Coventry and Sunderland completed the lineup of teams to qualify for the end-of-season playoffs in England’s second-tier Championship on Monday, giving them a shot at reaching the lucrative Premier League.
Luton and Middlesbrough were already guaranteed playoff places before the final round of games in the regular season. Burnley, as champion, and Sheffield United will go up automatically.
Sunderland climbed from seventh to sixth place with a 3-0 win at Preston, taking its place in the playoff spots at the expense of Millwall, which was beaten by Blackburn 4-3.
Coventry drew at Middlesbrough 1-1 and stayed in fifth place. They will meet again in the two-leg playoff semifinals, with third-placed Luton facing Sunderland.
It marks a remarkable rise for Coventry, which was last in the Premier League in 2001 and has since been mired in financial troubles and strife with the club ownership that led to the team from central England briefly playing in the fourth tier.
Sunderland was relegated from the Premier League in 2017 and has spent time in the third-tier League One, during which time the club was the subject of a Netflix documentary called “Sunderland ‘Til I Die.”
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