Championship play-off guide: Reading, Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield and Fulham hopes
By Lewis Jones
Last Updated: 13/05/17 10:33am
We examine the race for the Premier League as Reading, Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield and Fulham do battle in the Sky Bet Championship play-offs.
Nothing does excitement and heartbreak like the play-offs. The thrills and spills of the end-of-season shootout for a place in the Premier League kick-off this weekend and you can watch every minute of every game live on Sky Sports.
The play-off action starts with Fulham hosting Reading in the first leg on Saturday, May 13 (5.30pm KO), while Huddersfield entertain Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday, May 14 from midday.
The return legs follow in midweek, with Reading facing Fulham on Tuesday, May 16, before Sheffield Wednesday host Huddersfield on Wednesday, May 17.
Read on as we analyse each team's chances of play-off success...
Semi-final 1: Reading v Fulham
First leg: Fulham v Reading - Saturday, May 13 (live on Sky Sports 2 from 5.15pm)
Second leg: Reading v Fulham - Tuesday, May 16 (live on Sky Sports 1, 7.45pm)
Reading (5/1 to be promoted with Sky Bet)
Final position: 3rd (85 points)
View from the camp: Skipper Paul McShane: "It's a great achievement by everyone. Everyone has worked hard, week in week out. I think we deserve to be third. But now the season goes on for another three games. We've got to keep our focus for another three games and finish the job off now.
"We're third in the league so of course there's going to be a good feeling around. It's a credit to all the hard work we've put in, from the first day of pre-season until now. We've got to keep it going now for the next three weeks."
Key man: Yann Kermorgant - The Reading striker is seemingly getting better with age. He provides a crucial focal point in attack to build off and he's currently a man in form in front of goal, having netted nine times in his last nine appearances.
Tasty stat: Reading will be embarking upon their sixth venture into the EFL play-offs and fifth in the second tier. The Royals have failed to win promotion on all six occasions, most recently losing 2-4 vs Swansea in the 2010/11 final.
Fulham (2/1 to be promoted with Sky Bet)
Final position: 6th (80 points)
View from the camp: Head coach Slavisa Jokanovic: "Reading finished third in the regular part of the competition. The table says they are favourites but we are going to try and surprise them.
"It will be a tough two games for us and for them, too. We are confident, we believe we can play good football and win the games. With this mentality, anything is possible.
"It is going to be a very important 180 minutes for us. I expect we are going to be competitive and show ambition and desire."
Key man: Ryan Sessegnon - He is the 16-year-old everyone is talking about. Labelled as the "next Ashley Cole" by teammate Tom Cairney, Sessegnon is already one of the first names on the team sheet for Jokanovic and scored seven goals in 29 appearances this season from full-back. He was named in the PFA's Championship Team of the Season. The scouts will be watching.
Ryan Sessegnon in focus
He is the 16-year-old everyone is talking about, so how good is Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon?
Tasty stat: The team that finished sixth in the Championship has won promotion via the play-offs just once in the last 11 seasons - Blackpool in 2009/10.
Semi-final 2: Sheffield Wednesday v Huddersfield
First leg: Huddersfield v Sheffield Wednesday - Sunday, May 14 (live on Sky Sports 2 from 11.30am)
Second leg: Sheffield Wednesday v Huddersfield - Wednesday, May 17 (live on Sky Sports 1, 7.45pm)
Sheffield Wednesday (9/4 to be promoted with Sky Bet)
Final position: 4th (81 points)
View from the camp: Head coach Carlos Carvalhal: "Huddersfield are a good team, they have proved that over the season. They play good football, but so do all the teams in the play-offs. I think the play-offs are different this season and each team has a 25 per cent chance."
Key man: Keiren Westwood - The 32-year-old goalkeeper won the club's Player of the Year award having played an instrumental role in achieving a top-six finish for the second season running. He's been a near ever-present in a Wednesday side that have kept a club record 16 clean sheets this season.
Tasty stat: Wednesday have reached the final of both play-off campaigns they've played in (4-2 AET v Hartlepool in League One 2004/05, lost v Hull in Championship 2015/16 final).
Huddersfield (3/1 to be promoted with Sky Bet)
Final position: 5th (80 points)
View from the camp: Centre-back Christopher Schindler: "It is fantastic that we have got this far and, of course, I dream of what may be. However, we have got two hard legs to get through first before we can start to really dream.
"Everything starts at zero from now. We have a great chance to get to Wembley and then hopefully into the Premier League. It didn't really matter who we got, it wouldn't have mattered if we'd have got Fulham. I think Wednesday are a good team, they have some great players like Fernando Forestieri."
Key man: Aaron Mooy - A strong candidate for the loan signing of the season in the EFL, Mooy has been a revelation on his temporary deal from Manchester City, and looks a natural playing in English football having plied his trade for Melbourne City for two seasons. Cool in possession and tough in the tackle, if he can win the midfield battle then Town's chances of gaining promotion will improve greatly.
Tasty stat: Huddersfield lost both regular league meetings against the Owls this season without scoring a goal (2-0 away in January, 1-0 at home in October).
Watch all the Championship play-offs live on Sky Sports.