Brentford are the 6/4 favourites to win the play-offs in bwin’s Championship promotion odds after Watford joined Norwich in securing an immediate return to the Premier League.
Watford’s 1-0 win against Millwall on Saturday thanks to Ismaila Sarr’s penalty was enough to secure a top-two finish and means Brentford must again try and clinch promotion through the play-offs.
They reached the final last season and will hope that experience stands them in good stead after the disappointment of a 2-1 extra-time defeat against Fulham at Wembley.
They should at least go into the play-offs with plenty of confidence after a 1-0 victory against Bournemouth on Saturday, which at least prolonged the automatic promotion race for a few more hours.
The Bees had captain Pontus Jansson sent off just five minutes into the second half but substitute Bryan Mbeumo came off the bench to bag the winner 13 minutes from time.
Bournemouth had been bidding for a club-record-equalling eighth straight league win but have now lost both meetings this season against Brentford, who they could meet in the play-offs.
The Cherries are 2/1 in the Championship promotion betting as they look to complete a clean sweep of promotions for last season’s relegated trio from the Premier League.
Boss Jonathan Woodgate said: “To win seven games in a row is a fantastic effort but it had to come to an end at some point.
“I can’t fault the players’ effort. Maybe we ran out of steam. I thought when they went down to 10 men we would win but they defended well.
“We had opportunities in the first half but the final ball and the decision-making was not good enough.
“I have said even when we have won games that we need to be better. We need to keep improving. We learn every game we play.”
Swans and Tykes seal top-six spots
Swansea and Barnsley also secured their places in the end-of-season shoot-out as a result of Swansea’s 2-2 draw at Reading, who can no longer squeeze into the top six.
Swansea lost to Brentford in last season’s play-offs and are the outsiders at 9/2 for promotion, having managed just two wins and two draws from their last nine matches.
Barnsley have been one of the form teams in the division in the second half of the season though and are 7/2 in the Championship promotion odds.
Their fine form since the start of February has included wins at Brentford and Bournemouth, although they lost 2-0 in both meetings with Swansea in December and January.
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