All the scenarios for the final day of the Championship season as Luton's play-off battle goes to the wire

A look at what every outcome would mean for the Hatters

By Mike Simmonds
Friday, 6th May 2022, 5:25 pm
Amari'i Bell slides in to try and win the ball back against Fulham
Amari'i Bell slides in to try and win the ball back against Fulham

Going into the final game of the Championship season, for the majority of teams there is very little to play for, but for four teams, Luton included, absolutely everything is on the line.

The top two positions are sewn up, Fulham winning the title when hammering Town on Monday, Bournemouth following the Cottagers to the Premier League after beating Nottingham Forest the next day.

Likewise at the bottom, it is done and dusted, Barnsley, Derby County and Peterborough all dropping down to League One, fourth bottom Reading knowing they are playing second tier football next season.

Two of the six play-off places are also filled, Huddersfield Town securing their spot and Forest also there now after their defeat at the Vitality Stadium ended any hopes of catching the Cherries.

Now here’s where it gets interesting though, with that quartet of sides mentioned previously, Sheffield United (72pts), Luton (72pts), Middlesbrough (70pts) and Millwall (69pts), chasing berths fifth and sixth.

The Hatters are at home to Reading, while the Blades host champions Fulham, the Lions heading to runners-up Bournemouth and Boro on the road at mid-table Preston North End.

Luton chief Nathan Jones was quick to play down his side having the best fixture, and with that in mind, the Luton News has had a look at just what each permutation would mean for the Hatters.

Luton win

Should the Hatters beat Reading by whatever scoreline at Kenilworth Road, then a play-off place is secured no matter what happens elsewhere.

Other teams could triumph by as much as they want, Town would be in the top six.

All that would need to be decided would be just where Jones’ men end up as if Sheffield United are also victorious at home to Fulham, then the Blades will be fifth and Luton sixth.

If United draw or lose, Town will move up a place to fifth, although who they would face in the play-offs isn’t known yet with Huddersfield and Forest level on 79 points ahead of kick-off.

Luton draw

If Luton draw then it is not all lost.

Ending all square with the Royals would put them on to 73 points and immediately knock Millwall out of the reckoning.

However, for this to be enough, they would a couple of other outcomes to go their way.

If Sheffield United lose, then Luton are in the play-offs, the point enough for Town to overtake their Bramall Lane rivals.

They would finish fifth if Middlesbrough don’t triumph at Deepdale and sixth if Boro did emerge victorious.

However, if Sheffield United draw, or win for that matter, such is their goal difference, then Luton would need Boro to fail to claim all three points, as with a five goal advantage, should Chris Wilder’s side triumph, they would end up overtaking the Hatters consigning Town to a seventh place finish.

Luton defeat

Although the outcome no-one wants, it might still be enough, although it will take a lot of things to go Luton’s way for this to happen.

With the Blades having a plus seven goal advantage, then unless Fulham can replicate their 7-0 success earlier in the week, and some, it would count leapfrogging them out.

However, if Boro and Millwall both fail to win their matches, Luton would have done enough.

Should both sides win though, then again with goal difference as it is, they would climb above the Hatters, who would end up dropping down to finish in eighth place.

Whatever happens, it has been a marvellous season at Kenilworth Road, but with the play-offs within touching distance, Town will be desperate to get the job done and extend their campaign by another two, and hopefully three games.