Football League Preview: Boro meet Watford

As the Championship promotion race heads towards a thrilling finale, leaders Middlesbrough visit fourth-placed Watford in Monday's early kick-off.

Just two points separate the top four sides in the second tier, meaning Watford  - who were top as few as two games ago - could temporarily climb back to the summit should they claim all three points at Vicarage Road.

Sandwiched between those two sides are Bournemouth and Norwich City, who host Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.

Behind the leading quartet are four clubs separated by just one point, all competing for the remaining two play-off spots.

Brentford and Derby County are currently filling the last two berths, the former welcoming Nottingham Forest while Steve McClaren's Derby are desperate to end a seven-match winless run when they go to second-bottom Wigan Athletic.

Just outside the top six are Ipswich Town and Wolves, who take on Huddersfield Town and Leeds United respectively.

At the bottom, Blackpool's relegation will be confirmed if they lose to Reading, or if Rotherham United defeat Brighton and Hove Albion.

Bristol City look destined to replace Blackpool and they can move a step closer to the League One title when they host local rivals Swindon Town.

Preston North End and Milton Keynes Dons are the other sides in the hunt for automatic promotion, and they face Bradford City and Scunthorpe United.

At the wrong end of the division, just four points separate Port Vale in 15th and Crawley Town in 22nd. 

Notts County, who occupy the final relegation spot, face a huge game as Coventry City - just two points above them - visit Meadow Lane.

Cheltenham Town sit at the foot of the Football League and new manager Gary Johnson is set for his first home match in charge against Stevenage.

Johnson's men are two points behind Tranmere Rovers, who host out-of-form Luton Town, and three adrift of Hartlepool United, who welcome Southend United after having a four-game winning run snapped at Newport County on Friday. 

Carlisle United can still be reeled in but will hope to add daylight between them and the three teams below them at Accrington Stanley. 

Top-of-the-table Burton Albion host third-place Wycombe Wanderers, who have lost just once on their travels in the league this term, while second-placed Shrewsbury Town visit Mansfield Town as they aim to move closer to automatic promotion.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1