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Premier League and Football League: Ups & downs and European qualification

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Premier League and Football League: Ups & downs and European qualification

Post  silvers on 2017-05-01, 12:05 pm

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BBC Sport outlines the battles for promotion and relegation - and the race for European qualification - in England and Scotland.

RECENT PROMOTIONS, RELEGATIONS & TITLES

30 April - Bolton promoted to Championship
30 April - Port Vale relegated to League Two
29 April - Sunderland relegated to Championship
29 April Wigan relegated to League One
29 April - Braintree Town relegated from National League
29 April - York City relegated from National League
29 April - Maidenhead promoted to National League
24 April - Newcastle promoted to Premier League
22 April - Swindon relegated to League Two
22 April - Leyton Orient relegated to National League
22 April Lincoln promoted to League Two
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PREMIER LEAGUE

Every team in the top seven will play European football next season, because it contains both FA Cup finalists and EFL Cup winners Manchester United. No team in eighth place or below can dislodge the top seven any longer.
This means Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton will compete in European competition.
The top three teams will qualify for the group stage of next season's Champions League, with the fourth-placed team entering in the play-off round.
Chelsea are guaranteed to finish in the top two, and Tottenham are close to doing so. Realistically, that leaves two Champions League places between Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal, with Everton almost certain to miss out on the top four.

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Manchester United were the first team to book their place in Europe
Manchester United were already assured of at least a Europa League place after winning the EFL Cup. If they win the Europa League but finish outside the top four, they will enter next season's Champions League.
There are no longer any Fair Play places allocated to the Europa League.
The bottom three teams will be relegated to the Championship. Sunderland were relegated following their defeat at home to Bournemouth on 29 April,while north-east rivals Middlesbrough also face an uphill struggle to stay up.

CHAMPIONSHIP


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Brighton are into the Premier League for the first time in their history
Brighton and Hove Albion were promoted to the Premier League after they beat Wigan 2-1 on 17 April. Newcastle United clinched the second automatic place with a 4-1 win over Preston on 24 April. Brighton will clinch the title if they beat Aston Villa on the final day of the season, but Newcastle - who host Barnsley - will pip them to top spot if they better the Seagulls' result, because of their goal difference.
Reading, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield will contest the play-offs with either Fulham or Leeds - but Leeds can only dislodge Fulham if they win their final game and the Cottagers lose with an unlikely 13-goal swing in goal difference.
The bottom three teams will be relegated to League One. Rotherham United were the first English team to be relegated when they lost 1-0 to Fulham on 1 April. Wigan joined them via a 1-0 defeat by Reading on 29 April. The final spot is between Blackburn, Nottingham Forest and Birmingham City.

LEAGUE ONE


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The Blades have ended a six-year absence from the Championship
Sheffield United were promoted on 8 April as they won 2-1 at Northamptonand clinched the title a week later when second-placed Bolton lost 1-0 to Oldham. They will be joined in the Championship by Bolton Wanderers, who sealed promotion by beating Peterborough on the final day of the season.
Scunthorpe will meet Millwall in the play-offs, while Fleetwood take on Bradford.
Coventry City were relegated to the fourth tier of English football for the first time in 58 years after drawing with Charlton on 14 April, while Chesterfield's relegation was confirmed on 17 April after they lost 3-1 to Scunthorpe. Swindon Town were relegated on 22 April with a 2-1 home defeat by Scunthorpe. The final relegation place was filled by Port Vale after they failed to beat Fleetwood on the last day.

LEAGUE TWO


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Doncaster clinched an instant return to League One, a year after relegation
Leaders Doncaster Rovers clinched promotion to League One on 8 April as they beat Mansfield 1-0.Plymouth Argyle and Portsmouth secured promotion on 17 April as Argyle beat Newport County 6-1 while Pompey won 3-1 at Notts County. All three promoted teams have a chance of winning the title on the final day.
The next four teams will contest the play-offs. Luton and Exeter are assured of being part of them, but another seven teams are in contention for the final positions in the final round of games - Carlisle, Blackpool, Stevenage, Cambridge, Colchester, Wycombe and Mansfield.
The bottom two teams will be relegated to the National League. Bottom club Leyton Orient were relegated on 22 April after losing 3-1 to Crewe. They will be joined by Hartlepool, unless they win and Newport fail to win - which would send the Welsh club down instead.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Lincoln City were promoted to League Two as National League champions on 22 April after beating Macclesfield 2-1.
In the play-off semi-finals, Tranmere will face Aldershot, with Forest Green taking on Dagenham & Redbridge.
The bottom four teams are relegated. Southport went down on 14 April after losing 3-0 at Dover, while North Ferriby United were relegated on 17 April after a 3-1 defeat at Barrow. They were joined on the final day of the season by Braintree Town, who lost 2-0 at Aldershot, and York City who could only draw 2-2 with Forest Green as rivals Guiseley scored a last-minute equaliser against Solihull Moors.
The relegated clubs will be replaced by the champions and play-off winners of the National League North and South divisions. AFC Fylde clinched the North title on 22 April, while the South title was won by Maidenhead United a week later.

SCOTTISH PREMIERSHIP




Celtic share Scottish title joy with fans
Celtic clinched their sixth successive Scottish title on 2 April when they beat Hearts 5-0. They will enter next season's Champions League at the second qualifying round.
The second and third-placed sides qualify for the Europa League but because Celtic and Aberdeen will contest the Scottish Cup final and both have qualified for Europe via their league position, the fourth-placed team will also qualify for the Europa League.
Aberdeen clinched their Europa League place by beating St Johnstone 2-1on 15 April. Rangers will join them on Sunday if they avoid defeat or Hearts fail to win.
The Premiership split in half after the 33rd round of games, with the top six and the bottom six now playing the other teams in their 'half' for a fourth and final time.
The bottom side will be relegated to the Scottish Championship, while the 11th-placed side will face the winners of the Championship play-offs over two legs, with the losers condemned to a place in the second tier next season. Inverness Caledonian Thistle's position at the bottom is looking increasingly perilous, and they will be relegated on Saturday if they lose to Hamilton while both Dundee and Motherwell win.

SCOTTISH CHAMPIONSHIP


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Hibs clinched promotion with three games to spare
Hibernian were promoted to the Premiership as champions by beating Queen of the South 3-0 on 15 April. Falkirk, Dundee United and Morton will be the three teams involved in the play-offs.
The third-placed team (Dundee United or Falkirk) and fourth-placed team (Morton) will meet in the first round of the play-offs, with the winners playing the second-placed team (Falkirk or Dundee United). Whoever emerges victorious from that two-legged encounter will face the second bottom side in the Premiership - again on a home and away basis - with a spot in the top flight the prize.
The bottom club will be relegated to League One, while the ninth-placed team will enter a play-off with three League One sides. Ayr's goal difference means they will finish bottom unless they beat fellow strugglers Raith Rovers by five goals on the final day of the season. Raith need to win - and for St Mirren to lose - if they are to escape ninth place.

SCOTTISH LEAGUE ONE


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Scott Pittman and Jackson Longridge scored as Livingston wrapped up the League One title
Livingston were promoted to the Championship as League One champions on 8 April after beating Alloa 2-1.
Teams finishing second, third and fourth will enter a play-off with the ninth-placed Championship team. Alloa have guaranteed a play-off place, and will be joined by two from Airdrieonians, Brechin, East Fife or Queen's Park.
The bottom club - Peterhead or Stenhousemuir - will be relegated to League Two, while the ninth-placed team (overwhelmingly likely to be whichever of those two clubs is not relegated) will enter a play-off with three League Two sides.

SCOTTISH LEAGUE TWO

The champions - Forfar or Arbroath - will be promoted to League One, while teams finishing second, third and fourth will enter a play-off with the ninth-placed League One team.
Whoever does not win the title will enter the play-offs, where they will be joined by Annan, and either Montrose or Elgin.
The team finishing bottom will enter a play-off against either Highland League champions Buckie Thistle or Lowland League champions East Kilbride (who meet over two legs on 29 April and 6 May) for the final place in next season's League Two.[/size]
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