TERRIERS IN SPOTLIGHT ON LAST DAY
READING and Huddersfield will seek to round off the regular season with morale-boosting wins ahead of the play-offs.
Jaap Stam’s third-placed Royals travel to a Burton
Albion side still cock-ahoop after ensuring Championship safety with their 1-1 draw at Barnsley last weekend.
Reading will cement third place with a win, but dropped points could pave the way for fourth-placed Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield, in fifth, to overtake them.
The incentive for the Royals is to try to finish third or fourth, to guarantee a home semi-final second leg in the play-offs.
It will be interesting to see what sort of side Huddersfield put out in their home match against Cardiff this lunchtime.
Terriers boss David Wagner made ten changes last weekend with a play-off place already booked and his side went down to a 2-0 defeat at ten-man Birmingham City.
The decision to rest so many players against one of the teams in the relegation battle went down like a lead balloon with the EFL, who have written to Huddersfield to ‘request their observations in relation to team selection’.
In a statement, the EFL said: “As per our regulations, the EFL Executive will refer the matter to the Board if it is deemed appropriate to do so.
“It should be noted, however, that the result of Saturday’s game will stand in all circumstances and any potential action would be taken against Huddersfield Town directly.”
It’s unlikely Wagner will leave out so many players against the Bluebirds as he will not want his players to go into the play-offs lacking rhythm.
Huddersfield can leapfrog Reading and Sheffield Wednesday if results go their way.
Elsewhere, Wigan’s clash with Leeds is a meeting of two sides down in the dumps. The Latics were relegated after a 1-0 defeat at Reading last weekend, while Leeds were all but ruled out of play-off contention despite storming back from 3-0 down to earn a draw against Norwich at Elland Road.
The Whites head into today’s noon kick-off three points behind sixth-placed Fulham, who occupy the final play-off berth, but their goal difference is 13 worse than the London side, effectively ending their chances.
Garry Monk has had an excellent first season at the Leeds helm, but his side just couldn’t maintain their form in the run-in and have paid the price.
Norwich and QPR bring the curtain down on turbulent campaigns when they face off at Carrow Road.
Many pundits backed the Canaries to challenge for promotion this term following their relegation from the Premier League, but they have been far too inconsistent and go into today’s match a disappointing eighth.
QPR have also blown hot and cold, though at least Ian Holloway’s men secured their status with a muchneeded 2-0 victory against Nottingham Forest last weekend.
Another side who have failed to live up to expectations this season are
Wolves, who lie 15th. They sign off with a game against 11th-placed Preston at Molineux. Meanwhile, relegated
Rotherham say farewell to the Championship when they host yet another underachiever, Derby County.
The ninth-placed Rams have, though, shown signs of improvement under new boss Gary Rowett in the closing stages of the season.
CONTROVERSY: Birmingham’s Jonathan Grounds scores the opener against a weakened Huddersfield