Championship promotion prospects

    01 Apr 2016 | Championship | Opinion
    Championship promotion prospects

    With eight or nine games remaining, teams near the top of the English Championship are jockeying for position in a thrilling race for promotion. The Premier League is the lucrative prize for the top two and a third place for the winner of the playoffs. These teams stand to make millions from television revenue for making the step up.

    Sitting pretty at the top of the league, Burnley are the league's form team with six wins and a draw in their last seven games. This is part of an unbeaten run of fifteen matches that has seen The Clarets emerge as favourites to win the league title. Manager Sean Dyche is confident his team will hold on to top spot providing they don't feel "too much pressure". Burnley have scored more goals than any other Championship team this season and have the best goal difference. With twenty-two goals, top-scorer Andre Gray and fellow forward Sam Vokes are providing the fire-power to ensure Dyche's side fight off the chasing pack.

    In second place, Brighton and Hove Albion look less comfortable of achieving automatic promotion. They are unbeaten in their last six games, but have played a game more than the two teams below and are only a point above third. Brighton host leaders Burnley in their next fixture on April 2nd knowing that every point will be crucial.

    Below them in third spot, Middlesbrough will be looking to seize upon any slip-up. Despite patchy form (three wins and three defeats in their last six), The Boro know that if they win all their remaining fixtures they will finish Champions. They will look to crucial six-pointers againt Burnley and Brighton as key games. Despite a tricky run of remaining fixtures, Aitor Karanka's team are well placed.

    With sixty-six points, fourth placed Hull are in poor form with only one win in their last seven league games. They have a game in hand on most of the sides around them, but manager Steve Bruce will be finding his team's slump alarming. The tigers have stopped scoring and Bruce will be hoping their top-scoring striker Abel Hernandez can fire the team up and add to his tally of sixteen goals.

    Below them in fifth place, Derby County have been in patchy form with three wins, two defeats and a draw from their last six matches. The Rams have been boosted by the recent appointment of Harry Redknapp as football advisor. After watching the first-half of their last match against Nottingham Forest from the stands, Redknapp took to the dressing room and sparked a much-improved second-half display that saw Derby take all three points. They also have the scoring form of Chris Martin and Nick Blackman who have twenty-four goals between them.

    In sixth position with sixty-two points, Sheffield Wednesday will be looking to find some consistency. Having won their last two league games, they will need to continue building momentum. Their position is precarious with the teams below looking hungry and only a few points away. Coach Carlos Carvalhal is using a rotation policy to keep his players fresh and competitive. Player Sam Hutchinson says it's a formula that "does work" and believes the team are "in a good place" for the final run-in.

    Below the top six, Cardiff City, Ipswich Town and Birmingham City are only a couple of wins away from breaking into the promotion spots. The top of the table is close enough that any team stringing together a few results will be right in contention. With the Premier League in sight, form and momentum are key.

    Predictions for Championship

    Home team - Away team Tip
    flag_2 CH
    FulhamQPR
    22/11/2019 20:45
    1
    flag_2 CH
    Charlton AthleticCardiff City
    23/11/2019 13:30
    X
    flag_2 CH
    Blackburn RoversBarnsley
    23/11/2019 16:00
    1
    flag_2 CH
    BrentfordReading
    23/11/2019 16:00
    1

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