Football Features

Championship play-off predictions, tips & live streaming

By Harry Edwards

Published: 12:15, 16 May 2022

After nine months and 46 testing gameweeks, the 2021/22 Championship regular season is finally over. 

Fulham secured the title and their spot back in the Premier League at the first time of asking, and they have been joined by Bournemouth who sealed their return to the top flight by beating Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night in what could have been billed as an early play-off final. Forest are confirmed for the actual play-offs, as are Huddersfield Town, with the pair finishing fourth and third respectively on the final day.

At the bottom of the table everything was done and dusted too before the season’s curtain close. Barnsley suffered the ignominy of finishing bottom of the table on 30 points, with just six wins and 28 defeats. They will be joined in League One by Peterborough United, whose 87 goals conceded turned out to be the joint-worst in the division and played a big part in their 27 defeats. Then, of course, despite a valiant effort, Derby County were unable to save themselves from relegation, with their fate sealed by a late defeat to Queens Park Rangers last month. But they will be commended for their effort, not finishing bottom despite suffering a points deduction of 21.

So what is there to be settled? The play-offs of course. Alongside Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town, Sheffield United and Luton Town confirmed their places in the top six on the final day, beating Fulham and Reading respectively to ensure that they didn’t need to rely on results elsewhere. Wembley now beckons for two of these clubs.

Play-off semi-final results and fixtures

First legs

  • Luton 1-1 Huddersfield
  • Sheffield United 1-2 Nottingham Forest

Second legs

  • Huddersfield vs Luton (May 16)
  • Nottingham Forest vs Sheffield United (May 17)

2021/22 Championship: Final Standings

Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
1 Fulham 46 +63 90
2 Bournemouth 46 +35 88
3 Huddersfield Town 46 +17 82
4 Nottingham Forest 46 +33 80
5 Sheffield United 46 +18 75
6 Luton Town 46 +8 75
7 Middlesbrough 46 +9 70
8 Blackburn Rovers 46 +9 69
9 Millwall 46 +8 69
10 West Bromwich Albion 46 +7 67
11 Queens Park Rangers 46 +1 66
12 Coventry City 46 +1 64
13 Preston North End 46 -4 64
14 Stoke City 46 +5 62
15 Swansea City 46 -10 61
16 Blackpool 46 -4 60
17 Bristol City 46 -15 55
18 Cardiff City 46 -18 53
19 Hull City 46 -13 51
20 Birmingham City 46 -25 47
21 Reading 46 -33 41
22 Peterborough United 46 -44 37
23 Derby County 46 -8 34
24 Barnsley 46 -40 30

Can you name every Championship title winner since 2000?



Huddersfield vs Luton

With the first leg finishing 1-1, this play-off semi final is up in the air. Danel Sinani had given Huddersfield the leader in the 12th minute but Sonny Bradley equalised on the half-hour-mark to keep Luton’s Premier League hopes alive. The draw did extend Huddersfield’s unbeaten run against Luton to five matches in the Championship, though the Terriers have managed just one win during that time, drawing four.

For Huddersfield, a win against Luton on Monday will put them just one match away from a return to the Premier League after three years away. The Terriers took on the Premier League in 2017/18, earning promotion from the Championship via the play-offs, ending an almost 60-year absence in top-flight football. Huddersfield looked comfortable enough in their first season but their dream was over in the second campaign, as the Terriers finished bottom of the league with just three wins and 16 points.

Luton, on the other hand, are looking to end a 31-year absence from the top flight. The Hatters were relegated from the top flight in the final season before the Premier League was formed, missing out on the inaugural campaign. After a few years in the newly-named Division One (now the Championship), Luton fell down the football pyramid and were playing non-league football as recently as 2013/14. But they climbed the ranks and, in just their third campaign back in the Championship, are now potentially two matches away from glory.

Top tip: Huddersfield have won three of their past four home league matches, and you can get them to beat Luton Town at 23/20 with Sky Bet.

Huddersfield vs Luton betting tips from Squawka Bet

18+ only. Please gamble responsibly. For more information, visit begambleaware.org. All odds and offers in this article are valid at time of publication.

How to live stream Huddersfield vs Luton online:

UK ONLY: NOW are streaming the Championship play-offs live for account holders.

Nottingham Forest vs Sheffield United

Nottingham Forest are just two games away from the promised land. The two-time European champions haven’t been in the Premier League in over 20 years, tasting relegation in 1998/99, and they have only reached the play-offs three times since (with a stint in League One thrown in). But they take a slender 2-1 advantage into their second leg against Sheffield United, thanks to goals from Jack Colback and Brennan Johnson.

Sheffield United, meanwhile, are looking for an immediate return to the Premier League after their relegation last season. The Blades impressed in their first campaign back in the top flight, finishing ninth, but suffered second-season syndrome to finish 20th in 2020/21 – parting ways with Chris Wilder towards the end of the year. But under Paul Heckingbottom they have given themselves a good chance of going back up, especially with Sander Berge’s late goal in the first leg keeping them in the tie.

Top tip: Betfair are offering odds of 8/13 for over 4.5 cards to be shown in Nottingham Forest vs Sheffield United.

Nottingham Forest vs Sheffield United betting tips from Squawka Bet

18+ only. Please gamble responsibly. For more information, visit begambleaware.org. All odds and offers in this article are valid at time of publication.

How to live stream Nottingham Forest vs Sheffield United online:

UK ONLY: NOW are streaming the Championship play-offs live for account holders.

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