Watford and Bournemouth has clinched two of the three promotion spots to the English Premier League next season. For Watford, this will be their first season in the EPL since 2007. For Bournemouth, this will be their first time in the top division in their entire 116 year history dating back to 1899. Bournemouth technically hasn’t clinched promotion but Bournemouth needs to lose and Middlesbrough needs to win and make up a 20 goal differential in order to get that promotion spot instead of Bournemouth.
Watford went through some trials and tribulations this season. They are on their fourth manager. They went through three managers in a span of five weeks and hired Slavisa Jokanovic to close out the season back in October.
Even after all of those changes, Watford managed to stay close to the top of the table all season. Watford was able to clinch promotion this past weekend after defeating Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0.
Watford is a point ahead of Bournemouth for the Championship title as they play Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
Bournemouth is going to be the ultimate underdog story in the Premier League. This upcoming season will be their first season in the top division and play in a stadium with a 12,000 seat capacity. Six years ago, Bournemouth almost relegated out of the entire English Football League. They started the 2008-09 season at -17 points due to being in administration and just barely escaped relegation out of the Football League finishing 21st out of 24 teams in the final League Two standings.
After that season, Bournemouth went on a meteoric rise and skyrocketed to their highest point within five years. They continued that rise today as Bournemouth beat Bolton 3-0 and did everything but make promotion official. This stunning goal from Mark Pugh gave Bournemouth the lead and they sailed to a 3-0 win. They play Charlton Athletic on Saturday for a shot at taking the Championship.
Fans stormed the field and the players celebrated in the locker room. Even the Club Chairman got in on the celebrations and they have to be the happiest people in the world tonight. They’re going to celebrate like there’s no tomorrow.
Now, that takes care of the top two spots. Who is going to get into the playoff for the third promotion spot. Middlesbrough and Norwich City have already clinched two of the four spots. That leaves four teams fighting for two spots and are separated by three points. Those four spots is as follows:
5) Ipswich Town – 78 points – +19 GD – at 9th place Blackburn Rovers
6) Derby County – 77 points – +32 GD – vs. 19th place Reading
7) Brentford – 75 points – +16 GD – vs. 23rd place Wigan Athletic
8) Wolverhampton Wanderers – 75 points – +12 GD – vs. 22nd place Millwall
The top two teams out of these four will have the opportunity to compete in the promotion playoff and receive over £130 million just by winning the playoff and promoting to the EPL. The losers get next to nothing so you are going to see some of the most entertaining games coming up as these teams try to get that final promotion spot.