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Championship chew-over: Watford can pip Hull to automatic promotion

| 01.05.2013

After Millwall’s Tuesday night goalless draw with Crystal Palace did the relegation battling Lions far more favours than the play-off chasing Eagles the penultimate round of Championship fixtures is done and dusted. Unbelievably Watford are still in with a chance of automatic promotion thanks to Hull’s defeat at Barnsley and with the Hornets 2/5 to beat a Leeds side who have lost nine of their last 15 away games they look likely to snaffle three more points.

Hull on the other hand have scored a goal or less in eight of their last nine league games and must face champions Cardiff. The Bluebirds may have taken their foot off the accelerator as the title hove into view, but they’ve still lost just once in 10 games. 

With Hull facing the division’s second best away defence they may struggle to land the goal needed to secure second place and at longer odds of 5/6 for promotion with Coral Watford – whose goal difference is superior to the tune of 19 goals – look a better punting proposition than the 4/11 Tigers.

After positive results at the weekend Brighton and Bolton – 5/2 and 7/2 in Coral’s Championship promotion betting respectively – look in good nick ahead of the play-offs with the South Coast outfit arguably the more likely to progress given the mounting injuries in the Wanderers camp.

At the bottom Millwall’s Tuesday night point has given a little breathing space in a too-close-for-comfort relegation battle that involves five clubs. Peterborough and Barnsley have been handed the toughest assignments with the Posh away to Crystal Palace (who arguably need a win to absolutely sure of their play-off berth) and the Tykes needing a win which (should results fall the right way) could send opposition Huddersfield down.

Ultimately it may be Peterborough – 6/4 for the drop – who perish, despite visiting a side which have gone nine league games without a win. Palace lethally exploited Posh’s defensive naivety in the reverse fixture at London Road, despite only playing well for half an hour and will be keen to register a confidence boosting win that assures them continuing participation in the play-off bun fight.