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Jon Riley 1st May 2010 - 8:12

Final day thrills in the Championship

Nine months of blood, sweat and toil comes to a nail-biting conclusion this weekend in the Coca-Cola Championship.

In the top half of the table Ian Holloway's Blackpool know that they need only to match Swansea's result against Doncaster when mid-table Bristol visit Bloomfield Road.

The Seasiders have only lost once in their last eight games, a sequence of results which has seen them make a late charge for the play-offs. With only one game left they are sat in that elusive sixth place with their play-off destiny in their own hands.

Bristol City are the team that Swansea are relying on to throw a spanner in the works. The Robins are not in a bad run of form themselves having won five from seven. Steve Coppell has recently been announced as the manager for next season and things are starting to look really bright for next season.

In their last away game though City were thrashed 3-0 at Scunthorpe. Which Robins side will turn up though? The one that defeated Swansea 1-0 recently or the one that endured a horror match at Glanford Park?

Blackpool are odds on favourites to confirm their place in the play-offs at odds of 4/9. The bookies cannot see past a home win and have afforded a generous price of 11/2 to the visiting City.

If you think the atmosphere will be tense at Bloomfield Park you should imagine being one of the thirty-six thousand fans that will be present at Hillsborough on Sunday.

After 45 Championship games this season the fate of both Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace comes down to 90 minutes.

The Owls go into this huge clash knowing that only a win will be good enough to stop them from dropping through the Championship trapdoor into League 1. They sit two points behind the Eagles so a draw isn't acceptable.

Following their 1-1 draw with West Brom on Monday Crystal Palace now know that their objective is clear, avoiding defeat means avoiding relegation. Simple! A win against the Baggies would have rendered this encounter meaningless but thanks to Marek Cech's last gasp clearance at Selhurst Park, it will do down to the wire.

Wednesday are not in great form having won only once in their previous eleven games while Palace have lost only one of their last six league games, taking nine points from a possible 18.

The bookies see Wednesday as favourites to win the game at 5/4 and Palace as slight underdogs at 2/1.

The market for Championship relegation is very close, Palace edging the betting at 11/10 preferred to Wednesday at 4/6.

It's a sell-out at Hillsborough with both sets of fans willing their team on to victory in this do-or-die clash. The team that settles first and overcomes any big game nerves may be the ones who will come out of this with their Championship status intact.

One thing is for sure, it's certain to be a nerve filled day at both ends of the Championship. There'll be twists, turns and definitely tears.....but we wouldn't have it any other way would we!

 
 
 

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