Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Championship promotion race absolutely fascinating

While I am a fan of a Premier League club the Championship has really caught my attention in recent weeks, especially the race for promotion to the Premier League

I have previously revealed my admiration for Welsh side Swansea City, who I believe are one of the most attractive sides in the country to watch but they are just one of many teams who could win promotion to the Premier League come the end of the season.

Automatic

Despite losing 4-1 at division strugglers Scunthorpe United on Saturday league leaders Queens Park Rangers look set to be the first side to confirm their place in the Premier League next season. Q.P.R are currently nine points clear of second place Norwich City and ten points clear of third place Cardiff City.

Second place Norwich City faced fourth place Swansea City on Saturday and it was the men from Wales who gained the three points courtesy of a 3-0 victory at the Liberty Stadium. The victory put Brendan Rodgers side right back in the race for automatic promotion.

Cardiff City have gone on a decent recent run of results and find themselves just one point out of the automatic promotion places. Another team who are enjoying a good run of recent form are Reading who have suddenly emerged as real contenders for the automatic promotion places.

The Royals are currently four points behind second place Norwich but I’m sure Brian McDermott and his side wouldn’t have even expected to challenge for the play-offs, let alone be challenging for an automatic place. I’m sure the Reading fans must be over-the-moon at the way their season has gone.

Outsiders

The nature of the league is that a team usually comes from nowhere in the last few weeks of the season and challenges for a play-off spot, a bit like Blackpool did last season. The likes of Millwall, Leicester City and Hull City are all hoping to make a late challenge for a top six place and a chance at promotion from the play-offs.

Slumps

Nottingham Forest and Leeds United have suffered a slight dip in form recently. Both sides have been entrenched in the top six of the Championship for most of the season but they must now find some form if they are to challenge for a play-off place this season, although the Whites still believe they can challenge for second place.

Forest are currently in eighth place four points behind sixth place Leeds. They had a superb start to the season but now have their work cut-out even get back into the top six. Their form must pick up quickly or they will miss out on the play-offs.

Exciting

Many people are not fans of the play-offs but I think they are an exciting way to end a season. The system means that the season stays alive for far more teams than just the top three teams in the league.

Even some of the teams in the middle of the Championship still have something to play for with six games remaining of the season. It must be really exciting for fans of the clubs involved in the race for promotion and at the moment it’s all to play for.

Champions

One thing that looks cut and dry is the fact that Queens Park Rangers (QPR) will be plying their trade in England’s top flight. Their boss Neil Warnock is a promotion specialise after achieving promotion with Sheffield United amongst others.

The Hoops are financially backed by Formula One supremo’s Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone and are likely to spend big in the summer to try and stay in the Premier League next season.

Prediction

My prediction skills are usually pretty poor but I will have a try anyway. I have backed Swansea for most of the season, so I am going to stick my neck out and say they will go up alongside QPR. My pick for the play-offs would have to be Cardiff City.

Whatever happens between now and May the Championship has been a superb league to watch this season. I’m sure who ever comes up will be a good addition to the Premier League next season.

Who will win promotion to the Premier League?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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