Bournemouth secured the second automatic Championship promotion spot on Tuesday as Kieffer Moore’s late strike helped them beat Nottingham Forest 1-0 (Forest – 13/8 to win promotion).
Moore’s 83rd-minute strike proved the difference at the Vitality Stadium as the Cherries return to the top-flight at the second time of asking.
Scott Parker’s side went into the match knowing they could seal second spot with a win, while a victory for Forest would have seen them leap above the Cherries on goal difference.
They will now fight it out in the play-offs, while Bournemouth and title winners Fulham can dream of mixing it with the big boys.
Fulham’s first task will be to plug the holes that will soon become apparent within their starting XI.
While they will keep record-breaker Aleksandar Mitrovic, after he netted 43 goals this season, they look set to lose Fabio Carvalho to Liverpool, while Neco Williams is due to return to the Reds after a loan spell.
Fulham have been known to play at a slow tempo this season and they will need to spend wisely if they are to avoid the drop once again.
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Bournemouth’s plans under Scott Parker seem to be built around youth. Lewis Cook, Dominic Solanke, David Brooks, Ryan Christie and Philip Billing are all young, hungry players, while the Cherries could sign loanee Nathaniel Phillips from Liverpool.
The gulf in class between the two divisions has been proven time and time again and they will need to recruit well to have a decent chance of avoiding the drop.
Forest and Huddersfield Town (4/1 – to win promotion) have already confirmed their places in the top six, but the two remaining play-off spots could go to any of four teams on the final day.
Sheffield United and Luton Town currently hold the final two spots in the play-offs, but Middlesbrough and Millwall are chasing them down.
The Lions are three points behind sixth-placed Luton and they will need the Hatters to lose and hope they can beat Bournemouth.
Middlesbrough (15/8 – to finish in the top six) are two points off the top six, and they travel to Preston North End, while Luton will hope to recover from their 7-0 drubbing by the Cottagers when they face Reading.
Sheffield United host champions Fulham and, as per usual in the Championship, it promises to be a dramatic final day.
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