All you need to know ahead of Cardiff City and Swansea City's play-off semi finals

250720 Neil harris and Steve cooper PA
Steve Cooper and Neil Harris are hoping to take their respective sides up to the Premier League in their first year in charge. Credit: PA Images

It seemed impossible going into the last set of Championship fixtures for both Swansea City and Cardiff City to make it into the play-offs. But football loves to make the impossible, possible.

Both Welsh sides are now just three games from being back in the big time.

Cardiff City's task was easier on Wednesday. All they had to do was win or draw at home to strugglers Hull City. They did just that, with a 3-0 victory at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Swansea's position looked far less promising. They needed to win against Reading, but they also needed rivals Nottingham Forest to drop points against Stoke for them to be in with a chance.

What happened made for unrivalled drama as Forest got thumped and Swansea scored a dramatic stoppage time goal to win 4-1 and ensure they had the goal difference to put them into 6th place.

Swansea City will host Brentford at the Liberty Stadium Credit: PA Images

Kick off dates

On Sunday 26th July, Swansea City host Brentford at the Liberty Stadium in the first leg of their semi-final. Kick off is at 18:30.

On Monday 27th, Cardiff City are at home to Fulham. Kick off at the Cardiff City Stadium is at 19:45.

The second legs will be played next week. Swansea travel to Brentford on Wednesday 29th. They kick off at 19:45 at Griffin Park.

Meanwhile the following day, on July 30th, Cardiff will also be in London, at Craven Cottage, as they try to get to the play off final. Kick off is also at 19:45.

What about the final?

The Championship final will be played at Wembley Stadium in London on Tuesday August 4th at 19:45.

If Swansea and Cardiff both win their semi finals - there's the thrilling prospect of them playing for a place in the Premier League, a prize worth as much as £170 million.

Cardiff City will host Fulham at the Cardiff City Stadium Credit: PA Images

What are the managers saying?

Both managers have been coy about the prospect of an all-Welsh play-off final at Wembley, although Neil Harris admitted it would be "good for the nation" should it happen next month.

Swansea boss Steve Cooper said he was glad his side had cheered people up during a difficult time with the coronavirus lockdown, and said his side were fully focussed on their tie with Brentford.

Which side is best at the play-offs?

Both Welsh sides have been in the play-offs six times before - with mixed success.

Cardiff eventually won a play-off final after several attempts in 2003 with a nervy 1-0 victory over QPR.

Swansea too have had their fair share of failure in play-offs . In 2006 they beat this year's opponents Brentford in the semi finals but lost to Barnsley on penalties in the final.

But in 2011 they became the first Welsh club in the Premier League after victory over Reading at Wembley.

Who is going to win?

Cardiff City won their last three games of the season to clinch a play-off spot, but they did lose 2-0 to their opponents Fulham on July 10th.

Swansea are a form team going into the play-offs, with only two defeats in the last 10 games.

The bookies put both Cardiff and Swansea at odds of 9/2 to get promotion to the Premier League.

The Championship play off trophy is the ultimate prize for Swansea and Cardiff Credit: PA Images