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Transfer Rater: Grealish to Tottenham

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Transfer Rater: Wilshere to Villa

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Africans Abroad: Fikayo Tomori, Tammy Abraham show EPL talent at Wembley

The EFL Championship playoff final took centre stage this weekend, with Aston Villa defeating Derby County to secure a return to the English Premier League after three seasons away, while there were mixed fortunes for Africa's stars as Serie A and Ligue 1 were concluded.

No Championship side has leaned as heavily on African talent this season as Villa, whose squad of bright young things and experienced heads defeated the Rams 2-1 at Wembley in Monday's final.

There was a 'Made in Chelsea' feel about...

Aston Villa clinched Championship playoff glory by beating Derby, but now the hard work begins

Steve Nicol says that Dean Smith's ability to come in and stabilize Aston Villa's form is the main reason the club has earned Premier League promotion.
Aston Villa are back in the Premier League after a three-year absence thanks to a 2-1 win over Frank Lampard's Derby County at Wembley Stadium.

LONDON -- Aston Villa are back in the big time. Three seasons after being relegated from the Premier League, one of English football's aristocrats are back where many believe they belong after defeating Derby County in the EFL Championship playoff final, 2-1, to reclaim their place among the elite.

Of course, the reality is that no club has a divine right to play and succeed at any level of the game, but some clubs really should be too big to fail and Villa -- seven times champions of England...

The Championship playoff final: Get ready for the richest game in sports

Derby County beat Leeds United 4-2 at Elland Road in a sensational match to reach the playoff final at Wembley where they'll meet Aston Villa.

It is the most lucrative one-off fixture in the sporting world, with the financial windfall for the winning team a staggering £170 million ($215m) -- three times more than the combined value of winning the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup. The monetary jackpot vastly overshadows that which comes with winning the Super Bowl ($6.25m), NBA Finals ($3.3m) or World Series ($30.4m), but the flip side of the EFL Championship playoff is that the losers not only end up with nothing, they...

Championship playoff semifinal second legs: predictions and key battles

Derby County had a penalty decision overturned in their 1-0 defeat to Leeds in a feisty Championship first leg playoff at Pride Park.
Aston Villa recovered from a goal down to beat West Brom and take a one-goal lead into Tuesday's Championship playoff second leg.

Ninety minutes separate four Championship clubs from a playoff final at Wembley Stadium to battle for promotion to the Premier League and all the riches that come along with it. Here you'll find everything you need to know as Aston Villa seek to finish the job of knocking out West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns, and Leeds United attempt to hold on to the narrowest of first-leg leads over Derby County as they meet at what will surely be a raucous Elland Road.


Leeds United vs. Derby County

FIRST-LEG...

Championship playoffs: Predictions, key battles, stars to watch

Frank Lampard's Derby County secured a playoff semifinal against Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United with a 2-1 win over West Brom, pipping Middlesbrough to sixth place.
Norwich lifted the Championship trophy following their victory at Aston Villa, a week after mathematically clinching promotion against Blackburn.

Despite missing out on an automatic promotion spot, a place in the Premier League remains tantalisingly close for four Championship clubs via the playoffs.

But only two teams can advance to the final, dubbed "the richest game in football," at Wembley on May 27 (live on ESPN+). (Oh, and unlike the Champions League, away goals don't matter here.) Will it be playoff heartbreak yet again for fallen giants Leeds when they face Derby? Who will win the Midlands battle between former European champions...

Who are Aston Villa? Dean Smith and John Terry mastermind return with Grealish the key

Aston Villa booked their place in the top flight for next season when they beat Derby County 2-1 on Monday in the Championship playoff final. Here we take a look at the club and what they will bring to the Premier League.

Last time they were in the Premier League

Previously a stalwart in the top flight, Aston Villa's relegation in 2016 was the culmination of years of neglect, under-investment and poor decision making. When things started to go wrong under Paul Lambert, the club turned to Tim Sherwood...