There is so much to play for

Play-off dates

Almost everybody was sure Southampton wouldn’t slip against already relegated Coventry, albeit everybody at West Ham tried to believe that “stranger things had happened in football”. But not this time: S’oton came out firing on all cylinders on Saturday and was 2-0 in front before West Hame had scored their first goal against Hull. In the end the Saints won 4-0 and West Ham 2-1, and the automatic promotion spots went to Championship champions Reading and runners-up Southampton. West Ham will have to secure Premier League football via the play offs. If they make the final on May 19 (the day of the Champions League final too, btw) will be known by Monday week.

Semi-finals first leg

3 May: Cardiff v West Ham (1945 BST)

4 May: Blackpool v Birmingham (1945)

Semi-finals second leg

7 May: West Ham v Cardiff (1630)

9 May: Birmingham v Blackpool (1945)

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