Who will be promoted to the Premier League?

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The race for Premier League promotion in the 2021-22 season is entering the final stages and the battle to get out of England’s second tier remains absolutely bonkers.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Fulham and Bournemouth are close to sealing automatic promotion back to the Premier League, while there is a mad scramble to finish in one of the four playoff spots for a chance to join them.

Remember: the third-place team plays the sixth-place team and fourth plays fifth in a home and away semifinal series before the victors battle it out in a final at Wembley to decide who wins the third and final promotion spot to the Premier League.

Promotion to the Premier League is estimated to be worth almost $200 million for each club.

Below we look at the latest scenarios as the Championship campaign enters the final three games.

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Automatic promotion hopefuls

Fulham, Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest, Luton Town, Huddersfield Town

It is very simple for Fulham. Win against Preston on April 19 and they are promoted back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Second-place Bournemouth and fifth-place Nottingham Forest (who have two games in-hand over their playoff rivals) are the only two teams who can catch Marco Silva’s side who have been at the top of the Championship for the majority of the season. It’s a matter of if, not when, Fulham get promoted automatically. As for Bournemouth, they should just get over the line but Forest are pushing them all the way. Bournemouth still play Fulham at the weekend and then play Forest on May 3, so the latter game could decide who goes up automatically. Luton Town and Huddersfield Town can also still be promoted automatically but they have to win their final three games and hope both Bournemouth and Forest collapse. Only Fulham, Bournemouth and Forest can still win the title.

In the playoffs right now

Huddersfield Town, Luton Town, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United

The playoff situation seems to change all the time but relative minnows Huddersfield and Luton have had incredible seasons and find themselves sitting pretty in the playoffs with three games to go. Carlos Corberan’s Terriers were relegation candidates before the season and so too were Nathan Jones’ Hatters but both Huddersfield and Luton have punched well above their weight and looked nailed on to reach the playoffs. Forest have games in-hand so they will likely push themselves up to third in the table, or even higher. Then there is Sheffield United, who sit in sixth place (the final playoff spot) and have the advantage on goal difference over the teams just below them. But the Blades do have both Fulham and QPR still to play.

On the bubble of the playoffs

Millwall, Blackburn Rovers, Middlesbrough, QPR, Coventry, West Brom, Swansea City

This is chaos. Just four points separates Sheffield United in sixth and Coventry in 11th, while it seems like Middlesbrough have the edge in the chasing pack as they have a better goal difference and also have a game in-hand. Chris Wilder has done a superb job to push Boro up the table and they have four relatively straightforward games (is there such a thing in the Championship!?) to negotiate between now and the end of the season. Watch out for Coventry, Millwall and even Swansea, though. All three are in pretty good form late in the season as the likes of Blackburn and QPR have struggled.

Latest Championship table – April 19, 2022

1. Fulham – 83 points (41 games played) +58
2. Bournemouth – 77 points (41 games) +30
3. Huddersfield Town – 73 points (43 games) +13
4. Luton Town – 71 points (43 games) +14
5. Nottingham Forest – 70 points (41 games) +28
6. Sheffield United – 66 points (43 games) +11
7. Millwall – 65 points (43 games) +6
8. Blackburn Rovers – 63 points (43 games) +8
9. Middlesbrough – 63 points (42 games) + 8
10. QPR – 63 points (43 games) +3
11. Coventry City – 62 points (43 games) +2
12. West Brom – 60 points (43 games) +2
13. Swansea City – 59 points (42 games) -5

Who will be promoted to the Premier League? originally appeared on NBCSports.com