Fulham lift the Championship play-off trophy.

Who will follow in Fulham's footsteps?

It is turning into a nerve-jangling race for the final spot to gain promotion from the Championship to the Premier League.

Norwich City and Sheffield United wrapped up the two automatic promotion places last weekend, while Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa have confirmed their places in the end-of-season play-offs.

With one round of fixtures to go, Derby County, Middlesbrough and Bristol City all still have a chance of joining those three teams in the race for a seat at English football's top table.

Fulham won promotion last season with a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final at Wembley. Who will do the same this year?

Here is a look at all of the teams vying for a place in the Premier League...

Marcelo Bielsa
Marcelo Bielsa's arrival has Leeds United fans dreaming of a return to the Premier League after 15 years away.


Rewind to Christmas and Leeds United were sat at the top of the Championship table. Six months on, and after a Easter weekend to forget, the Yorkshire outfit find themselves relying on the lottery of the play-offs to secure a return to the Premier League after a 15-year exile.

With largely the same squad to the one that ended last season in 13th place, the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa in the summer brought about an immediate upturn in results. Kemar Roofe and 34-year-old midfielder Pablo Hernandez have provided goals in great abundance for the Whites, with the former Argentina and Chile boss bringing in former Middlesbrough forward Patrick Bamford and ex-Wolves defender Barry Douglas to strengthen Leeds' potential march back to the top flight.


Seeking a return to the top flight at the first time of asking, Albion certainly have the squad capable of doing so. The majority of the Baggies' squad that were in the Premier League last season have remained with the club and they have acquired proven Championship talent in Dwight Gayle, former United Academy keeper Sam Johnstone and Kyle Bartley.

The Black Country outfit - who are under the stewardship of caretaker boss James Shan following the dismissal of Darren Moore back in March - have been able to secure a play-off berth and face a mouthwatering semi-final against local rivals, Aston Villa.


It has been a rollercoaster ride of a campaign for last season's play-off runners-up. After a run of one win in nine matches, Steve Bruce was forced to make way in October, with lifelong fan and former Brentford manager, Dean Smith, being appointed.

A positive start to his tenure, which saw the Villans on the cusp of the play-offs, was swiftly followed by a winter period that brought just one win from 10 fixtures.

However, Jack Grealish's return from injury has spearheaded a remarkable run of 10 straight wins (a club record) which has seen the Midlands outfit rocket up the table and into a play-off spot.

With United loanee Axel Tuanzebe also proving to be a rock in defence in his second season at Villa Park, it will be interesting to see if Smith's side can continue this momentum into the play-offs.


Going into the final round of games, the Rams currently occupy the final play-off position. In his first season in management, Frank Lampard has impressed, with his young side knocking out the Reds in the third round of the Carabao Cup in September.

Throughout the season, the Pride Park club have been in and around the play-offs throughout the season, never dropping lower than ninth in the table since their fifth match.

Harry Wilson, on loan from Liverpool, has proved to be lethal from set pieces and is Derby's top scorer while the return of 20-year-old Chelsea loanee Mason Mount has helped Lampard's side build momentum going into the business end of the season.

Will it be enough to see the Rams return to the Premier League after an 11-year absence?

Axel Tuanzebe in action for Aston Villa.
Axel Tuanzebe has been well received by the Aston Villa fans in his second loan spell at Villa Park.


At the start of the season, Tony Pulis' Boro were one of the pre-season favourites to return to the Premier League, with the Welshman bringing in proven talent from the Championship in Aden Flint and Jordan Hugill and even signing former Chelsea star John Obi Mikel in the winter window.

The season started off well as Boro sat at the summit of the Championship after 15 games. However, an inconsistent patch of form at the beginning of 2019 saw the Teesside club drop out of the automatic promotion picture, before falling out the play-offs entirely by April.

Now, with one week left in the season, Pulis will be relying on results elsewhere going his way, along with his team showing the defensive resilience his sides are known for if Middlesbrough want to reach the play-offs for the second season running.


Described by their manager, Lee Johnson, as a 'Premier League club in training,' Bristol City contended for promotion last season until their run to the Carabao Cup semi-finals had a detrimental impact on their play-off push.

Despite losing key players in Joe Bryan, Aden Flint and Bobby Reid last summer, the Robins have maintained their level of competitiveness. With 12 goals, Senegalese striker Famara Diedhiou is City's top scorer at present while Andreas Weimann and former United Academy player, Josh Brownhill, have chipped in with strikes. 

After winning their game in hand on Tuesday night at Millwall, there is a glimmer of hope that a play-off berth may be theirs as they sit in eighth, one point away from that coveted sixth place.

Bristol City manager, Lee Johnson.
Lee Johnson is hoping to guide Bristol City to the top flight for the first time in nearly 40 years.


In our poll on the Official Manchester United App, 45 per cent of you want to see Leeds United promoted back to the Premier League next season. With the fierce rivalry between the two sides and a chance to play at Elland Road, it is a match that many see as being overdue in the top flight.

In second place with 28 per cent is Aston Villa. Villa Park has been our home from home over the years, with our last defeat in the West Midlands coming in 1995. It is also, of course, the place where Ryan Giggs scored that famous goal in our Treble-winning campaign against Arsenal in the FA Cup. 

General view of Wembley Stadium.
Wembley Stadium will play host to the showpiece final, which will take place on Monday 27 May (15:00 BST).

Derby County is in third (10 per cent). The Rams have come close in recent years to making a return to the top flight with play-off semi-final and final heartbreak - will it be their year this time?

West Bromwich Albion (seven per cent) and Middlesbrough (four per cent) are both bidding to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking while play-off chasing Bristol City (five per cent) are pushing for a place at England's top table for the first time since 1980.

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