The Championship is stepping up its plans to finish the 2019-20 season despite growing calls for the league to be cancelled due to the coronavirus. However, clubs have recently gone back to training for the first time in two months, and plans are now in place for the league to resume at some point in June.
With Cardiff City and Swansea City both locked in places just outside the playoff places, there will be a sense of relief that their hard work this season may not go to waste. But, what are both sides’ chances of achieving a place in the top six of the Championship when the competition resumes?
Cardiff City’s Playoff Hopes
Cardiff City will be hoping that they can achieve a finish in the top six this season, as they are currently trailing the side in the final playoff berth by two points. They have been steadily going about their business throughout the season, and they have been a tough nut to crack since the arrival of Neil Harris in November. They have lost just three times in this calendar year, with those defeats coming against Queens Park Rangers, Stoke City and Nottingham Forest.
However, draws have been their biggest issue throughout this period, as they have drawn on five occasions. A late burst into the playoff spots looks incredibly likely at this point, but that will ultimately be decided in their upcoming fixtures against Preston North End, Fulham and Bristol City. There will also be important home games in the run-in against Blackburn Rovers, Derby County and Hull City.
Anything other than three points in these fixtures would see Cardiff’s playoff hopes looking dead in the water. There will be greater concern for Cardiff fans after reading their away record this season as they have won just five times on the road, and have suffered seven defeats. Harris will need to address this issue when the season returns. Otherwise, it will be another season in the Championship for the Bluebirds.
Swansea City’s Playoff Hopes
Swansea City finds themselves in eleventh place in the Championship, but they are only three points behind Preston in sixth. Their playoff hopes are still very much alive, but how they restart the season will be pivotal to their chances for the remainder of the campaign.
They will have a favourable run of fixtures to resume the Championship season as they will face off against Middlesbrough and Millwall away from home and play Luton Town at the Liberty.
Like Cardiff, Swansea have also been a difficult team to beat since the turn of the year, as they have only lost on three occasions. Two of these defeats have come away from home, as they were beaten by Stoke City and Fulham. Draws have also been an issue for Swansea, as they have picked up six draws in 2020 so far. The Swans have also only won on three occasions this calendar year, and had only won once in their previous six before the suspension.
Swansea remain in the chase for a playoff spot but restarting the season strongly will be crucial to their chances. They have a favourable run-in, as they only play against four teams in the top half of the table.
Crucially, two of those games come on the road, where Swansea have been difficult to beat all season as they have lost just four of their 18 games away from the Liberty this campaign. Away form will be crucial to their chances, but Swans fans will feel as though they have a realistic chance. If you fancy your chances to guess the promotion contenders in the Championship this season, check out BetAmerica.com soccer betting odds.
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