Liverpool have another new opponent next season – promotion ends 22-year wait

The second team promoted to the Premier League has been confirmed after the final round of Championship fixtures, resulting in a return to the top flight for the first time since 2002.

With the final round of fixtures across England’s top divisions playing out, we now know two of the three teams that have earned promotion and one team who have seen their relegation confirmed.

As Sheffield United drop back into the Championship next season, Saturday saw Ipswich Town join Leicester as the second team to earn automatic promotion back to the Premier League.

Ipswich went into the final league game knowing a draw or victory over relegated Huddersfield would seal their place in the top flight, with only a defeat putting Leeds back in contention.

A 2-0 victory snuffed out Leeds‘ hopes, and with 96 points from 46 games, Ipswich are back in the Premier League for the first time since 2001/02.

It has been an incredible rise for Ipswich, who were playing in League One from 2019/20 to 2022/23.

Liverpool last met Ipswich in the Premier League in May 2002, that fixture resulted in a 5-0 win for Gerard Houllier’s Reds at Anfield – John Arne Riise (x2), Michael Owen, Vladimir Smicer and Nicolas Anelka were all on the scoresheet.

That match, 22 years ago, was not the most recent meeting between the two teams, though, with a League Cup fourth-round tie in December 2002 taking that honour.

Liverpool narrowly won a penalty shootout (5-4) that day after the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

As for who will earn the final promotion spot from the Championship, it will be between Leeds, Southampton, West Brom and Norwich after they all finished inside the top six.

The situation in the Premier League, meanwhile, sees Burnley, Luton and Nottingham Forest all fighting to avoid relegation, with only Sheffield United‘s fate confirmed so far.