Champions & Relegation Watch – Premier League – Version 4

Note: This is the final piece looking at the title/relegation races across English football. Click on the links to see the Championship, League One, and League Two.

The Premier League joins the Championship on an international break this week, and will resume action on 30 March. But in the meantime, we wanted to take a look at the standings… that haven’t changed much all season.

As a reminder, the top four clubs in the Premier League qualify for the Group Stage of Champions League, while the fifth place team does the same in Europa League. These competitions are great for worldwide exposure – not to mention the prize money – but it’s also for bragging rights across Europe. No English club has won the Champions League since Chelsea did so back in 2012, though we are only two seasons removed from Manchester City claiming the last English Europa League title.

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Alliance of American Football – Week 6 Leaders

AAF Stat Leaders

The Eastern Conference remains the Orlando Apollos’ conference to lose, though they only lead by one game after their first loss of the season (to the Arizona Hotshots) and the Birmingham Iron’s win against the San Diego Fleet. Nevertheless, a win for the Apollos (or a loss by the Memphis Express) this weekend would clinch a playoff berth for Steve Spurrier’s club.

The Western Conference still remains muddled, though the San Antonio Commanders return home for the first time in a month in sole possession of first place. They’ll play a Salt Lake Stallions team nursing long-shot playoff odds, while the other two conference teams will be fighting it out for second place.

Overall, the league remains a passing league, with last week’s offensive yardage split of 72% passing and 28% rushing. For the season, the split is about 65%/35%, so expect it to remain a passing league for the rest of the season, with a breakout rushing game every once in a while.

Let’s take a look at the individual categories:

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Promotion & Relegation Watch – Championship – Version 5

Championship Promotion & Relegation Watch

Note: It’s the homestretch across the English Football League, with most teams have 10 or fewer games remaining. Throughout the week, and through the rest of the season, we’ll be taking a look at the top four tiers of English football. Up next is the Championship, tier two in the EFL.

The Championship joins the Premier League on an international break this week, with league action resuming on 29 March with a match between West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City. With all Championship clubs eliminated from the FA Cup – it was a good fight Swansea City and Millwall – we should have full weekend slates from here on out, with midweek matches to help the clubs with fewer than 38 matches played currently to catch up.

The regular season concludes on 5 May, and it could be a day full of action that matters, especially if it comes down to goal differential to clinch a playoff spot. As a reminder, the top two teams automatically qualify for promotion to next year’s Premier League, while the next four clubs compete for one spot in a two-round playoff. Last season, Wolverhampton Wanderers (currently 7th in the Premier League) won the Championship, Cardiff City (18th) finished second, and Fulham (19th) earned promotion through the playoff (after finishing third during the season).

Since the last time we looked at the Championship, there has been some big moves by some clubs outside of the top six. Five of the top six clubs from Boxing Day remain the same, though the order has been shuffled around a bit. We also have four new clubs in the top ten…though the bottom five is nearly the exact same.

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Promotion & Relegation Watch – League One – Version 5

Note: It’s the homestretch across the English Football League, with most teams have 10 or fewer games remaining. Throughout the week, and through the rest of the season, we’ll be taking a look at the top four tiers of English football. Up next is League One, tier three in the EFL. League Two can be found here.

While the top two leagues are on break this weekend, the lower tiers in the EFL aren’t as lucky. They’ll mostly be playing twice a week from here on out until the final day of the regular season on 4 May 2019. The bulk of the clubs have played 38 matches, though some have played fewer due to cup competitions or difficulties with water-logged pitches.

Similar to the Championship, the top two clubs in League One automatically qualify for promotion, with the next four clubs vying for promotion via a playoff. Last season, Wigan Athletic (currently 19th in the Championship) and Blackburn Rovers (17th) earned automatic promotion, while Rotherham United (22nd) defeated Shrewsbury Town for the third promotion spot.

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Promotion & Relegation Watch – League Two – Version 5

Note: It’s the homestretch across the English Football League, with most teams have 10 or fewer games remaining. Throughout the week, and through the rest of the season, we’ll be taking a look at the top four tiers of English football. Up first is League Two, tier four in the EFL.

While the top two leagues are on break this weekend, the lower tiers in the EFL aren’t as lucky. They’ll also be playing twice a week from here on out until the final day of the season on 4 May 2019. The bulk of the teams in League Two have played 38 matches on the season, though some have played fewer due to cup competitions or difficulties with water-logged pitches, for example. But they will all play 46 matches by the end of the season, so the clubs with a few extra matches to play might have an advantage.

As a reminder, in League Two, the top three teams are automatically promoted to League One, with the fourth- through seventh-place teams competing for promotion via a playoff. After the 2017-2018 season, Accrington Stanley (1st), Luton Town (2nd), Wycombe Wanderers (3rd) and Coventry City (playoff winner) earned promotion.

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Birmingham Iron v San Diego Fleet – Game Recap

After winning last week in a thrilling game on a last second field goal, the San Diego Fleet were hoping to remain undefeated in San Diego with a game against the struggling Birmingham Iron. The Iron had lost two games in a row, and while they were still in position to make the playoffs after the Atlanta Legends lost earlier in the day, a win against the Fleet would go a long way towards helping them potentially make the playoffs.

The Fleet had first place dreams of their own, and also needed a win to match what the San Antonio Commanders had done earlier in the game. Alas, it was not to be, as the Fleet lost 32-29 on the Iron’s last second field goal. It was a back and forth game (at least once the Fleet came back from a 12-point deficit in the third quarter), but they could not find a win. The Fleet fell to 3-3, while the Iron improved to 4-2.

Here’s how it went down:

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