The dramatic end to the Championship will see Brentford, Fulham, Cardiff and Swansea battle it out to secure promotion.
On a truly hectic final day in the Championship Swansea City’s euphoric 4-1 win over Reading and Nottingham Forest’s shock 4-1 loss to Stoke allowed Swansea to overturn a five – goal swing.
Fulham are looking to bounce straight back to the Premier League following relegation, like play-off opponents Cardiff.
The Cottagers missed out on automatic promotion after being held to a 1-1 draw by Wigan and finished in fourth behind West London rivals Brentford.
Since the restart Scott Parker’s side lost consecutive matches to Brentford and Leeds whereas the Bluebirds are unbeaten in seven matches.
Fulham’s away form is impressive having lost only one of their last nine matches away from Craven Cottage.
In form Cardiff City beat Hull City 3-0 to book their place in the play offs.
Former Cardiff City centre – back Danny Gabbidon said: “They’ve got it right at the right time. It’s been a slow build –up through the season and they’ve got better and better, improved with every game.
“You have to give massive credit to the players and ever more so the manager, Neil Harris.”
When Neil Harris succeeded Neil Warnock in November 2019 the Bluebirds were 14th but could secure a return to the Premier League following an impressive run of results.
Since the Championship restart only title winners Leeds and Brentford have won more games than Cardiff.
Cardiff supporters will recall play – off misery over the years having lost five of their last six play-off matches.
Between 2010 and 2012 the Bluebirds suffered heartbreak, missing out on promotion to the top flight in three successive seasons.
The Bluebirds painfully lost 3-2 to Blackburn in the 2010 Championship play- off final and a year later were defeated in the semi- final against Reading.
During the Championship campaign goals have not been an issue for either team with Fulham scoring 64 and Cardiff 68.
Fulham’s key man Aleksander Mitrovic is the Championship’s top scorer with 26 goals.
In the last league match between these teams Mitrovic netted a first – half penalty which at the time dented Cardiff’s play off bid.
The Serbian was ranked the best player in the Football League by FourFourTwo magazine.
Speaking on Mitrovic’s vital goals for Fulham Parker said: “Obviously Mitrovic has scored a large part of the goals this year, and has been a focal point to what we’ve done and where we are.”
Fulham will be looking to repeat the play – off glory of 2018 when they defeated Aston Villa 1-0 at Wembley.
A return to the Premier League would be a fitting place for Craven Cottage with the exciting new riverside development taking place at this famous old stadium.
Fulham travel to Cardiff for the first leg of their Championship play off on Monday evening.
What do you think the score will be? Comment below!
Featured Image Credit – Dazn