CHARLTON, 22nd, 39 points Imagine if either Cauley Woodrow or Conor Chaplin had declared themselves unavailable to play the remaining nine games as they were worried that the cramped schedule would cause them an injury that could scupper a potentially huge transfer move post- season. That is the situation that Charlton are in with Lyle Taylor, who has 11 goals in 17 starts including in both games against Barnsley, but has decided not to complete the season as well as Chris Solly and David Davis. Charlton’s problems off the pitch appear to have eased for now as local businessman Paul Elliott bought the club last week and became the third owner in 2020. Lee Bowyer’s team were five points clear of the drop zone two weeks before lockdown but lost their last three matches and dropped into the bottom three for the first time this season in their most recent fixture. Their first game after the restart, at Hull, could be crucial as victory would see the London club jump ahead of the Tigers and out of the bottom three. Remaining games: Hull, A; QPR H; Cardiff A; Millwall H; Brentford A; Reading H; Birmingham A; Wigan H; Leeds A.
HULL, 21st, 41 points The Tigers look set to lose several key players at the end of this month. Barnsley have decided not to let them keep Mallik Wilks past the end of his loan on June 30, while Eric Lichaj, Jackson Irvine, Stephen Kingsley and Marcus Maddison will leave at the same time, meaning they will all miss the last seven games. Hull may well have been grateful for the break as they were on an incredibly bad run. City – managed by former Red Grant McCann – had drawn two and lost ten of their last 12 matches which took them from eighth on New Year’s Day, just a point off the play-off places and 16 clear of the bottom three, to 21st and just two points above the relegation zone. They have collapsed since they sold star wingers Jarrod Bowen – without whom they have not won in the league since 2018 – and Kamil Grosicki in January. Hull’s first two home games against Charlton and Boro seem crucial, followed by a tough run against promotion-chasers then meetings with Wigan and Luton in five days in mid-July. Hull’s remaining games: Charlton H; Birmingham A; Middlesbrough H; West Brom A; Bristol City A; Millwall H; Wigan A; Luton H; Cardiff A.
WIGAN, 20th, 41 pointsOf all sides, the break came at a bad time for the Latics who are unbeaten in 2020 in the league having finished 2019 bottom and winless in 13.Fulham are the only side in the Championship to have collected more points this year than the 21 picked up by Wigan who are unbeaten in six and had not conceded in four before the season was suspended. They are the second lowest-scorers in the division but former Reds striker Kieffer Moore is now their top-scorer with six after failing to net in his first 12 games. Paul Cook’s side are due to play more games against teams in the bottom seven than any of the other relegation-battlers as they visit Huddersfield, Barnsley and Charlton while hosting Stoke and Hull. Remaining games: Huddersfield A; Blackburn H; Stoke H; Brentford A; QPR H; Barnsley A; Hull H; Charlton A; Fulham H.
MIDDLESBRO’, 19th, 41Boro are the lowest scorers in the division while Barnsley are the only team who have won fewer games than their tally of nine victories from 37 matches.Jonathan Woodgate’s side were on a dismal run of 12 games without a win, including a February loss at Oakwell, which saw them drop into the relegation zone. But they won at fellow strugglers Charlton in the last match before lockdown to send their hosts into the bottom three instead. Three of their first five games after the restart are away from home, with potentially huge visits to Stoke and Hull. Remaining games: Swansea H; Stoke A; Hull A; QPR H; Millwall A; Bristol H; Reading A; Cardiff H; Sheffield Wednesday A.
HUDDERSFIELD, 18th, 42The Terriers have been slowly pulling clear of danger after a disastrous total of two points from their first nine games.Their tally of 40 points from 28 under the Cowley brothers since the start of October is the eighth best in the division. The West Yorkshire club owe former owner Dean Hoyle £35million while their current chairman Paul Hodgkinson has warned that up to 60 of the 71 EFL clubs could go bust due to the coronavirus crisis. Town’s finances will not be helped by a second successive relegation which is still a possibility, especially if they lose a crucial first game back today at home to fellow strugglers Wigan. Remaining games: Wigan H; Notts Forest A; Birmingham A; Preston H; Reading A; Luton H; Wednesday A; West Brom H; Millwall A.
STOKE CITY, 17th, 42 pointsThe Potters’ preparations were thrown into chaos on Monday of last week when their manager Michael O’Neill tested positive for Covid-19.Their planned friendly against Manchester United was cancelled, before the Stoke players knew the reason, then O’Neill has had to stay away from training. Stoke have, in theory, the easiest start to the final section of the season as – after visiting 14th-placed Reading – they are due to take on fellow strugglers Middlesbrough, Wigan Athletic and then Barnsley who visit the Bet365 Stadium on July 4. Although their season ends with games against promotion hopefuls, the Potters will hope that – by then – they are well clear of trouble if they can continue the progress which has seen them pick up the eighth most points in the league after O’Neill was appointed in November. Remaining games: Reading A; Middlesbrough H; Wigan A; Barnsley H; Leeds A; Birmingham H; Bristol City A; Brentford H; Nottingham Forest A.