The Last Day Magnificent Seven as Welsh Players Chase Promotion To The Premier League

Leeds United's Ethan Ampadu looks dejected after the final whistle in the Sky Bet Championship match at the MATRADE Loftus Road Stadium, London. Picture date: Friday April 26, 2024. (Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)

The Last Day Magnificent Seven as Welsh Players Chase Promotion To The Premier League


By Graham Thomas

Seven Welsh players have the opportunity to head towards the Premier League on Saturday – although not all of them will make it.

The Championship promotion odds are certainly stacked against the Leeds United quartet of Ethan Ampadu, Dan James, Joe Rodon and Connor Roberts.

Leeds must beat Southampton at home and then hope Ipswich Town somehow fail to overcome already relegated Huddersfield if the foursome are to do something awesome.

If Leeds slip up, or Ipswich get just a point, then it will be the Tractor Boys who will secure the second automatic promotion place behind champions Leicester City.

That will mean Premier League status for Ipswich’s Welsh trio of Nathan Broadhead, Wes Burns and striker Kieffer Moore, who is currently on loan from Bournemouth.

DragonBet reckon it will be Leeds who are left having to navigate their way through the play-offs.

They make Leeds 8/15 favourites to beat Saints, but also have Ipswich at a firmer 2/9 to beat Huddersfield. The draw – which would still see Ipswich promoted – is 21/4, while the only result that keeps the Tractor trio out of the top two, a Huddersfield win, is a 10/1 longshot.

With those odds in mind, it is hardly surprising that Ipswich are 1/40 to win promotion, with Leeds – likely to be in the play-offs – at 11/10.

It has been a strange season for Leeds. They started poorly, with just two wins in their first seven matches, but then surged ahead with a run of just two losses in 19 games.

They were really strong through January, February and March but seemed to hit the wall in April with another two wins from seven sequence.
The low point was last weekend – a 4-0 hammering at QPR, which was their biggest defeat of the season.

If anyone is going to shove Leeds unexpectedly over the line, it is likely to be the influence of Ampadu. Used primarily as a defender at Elland Road, the Wales midfielder was voted Leeds’ player of the season and he also made the Championship team of the season.

But Wales striker Broadhead has perhaps been just as influential at Ipswich. With 13 league goals, he is the club’s joint top scorer, alongside Conor Chaplin.

Moore has also chipped in with seven goals in 14 starts since his loan switch from Bournemouth.

Broadhead is rarely a starter for Wales, but Ipswich’s highly regarded young manager Kieran McKenna is a big fan of the north Walian and the feeling is mutual.

The former Everton striker says of McKenna, “He’s probably the best manager I’ve worked with.
“I worked with many managers at Everton, and he’s right up there, if not the best.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s brought out the best in me and I’m learning every day in different positions, so hopefully I can carry on.”

Southampton – and their Welsh loan striker from Bournemouth, David Brooks – will have to make do with the play-offs, while Swansea City fans will be taking an interest in the fate of their former head coach and current Saints boss, Russell Martin.

He came a cropper at Cardiff City recently, where his Saints team were beaten 2-1 by the Bluebirds, a defeat that has spiraled into a three-game losing streak at just the wrong time.

DragonBet make Southampton 17/10 to gain promotion through the play-offs, with Norwich and West Brom both at 11/2. The outsiders are Hull City, currently in seventh, who need the last day’s results to fall in their favour to make the play-offs. They are 50/1.

As for Cardiff, they will end their campaign away at Rotherham, another club long ago condemned to League One next season.

DragonBet make Cardiff 11/10 favourites to end the season with a flourish by winning, with Rotherham at 12/5 for a farewell victory and the draw priced at 23/10.

Swansea City’s season ends with a home clash against Millwall. Pride and mid-table ranking is at stake but nothing more.

The Swans are 21/20 favourites, with Millwall at 5/2 and the draw priced 12/5.

The only other issue to be settled on the final day of the Championship is at the bottom and the question of who joins Huddersfield and Rotherham in dropping out.

Birmingham City are favourites to join them at 2/5, but Plymouth, Blackburn and Sheffield Wednesday are all still in danger.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.