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Birmingham and Sunderland go up

After Derby County's 2 nil loss to Crystal Palace on Sunday, Birmingham and Sunderland were both promoted to the premiership because now Derby can only finish on 84 points should they win their last match against Leeds on Sunday.

Birmingham and Sunderland should be congratulated for having such strong finishes to the season after both had sluggish starts and at one time it looked like the Birmingham manager Steve Bruce's job was on the line but all credit to the directors at St Andrews who stated that his job was safe for the whole season.

Sunderland also had an indifferent start to the championship especially when Niall Quinn was briefly in charge and could not find a away of winning a football game but then they brought in Roy Keane as manager who has now steered the team back to the premiership.

What this means is that of the three relegated sides last season West Bromwich Albion is the odd one out but it currently lies in the play-off places and a win against Barnsley at the Hawthorns will secure a playoff place. This is a far cry for a team that once graced the top of the league at one point this season but the playoffs are still not that bad because they give an alternate route to promotion.

Talking about playoffs, Derby have secured the third place and will play the second leg at home against whoever finishes sixth and it can be any one of six teams at the moment - West Brom, Wolverhampton, Southampton, Stoke, Preston and Colchester.

I think there will be a lot of attention on the team that Derby plays - Leeds United. Leeds are on the verge of dropping into League 1 at the moment and mathematically they can stay up but its not looking good at all. This is a team that not so long ago played in the Champions League semi-final but I am sure they will come back.

So congratulations to both Birmingham and Sunderland and I will now waiting to see who take over the remaining three playoff places come Sunday.

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