Championship: Who needs what to beat the drop, go up or make play-offs on final day?

Blackburn fans watch their side relegated in 2017
These Blackburn fans watched their side go down on the final day of 2016-17, despite winning - but their side has since secured a return to the Championship
Sky Bet Championship - final day of 2017-18 season
Date: Sunday, 6 May Kick-off: 12:30 BST
Coverage:Follow live text coverage on the BBC Sport website and app from 10:30 BST

The final countdown. Survival Sunday. Whatever you call it, the final day of the Championship's regular season has thrown up some fascinating permutations.

While Wolves have run away with the league title, the second promotion place remains a straight fight between Cardiff and Fulham, while Derby, Preston and Millwall are in contention for the last play-off berth.

But the least straightforward situation comes at the bottom of the table, where no fewer than five clubs are battling to avoid filling the two remaining relegation spots. To add spice to the occasion, four of the five contenders are playing teams needing points at the top.

When the music stops, which two clubs will join rock-bottom Sunderland in the bottom three? Here's how each team can go down - or stay up...

Championship table graphic

Bolton Wanderers (23rd, 40 points, goal difference -36)

Who are they playing? Despite being in the worst position of the five relegation contenders, Bolton are the only one whose opponents have nothing to play for - with mid-table Nottingham Forest the visitors to the Macron Stadium.

How can they go down? Lose and they are down. Realistically, even a draw relegates Bolton, as they would need Barnsley to lose by 15 or more goals to match Wanderers' goal difference.

Even if they win, the Trotters will be relegated if three of their four rivals finish above them. Realistically, they cannot catch Reading as a 14-goal swing is required, so if Barnsley and Burton both win - or if one of those two wins and Birmingham avoid losing (as Bolton can catch Birmingham with a four-goal swing), Bolton will make an immediate return to League One.

How can they stay up? It is very much "win or bust" for Phil Parkinson's side. Even then, they would need to overtake two of their rivals to retain their Championship status, so they would require Barnsley and Burton not to win.

Or, if only one of the Tykes or Brewers takes maximum points, Bolton would need Birmingham to lose - and for Parkinson's men to make up a four-goal swing in goal difference. So, for example, a 2-0 Bolton win and a 2-0 Birmingham defeat would suffice.

Burton Albion (22nd, 41 points, GD -42)

Who are they playing? The Brewers travel to seventh-placed Preston North End - who can sneak into the play-offs if they win and Derby lose.

How can they go down? Burton's goal difference is the worst in the division, and could be the factor which sends them down. Lose on Sunday and they will be relegated unless Barnsley suffer an implausible 22-goal defeat.

If the Brewers draw at Deepdale, they will be relegated if Bolton win or Barnsley avoid defeat. Because of that goal difference, even a win will not realistically be enough for Burton if Reading and Birmingham avoid defeat, and Barnsley win.

How can they stay up? Despite their goal difference, a win for Burton will keep them up if Barnsley fail to win, or if either Reading or Birmingham lose.

If the Brewers draw, they will be safe if Barnsley lose and Bolton fail to win.

Barnsley's Ike Ugbo in action against Burton
Level on points, Barnsley and Burton's fans will need to keep track of their rivals' matches on Sunday

Barnsley (21st, 41 points, GD -21)

Who are they playing? The Tykes head down the M1 to sixth-placed Derby County, who will realistically book their play-off place if they avoid defeat.

How can they go down? In contrast to Burton, Barnsley's goal difference is the best of the five relegation contenders, which works in their favour. If they win, only a Burton win in the realms of fantasy - by 22 or more goals - could threaten to send the Tykes down.

However, if the Yorkshire side lose, they will be relegated if Burton avoid defeat or Bolton win. A draw for Barnsley would send them down if either Burton or Bolton win.

How can they stay up? As explained above, a win by any margin realistically keeps Barnsley up. A draw is enough if Burton and Bolton both fail to win.

A defeat would leave the Tykes sweating on both of those other results - and they would require Burton to lose, and Bolton to not take maximum points. Only a Barnsley defeat by 15 or more goals would leave them vulnerable to a Bolton draw.

Birmingham City (20th, 43 points, GD -32)

Who are they playing? Birmingham host promotion-chasing Fulham at St Andrew's, with the London side needing to better Cardiff's result to finish second.

How can they go down? Blues will know that their goal difference could leave them vulnerable to at least one of the teams below them.

If Birmingham lose, they will go down if Barnsley and Burton both win - or if one of those sides is victorious and Bolton win while making up a four-goal swing in goal difference (for instance, if Birmingham lose 2-0 and Bolton win 2-0).

How can they stay up? A win will be enough to retain their Championship status. A draw is realistically good enough for Birmingham, as only a 10-goal Burton win could threaten them.

If Birmingham lose, they are still safe if Barnsley and Burton fail to win - or, if only one of those teams wins and Bolton fail to win with a four-goal swing in goal difference over Blues.

Reading (19th, 43 points, GD -22)

Who are they playing? Although they are the least likely team (on paper at least) to be relegated, Reading have the most difficult fixture compared to their rivals. They are away to Cardiff City, who will take the second automatic promotion place to the Premier League if they win, or match Fulham's result.

How can they go down? Boss Paul Clement apologised to Reading's supporters for the fact that they are still not safe from relegation as they enter their final game.

But realistically, their only danger of going down is if they lose and three other results go against them - if Barnsley and Burton both win, and Birmingham avoid defeat. Bolton can only threaten to overtake the Royals if they win with an implausible 14-goal swing in goal difference.

How can they stay up? It is relatively simple - avoid defeat at Cardiff. Even if Reading only draw, Burton can only catch them with a ludicrous 20-goal win.

If the Royals lose, they are safe if Birmingham also lose, or if Barnsley and Burton do not both win. This discounts the aforementioned implausible scenario that Reading lose and Bolton win while making up a 14-goal swing in goal difference.

Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon and Cardiff's Aron Gunnarsson
Fulham and Cardiff are battling for promotion - but may also have a say in the relegation picture as they play Birmingham and Reading respectively

And finally, at the top...

Thankfully, the permutations at the top are much easier to list.

Cardiff City will take the second promotion place if they win or match Fulham's result. Fulham need to better Cardiff's result.

Derby County's goal difference means they will realistically take the final play-off place if they avoid defeat. If the Rams lose, that lets in Preston North End if they win.

Millwall's very faint hopes rest on thrashing Aston Villa, while Derby lose badly enough for the Lions to make up at least a nine-goal swing - probably 10 in order to overtake them on goals scored - and Preston do not win.

Compiled by Mark Mitchener.