Championship play-offs 2019: Fixtures, dates & teams in the race to the Premier League

A number of sides are in the mix for a place in this season's play-offs and the race is beginning to intensify as we enter the final stage
The Championship play-offs are among the most keenly contested and rewarding games in the English football calendar.

A place in the Premier League, with its subsequent financial benefits and accompanying prestige, is the prize on offer, but only one team stands to benefit.

Four teams enter the decisive phase and the identity of all those involved will soon be known.

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With the race nearing a conclusion, Goal brings you everything you need to know about the 2019 Championship play-offs.

What are the Championship play-offs?
While the top two teams in the Championship secure automatic promotion to the Premier League, the final place is determined by a series of games known as play-offs.

The teams which finish the season in third, fourth, fifth and sixth place earn the right to compete for a place in England's top division.

Third place plays sixth place in one semi-final and fourth place plays fifth place in the other semi-final.

The semi-finals are played over two legs, with home and away ties, and the away goals rule does not apply.

Winners of the semi-finals then progress to the play-off final, which is a winner-takes-all tie.

Which teams have qualified for the Championship play-offs?

Norwich City secured promotion to the Premier League and Sheffield United will join them in automatically moving up to the Premier League.

The Blades' promotion became official following Leeds United's controversial 1-1 draw against Aston Villa on April 28. Leeds went ahead in the closing stages of the match, but Mateusz Klich's goal came after the hosts refused to put the ball out of play for the injured Jonathan Kodjia.

Victory would have kept Leeds' hopes of automatic promotion alive, but, incredibly, Marcelo Bielsa instructed his players to allow Villa to score unhindered in order to restore parity in the wake of the perceived injustice and the game finished a draw.

Championship table
Pos Team MP W D L GD Pts
1 Norwich City (P) 45 26 13 6 +35 91
2 Sheffield United (P) 45 26 10 9 +37 88
3 Leeds United (Q) 45 25 8 12 +24 83
4 West Brom (Q) 45 23 11 11 +27 80
5 Aston Villa (Q) 45 20 16 9 +22 76
6 Derby County 44 19 13 12 +13 70
7 Middlesbrough 45 19 13 13 +7 70
8 Bristol City 45 19 12 13 +6 69
Last updated: April 30, 2019.

Key: (P) - secured promotion | (Q) - qualified for play-offs

Below Leeds are West Brom and the Baggies are assured of their place in the mini-tournament, as are Aston Villa, who lost in the final of last year's edition.

The final play-off spot has not yet been confirmed, with Frank Lampard's Derby County and Tony Pulis' Middlesbrough locked level on points, while Bristol City remain outsiders.

When are the Championship 2019 play-offs?
The 2019 Championship play-off semi-finals will take place after May 5, when the league concludes.

The first legs of the semi-final games will be played on May 11, with the second legs being played on May 14 and May 15.

When & where is the 2019 Championship play-off final?

The 2019 Championship play-off final is scheduled to take place on Monday, May 27 and, as is tradition, Wembley Stadium in London will be the venue for the decider.

The game will kick off at 3pm BST (10am EST).

Wembley's capacity is 90,000 and Championship play-off deciders regularly draw in bumper crowds, with the 2018 final between Aston Villa and Fulham attracting 85,243 spectators.

The 'Home of Football' has not always been the venue for play-off deciders, however, with Cardiff's Millennium Stadium temporarily housing such games from 2001 until 2006.

Championship play-offs TV channel & live stream
Sky Sports has exclusive broadcasting rights for the Championship in the UK and so the games will be shown live on one of the network's channels, most likely Sky Sports Football. Sky Go is the channel's online streaming service.

In the US games EFL games have been available to stream live online using ESPN+ .

Who won last year's Championship play-offs?

Fulham were the winners of the 2018 edition of the Championship play-offs as they defeated Aston Villa 1-0 in the final.

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Club captain Tom Cairney scored the decisive goal for the Cottagers, who played the final part of the game with 10 men after Denis Odoi was sent off.

Fulham had finished third in the table, meaning they faced sixth-place Derby County in the play-off semi-finals and they overcame the Rams with a 2-1 aggregate victory.

They subsequently joined Championship winners Wolves and runners-up Cardiff City in booking their place in the 2018-19 Premier League.