This season's battle to reach the Premiership's promised land is proving to be one of the most exciting and competitive for years. With just two rounds of Championship games remaining, any one of eight teams could find themselves fighting it out in the play-off final come May 28th. Birmingham, Sunderland and Derby are battling it out for the automatic promotion places, so TEAMtalk examines the other candidates likely to fill the three remaining top-six places come the end of the season. West Brom Remaining fixtures: Coventry (a), Barnsley (h) Star Man: Jason Koumas - The Welsh winger is widely viewed as the best player outside the Premiership, highlighted by his inclusion in the PFA Championship team of the season. Run-in: The Baggies have been favourites for promotion all season, a tag which may well have contributed to the dismissal of Bryan Robson earlier in the campaign. But they have failed to deliver and the play-offs remain their only chance of promotion, although poor form of late seems to see them stuttering over the finish line. Predicted finish: 4th Preston Remaining fixtures: Plymouth (a), Birmingham (h) Star Man: David Nugent - The 21-year-old striker has enjoyed a hugely successful season having made a goalscoring debut for England and netting 15 league goals to date. Run-in: North End have flirted with automatic promotion all season but have always seemed destined for a place in the play-offs. Paul Simpson has had a great debut season at Deepdale after the departure of Billy Davies last season, but like so many other teams, promotion jitters may have hit at the wrong time. Predicted finish: 5th Wolves Remaining fixtures: QPR (h), Leicester (a) Star Man: Matt Murray - The highly-rated goalkeeper has enjoyed an injury-free season at Molineux to put in some outstanding performances for Mick McCarthy's side Run-in: Wolves fans will be overwhelmed by McCarthy's first season in charge as promotion looks a real possibility once again. A combination of youth and experience has put Wolves' fate in their own hands but their negative goal difference could prove costly come the last day of the season. Predicted finish: 6th Southampton Remaining fixtures: Norwich (a), Southend (h) Star Man: Gareth Bale - The impressive left-back has been the target of much transfer speculation this season and it is no wonder considering his remarkable displays in the Saints defence. Run-in: The goals of Grzegorz Rasiak and Marek Saganowski have propelled Saints into play-off contention and put the disappointment of last season firmly behind many fans. George Burley will be hoping they can continue their good form of late but their early season indifference may come back to haunt them. Predicted finish: 7th Stoke Remaining fixtures: Colchester (h), QPR (a) Star Man: Ricardo Fuller - Finally found his feet once again to help fire Stoke to the brink of a play-off place with 10 league goals to date. Run-in: The Potters have caused a stir among the second-tier with their late charge for the top six and they seem to have hit form at just the right time. The loan signing of Lee Hendrie has been inspirational and he will have to be at his best in Saturday's crunch clash with Colchester. Predicted finish: 8th Colchester Remaining fixtures Stoke (a), Crystal Palace (h) Star Man: Jamie Cureton - Offloaded by Swindon for free in the summer, the 21-year-old has been remarkable this term and heads the scoring charts with 23 goals to his name. Run-in: Geraint Williams' side have arguably been the team of the season in the Championship and could yet provide the biggest shock of the season if they make the Wembley final. The goals of Cureton and Chris Iwelumo in attack have been well documented, as has their impressive home form, and no-one will fancy going to Layer Road should they achieve a top-six finish. Predicted finish: 9th Sheffield Wednesday Remaining fixtures: Birmingham (a), Norwich (h) Star Man: Chris Brunt - The free-scoring midfielder has come to the forefront of the Owls' push for promotion, contributing some vital goals in the process. Run-in: Sheffield Wednesday are another side who have taken advantage of some end-of-season jitters to put themselves firmly in the hunt for a play-off place. Deon Burton's goals have been the driving force behind their late charge but a run of 11 games unbeaten proves Brian Laws has made his side very hard to beat. Predicted finish: 10th