Where Millwall’s Championship Play-Off bid could be won or lost

6 min

Winning just one game in seven to slide down to seventh in the table, Millwall’s recent poor form has seen them lose their advantage over the chasing Championship Play-Off pack.

A disappointing loss to bottom-of-the-table Wigan Athletic was the latest in a run of below-par results that has seen a four point gap wiped out for Gary Rowett’s side.

Millwall now face an almighty scrap as the race for the top six looks set for one of its tightest ever finales.

With two games to go, eight teams are still in with a chance of filling the final two Play-Off slots – joining Luton Town and Middlesbrough.

Given the topsy-turvy nature of the run-in, it’s unlikely no-one will win both of their final games, so expect plenty more twists and turns to come.

Ahead of it, Ryan Loftus takes a look at what Millwall, and their rivals, might need to do to clinch those remaining spots…

5th: Coventry (Played 44, 66 points)

Fixtures: Birmingham (H), Middlesbrough (A)

After just one defeat in fifteen, the Sky Blues have surged into pole position for the top six.

Although a home game against Birmingham City looks extremely winnable for Mark Robins’ side, a final day trip to the Riverside could prove a difficult end to the campaign.

However, Middlesbrough may well be looking ahead to the Play-Offs, with a top six (and likely fourth-placed finish) already confirmed before the final day which could work in Coventry’s favour.

6th: Sunderland (Played 44, 65 points)

Fixtures: Watford (H), Preston (A)

Another late entry into the top six, Sunderland are one of three teams on 65 points but they do boast a superior goal difference to both Millwall and Blackburn Rovers. 

Their impressive win against West Brom last Saturday shot them into the Play-Off spots, but the Black Cats have largely struggled against the better sides this season.

Draws may not be enough to get them over the line, and with one of the harder run-ins, it looks like Tony Mowbray’s side will need to give it their all to remain on the right side of the Play-Off line.

7th: Millwall (Played 44, 65 points)

Fixtures: Blackpool (A), Blackburn (H)

Gary Rowett has seen his side’s performances fall off a cliff in recent weeks, with the pressure appearing to be taking its toll on the Lions.

On paper, a visit to relegation-threatened Blackpool is a good opportunity for three points, but after back-to-back losses against Birmingham and Wigan, nothing is guaranteed.

Millwall play on Friday ahead of the weekend fixtures and a win could see them add pressure to the fellow chasers. 

The final day clash against Blackburn could also be a winner take all affair with Millwall’s home record standing them in good stead for that one.

8th: Blackburn (Played 44, 65 points)

Fixtures: Luton (H), Millwall (A)

Rovers have the hardest run in on paper, up against third-placed Luton and seventh-placed Millwall as they appear to be running out of steam at the wrong time of the season.

No wins in seven for Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side has seen them slip out of the top six. Can they arrest the slide before it’s too late?

9th: West Bromwich Albion (Played 44, 63 points)

Fixtures: Norwich (H), Swansea (A)

Carlos Corberan has definitely turned things around for the Baggies, but their up and down form of late might cost them a top six finish.

Back-to-back losses against Sunderland and Sheffield United may have killed momentum, but they’ll need to pick themselves up as they face two of the fringe chasers.

10th: Preston North End (Played 44, 63 points)

Fixtures: Sheffield United (A), Sunderland (H)

No wins in three, all against fellow Play-Off rivals, suggests Preston are another side who have dipped at the wrong time.

Ryan Lowe’s side have failed to win against a top half team since December, so games against second and sixth aren’t quite what the doctor ordered…

11th: Norwich City (Played 44, 62 points)

Fixtures: West Brom (A), Blackpool (H)

Norwich are in the worst form of the challengers, with just one win in their last nine games. 

Their visit to the Hawthorns is a must win if they are to stay in the hunt while Blackpool may well be relegated by the time they visit Carrow Road on the final day.

However, should they lose this weekend, it may be too late for Norwich.

12th: Swansea City (Played 44, 62 points)

Fixtures: Hull (A), West Brom (H)

The Swans are in excellent form and have put themselves back into contention with a late surge, unbeaten in seven games, winning six of them. 

They’ll be confident ahead of their trip to Hull City and three points there could set up another final day shootout against West Brom.

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