Championship Semis Will Send Finalists To Wembley On May 25th
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Championship Semis Will Send Finalists To Wembley On May 25th

The Championship playoffs are underway as four teams compete to claim the last position for promotion to the Premier League next season.  AFC Bournemouth and Watford earned automatic promotion as the top two teams in the Championship, and the winner of the four playoff teams will join the Cherries and the Hornets in the top division next season.

The semifinal leg of the playoff series began last week as Brentford and Middlesbrough played at Griffin Park, while Ipswich Town and Norwich City kicked off at Portman Road.  Both games ended in 1-1 draws, and will conclude the semifinal round this week at Riverside and Carrow Road respectively.

Middlesbrough v. Brentford

Middlesbrough and Brentford will be the first to settle their series on Friday.  A win for Brentford would continue an outstanding run for the Bees, who joined the Championship from League One last season.  After only one season in the middle tier division, the Bees could fly to the Premier League with a win at Riverside Stadium on Friday.

The Boro will not make it easy for the Bees.  In 23 home games this season, Middlesbrough lost only 3 meetings at Riverside and are betting their home record holds up on Friday.  Brentford lost 9 of their away fixtures this year, which means the Bees need some sting in their attack if they hope to reach the finals at Wembley.

Norwich City v. Ipswich Town

On Saturday, Norwich City will bet on taking another step back towards the Premier League.  The Canaries were relegated down to the Championship at the end of last season, and bet they can soar back to the Premier League at the end of the playoff round.

The Tractor Boys have been in the Championship for a number of years, and would love to plow ahead into the Premier League.  However, their away record is less impressive than Norwich’s home record.  Ipswich scored only 7 wins on the road this year – can they score the crucial 8th win on Saturday?

Seeing as the first games in the two series ended in 1-1 draws, the away goal rule will only come into play if the second meetings of the two series end in scoreless draws.  In that case, Middlesbrough and Norwich City would advance to the playoff finals.  If any goals are scored, the winners of the two games this week will move onto Wembley on May 25th.

Bournemouth and Watford have already qualified for the Premier League.  Which of the remaining four teams do you bet joins them in the top division next season?

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