellios hits the bar against Cardiff City. (picture: Getty Images / Stu Forster)

Forest do appear to have one of the more favourable run-ins out of all the teams trying to avoid the drop, with two of their three remaining games being at The City Ground where their form has been reasonable. 

They face play-off chasing Reading on Trentside on Saturday afternoon in a game which Forest desperately need to get something from. Jaap Stam's team are not the most consistent away from home and combined with Forest's good record against teams nearer the top of the division, it could have the ingredients for an interesting encounter. 

The Reds will then travel to Loftus Road to face Ian Holloway's Queens Park Rangers in what is another winnable game. Rangers' form has been incredibly inconsistent which sees them only six points clear of relegation themselves with 50 points. However, they are capable of putting in a good performance on their day and Forest will have to be at their best to come away with anything.

Ipswich Town will then pay a visit to The City Ground on the final day of the season in a game which could be pivotal to Forest's survival chances. Out of all of their remaining games, this one looks the most winnable and it is likely that the relegation battle will go down to this game. 

Can Harry save Blues after disaster under Zola?

It has been a dramatic couple of days at Birmingham City as the club's owners decided to replace Gianfranco Zola with Harry Redknapp following the Italian's resignation after the 2-0 defeat at home to Burton Albion on Easter Monday. 

Burton's players celebrate scoring their second goal at Birmingham City. (picture: Getty Images / Harry Trump)
Burton's players celebrate scoring their second goal at Birmingham City. (picture: Getty Images / Harry Trump)

This was disappointing news for both supporters of Blackburn and Forest who feel the 'new manager' factor is likely to be enough for Blues to secure enough points to remain in The Championship despite a tough final three games.

Redknapp's start could not be any bigger as Blues travel to Villa Park on Saturday to face Aston Villa in the early kick-off. Villa will be without star player Jonathan Kodjia following his sending off in the 3-1 defeat to Fulham which will be a huge boost to Blues ahead of this clash.

Birmingham then face Huddersfield Town at St Andrew's and the Terriers are likely to still have some work to do in order to secure their play-off place. However, Huddersfield's away form under manager David Wagner has been unpredictable of late and they were comfortably beaten 2-0 by Forest at The City Ground a matter of weeks ago. 

They then travel to Ashton Gate on the final day of the season to face Lee Johnson's Bristol City who have picked up some good results over the Easter weekend. Despite this, they may still have some work to do to secure their safety in this game if they were to pick up two poor results beforehand meaning it is likely to remain a tough game. 

The stakes are high 

For all three of these teams, the impact of being relegated to League One would be huge, especially financially. In reality, it looks like it may now be a two horse race between Blackburn and Forest as it seems unrealistic that Redknapp would have no impact at Birmingham. 

The issue for Forest is finding the back of the net but if their fortune in front of goal was to change in the remaining fixtures, then they should be able to secure enough points to survive. However, it is Blackburn who appear to have the momentum heading into the final few rounds of fixtures although the games they have remaining look particularly tough.

Whatever happens in the next few weeks, it looks as though it may well go down to the final day on Sunday 7th May. With Forest the only team out of the three to be playing on home turf, it could give the Reds a significant advantage. 

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