The big relegation run-in preview: Who the bookies think will go down in Sheffield Wednesday's survival scramble
Fasten your seatbelts.
Sheffield Wednesday head into the final run-in right in the thick of a relegation scrap for the first time in a long time.
The season finishes on May 8 and the Owls will be desperate to claw their way out of a relegation zone they’ve been sat in for the majority of the season.
The current international break has given every side involved the opportunity to take a breath before we get going again over Easter weekend.
Let’s have a look at the state of play with the bottom eight..
Where are they? 17th. Forest appeared to be peeling clear of the relegation scrap under Chris Hughton but have a little work to do before they start planning their summer staycations. A couple of wins should see them right.
They’re on 42 points, seven clear of Rotherham in third-bottom. As it stands their goal difference of minus-eight effectively gives them an extra point over the rest.
How’s their form? Therein lies the niggling issue. Forest are six without a win and have edged closer to the drop zone.
Remaining fixtures? Cardiff (a), QPR (h), Bristol City (a), HUDDERSFIELD (h), Birmingham (a), Stoke (h), WEDNESDAY (A), Preston (h)
Relegation odds? 25/1
Where are they? 18th. Not long ago it looked as if they were sleepwalking headfirst into the scrap, but a rally in the past four games has put them in a similar position to Forest. They signed former Everton striker Oumar Niasse on Friday in an attempt to bolster their goal threat.
How’s their form? The best of the bunch. Four unbeaten, including a draw against Wednesday that may well prove to be one of their more important results of the season. The international break may well have come at a bad time, though.
Remaining fixtures? Brentford (h), Norwich (a), ROTHERHAM (h), Bournemouth (h), FOREST (a), Barnsley (h), Blackburn (a), COVENTRY (h), Reading (a)
Relegation odds? 10/1
Where are they? 19th. Wayne Rooney’s Derby County – to give them their full title – are on 40 points having threatened to pull clear after the former England captain was appointed on a full-time basis. But since a strong January and February, they’ve dropped like a stone.
They host Wednesday on the last day. If they can’t pull themselves together, you never know.
How’s their form? Awful. Winless in seven, they’ve picked up just three points from a possible 21.
Remaining fixtures? Luton (h), Reading (a), Norwich (h), Blackburn (a), Preston (a), Birmingham (h), Swansea (a), WEDNESDAY (h)
Relegation odds? 5/1
Where are they? 20th. It’s more or less where they’ve been for the majority of the season. Four points clear of Rotherham ‘loads of games in hand’ United, they’ve been treading water for a while but have spent little time in the bottom three.
How’s their form? Erm, OK? Two wins in 12, but they tend to draw a fair bit. Coventry aren’t full of quality and don’t tend to concede many. A goalless draw with all-but-down Wyombe last time out will have stung a bit.
Remaining fixtures? QPR (a), Bristol City (h), Bournemouth (a), ROTHERHAM (a), Barnsley (h), Stoke (a), Preston (h), HUDDERSFIELD (a), Millwall (h)
Relegation odds? 5/1
Where are they? 21st. The ones to chase as it stands. After a reasonable start under Aitor Karanka they’ve become a central figure in the relegation conversation. Lee Bowyer is in the hotseat with a job still very much to do at St Andrews.
How’s their form? Hard to say. Bowyer got a surprise win over high-flying Reading in his first match, but the Blues reverted to type with a 3-0 defeat to Watford last time out.
Remaining fixtures? Swansea (h), Brentford (a), Stoke (h), ROTHERHAM (a), FOREST (h), DERBY (a), Cardiff (h), Blackburn (a)
Relegation odds? 11/10
Where are they? 22nd. It’s been an impressive scrap from Rotherham, who with four games in hand on some of their rivals more or less have it in their own hands. The weight of games left, though, could take their toll. They’re three back on Birmingham above them.
How’s their form? Winless in five heading into derby day at Hillsborough earlier this month, Freddie Ladapo’s injury-time winner reignited something in Rotherham. They had the second of their Covid-enforced breaks and have since lost to Watford and beaten Bristol City.
Remaining fixtures? Millwall (a), WYCOMBE (h), HUDDERSFIELD (a) QPR (h), COVENTRY (h), BIRMINGHAM (h), Middlesbrough (h), Barnsley (a), Brentford (a), Blackburn (h), Luton (a), Cardiff (a)
Relegation odds? 5/2
Where are they? 23rd, six back on Birmingham. Wednesday have only been out of the bottom three for one week. But it’ll be only the final week that matters.
How’s their form? Unbeaten in two. A draw with Huddersfield felt like a loss, especially after seven defeats on the spin, but a shock win over Barnsley has breathed a little life into their effort.
New boss Darren Moore has had two weeks to work with his players and it is hoped that work can be done to plot a great escape.
Remaining fixtures? Watford (a), Cardiff (h), QPR (a), Swansea (h), Bristol City (h), Blackburn (h), Middlesbrough (a), FOREST (h), DERBY (a)
Relegation odds? 1/8
Where are they? Rock bottom. It’s a fairytale story for Wycombe and on 27 points, 11 back on the safety places, it looks like it’s coming to an end.
How’s their form? A win and a draw in their last seven.
Remaining fixtures? Blackburn (h), ROTHERHAM (a), Luton (h), Swansea (a), Bristol City (h), Cardiff (a), Bournemouth (h), Middlesbrough (a)
Relegation odds? The bookies have stopped taking bets.