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EFL Championship play-offs: Will Nottingham Forest reach Premier League for the first time in 21st century?

Four teams will battle it out for one last spot in next season’s Premier League as we enter the most exciting stage of the 2021/22 EFL Championship campaign. 

The road to the richest football event begins on Friday as Kenilworth Road plays host to the first semi-final clash between Luton Town and Huddersfield Town. 

Luton, who have made it to the Championship play-offs against all odds, have been handed home advantage for the first leg of their first-ever chance to secure Premier League football. 

Last season’s Premier League basement boys Sheffield United will fancy their chances of a swift return to England’s top-flight against high-flying Nottingham Forest in the other semi-final.

Sheffield will enjoy home comforts in the first leg, hoping to successfully negotiate their way into the Premier League via play-offs after eight failed attempts on the bounce. 

All four semi-final legs will be available to watch live online via Championship live streaming sites.

Luton Town vs Huddersfield Town 

Despite Luton’s combined squad value bettering just three sides in this season’s Championship, EFL Championship ‘Manager of the Season‘ Nathan Jones has guided his team to the play-offs.

Jones’ men could write their names into club folklore if they can gain promotion to England’s top division, where they last featured in the 1991/92 season.

However, Huddersfield proved a formidable opponent for the Hatters during the regular season. 

Luton had not only gone winless in both seasonal meetings with the Terriers (D1, L1), but they failed to trouble the scoring board on each occasion. 

In stark contrast, Jones’ men have found the net in their last ten home league matches, suggesting Luton’s H2H drought could end on Friday.

The Huddersfield faithful keen to see the Terriers become the first visiting side at Kenilworth Road to shut the Hatters out since January can watch the game online via soccer streaming sites

Carlos Corberan’s side last graced Premier League football in 2017/18 and they will have to keep their rich vein of form going to make the John Smith’s Stadium crowd proud again.

Huddersfield head into proceedings having won six of their last seven Championship fixtures (D1).

Sheffield United vs Nottingham Forest 

Bramall Lane does not have fond memories of Sheffield’s previous attempts to earn promotion via play-offs, with eight defeats from eight striking fears into the Blades’ fanbase. 

Desperate to buck that trend, Paul Heckingbottom’s men will aim to build on a morale-boosting 4-0 triumph over Championship winners Fulham on the last weekend of the regular season. 

With five clean sheets across their six home league outings, Sheffield will feel confident about breaking their ‘play-off hoodoo’ at the expense of former greats Nottingham. 

While the home side’s last taste of Premier League action came as recently as 2020/21, the two-time European Cup winners are bidding to return to the top flight for the first time since 1998/99.

The last time the Tricky Trees had an opportunity to battle their way back into the Premier League, they collapsed at this stage back in 2010/11. 

Steve Cooper’s side, who completed the regular season on the back foot (D1, L1), will be keen to go one better than in their most recent play-off appearance. 

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