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West Brom unveil new mascot: Boiler Man

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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.
Craig Burley, Steve Nicol and Julien Laurens all agree Leeds United were right to play on when they scored while an Aston Villa player was down.
Players and staff of Sheffield United celebrated clinching automatic promotion to the Premier League after Leeds United's draw with Aston Villa sealed their spot.

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...

West Brom unveil new mascot: Boiler Man

After suffering relegation from the top tier last season, West Brom kicked off their Championship campaign with a defeat against Bolton on Saturday.

Just to really cap it off, the Baggies introduced their new club mascot to the Hawthorns faithful before the match -- the result of their two-year sponsorship deal with a British boiler company.

"Boiler Man" -- yes, that really is his name -- paraded around the pitch ahead of kick-off and received exactly the kind of reception you might expect from...

 By Chris Wright

Daniel Sturridge returns stranger's iPhone; urges others to 'do a good deed'

Having missed out on the England World Cup squad, it would appear that Daniel Sturridge is instead spending his summer helping those in need.

The 28-year-old is currently on holiday in the United States, specifically Boston, where he and a fellow accomplice helped reunited a lost phone with its rightful owner.

The Liverpool striker shared a video on Instagram entitled "Good Karma" in which he detailed the events leading to the phone's safe return.

Good karma...

A post shared by Daniel Sturridge - Dstudge (@danielsturridge) on

"Walking back from the restaurant last night, I...

ESPN FC  By ESPN

Move over Messi, Aubameyang and Co., Livermore tops Power Rankings

ESPN FC's global editorial desks nominate their top weekend performers. This week's No. 1 scored a vital winner to boost his club's unlikely bid to avoid relegation.

1. Jake Livermore | West Brom

Why he's here: After going 30 games without a Premier League goal, Livermore has two in his past three. The latest was a last-minute strike to beat Tottenham.

2. Lionel Messi | Barcelona

Why he's here: Down to 10 men, Barca needed a lift in El Clasico and, sure enough, Messi provided it with a superb...

West Brom's survival hopes still alive as Livermore stun Spurs with late win

BIRMINGHAM, England -- Three points from West Brom's last-gasp 1-0 win over Tottenham, which keeps their hopes of the great escape alive.

1. Baggies leave it late but still have hope

At the end of a month of spirited, fairy-tale resistance, West Brom's hopes of completing the greatest of great escapes remain alive after a last-gasp 1-0 victory over Tottenham at the Hawthorns.

For 90 minutes, the stadium waited for the goal to come, and when it did, it could not have been more fitting. Not...