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Fulham promotion battle goes into added time

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Image captionImage 1: Floyd Ayite of Fulham Football Club, who finished sixth in the Championship, and are potentially three games from going up. PICTURE: ACTION IMAGES

Fulham will attempt to cap a successful season with promotion back to the Premier League, when they go in to battle in the Championship play-offs this Saturday.

The Whites, who finished sixth in the Championship, are potentially three games from going up: with tough tests ahead at home, away, and possibly at Wembley.

Slavisa Jokanovic's side start their play-off campaign with a home game at Craven Cottage against third-placed Reading, at 5.30pm on Saturday.

The return leg of that fixture, down the M4 at the Madejski Stadium, is scheduled for 7.45pm on Tuesday 16 May.

There is likely to be some confidence going into the tie, with Fulham having thrashed their opponents 5-0 at The Cottage earlier in the season, though they lost the away game 1-0.

The winners on aggregate will then go through to the Wembley final, at 3pm on Bank Holiday Monday, 29 May – often referred to as the richest game in football, owing to the cash boost which comes with promotion to the top flight.

If they reach that stage, they will face the winners out of fourth placed Sheffield Wednesday, and fifth placed Huddersfield Town.

The Whites' record over both sides this season has been good, and they have not lost to either: the 5-0 home win over Hudderfield back in October being another of the season's highlights.

Jokanovic cancelled the club's traditional end of season lap of appreciation, at The Cottage, insisting his side had unfinished business, and wanted to save such formalities for when there was something worth celebrating.

He said: “We are in good form and we play with confidence.

“There is no need for us to do too many different things. I have never played the play-offs, it is my first experience of this competition.”

Fulham have spent three seasons in the Championship, since being relegated from the Premier League in 2014.