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The Championship promotion race is getting tense

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by , 21 February 2020 at 9:07 pm (109 Views)
Heading into December of last year, the Championship was looking like a two-horse race, as West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United powered ahead of everyone else. Following poor runs of results and form through December and January, both teams now head into the final stretch of the campaign looking over their shoulders.

Now that we’re hitting that “squeaky bum” time of year with not just the title, but also promotion to the Premier League at stake, let’s take a look at the fortunes of teams in the thick of the fight as they make that all-important push to reach the promised land.

West Bromwich Albion

Earlier in the season the Baggies were nothing short of exceptional, losing just once against Leeds United in their opening 24 games of the season. However, the outright 1/4 Championship betting favourites for promotion hit a rough spell towards the back of December, which carried on into January.

This led to the safety net of points between themselves and the playoff zone being cut significantly. Nevertheless, two wins to start February has West Brom back on song and top of the league, justifying their odds of still being the team to beat in the title race.

Leeds United

When he arrived last season, Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa was hailed as a saviour at Elland Road. However, after a brilliant start to the campaign, it all fell apart in the second half of the season. Almost exactly a year later and while Bielsa is still regarded as a messiah amongst managers by Leeds United fans, the 2019-20 campaign is almost turning into a mirror of last season.

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Another brilliant great start and then winter arrived, with Leeds United struggling for positive results from December onwards. Unless ‘El Loco’ can find the winning formula soon, the 7/4 title contenders could slip out of the automatic promotion spots again this season.

Fulham

Recovering from the dismay of relegation is never easy for teams descending from the Premier League, as they re-adapt to life in the Championship. That said, Fulham have done a very good job thus far of keeping themselves within touching distance of the two league leaders, ready to pounce should one of them falter.

Priced at 15/2 odds to challenge for the title and at 6/4 to secure promotion, under the management of former player Scott Parker, the Cottagers are full of belief they can bounce straight back to the Premier League at the first attempt. They’re also hitting a good run of form just at the right time, with the leading teams faltering.

Nottingham Forest

For a club that achieved so much when Brian Clough was at the helm, including back-to-back European Cup triumphs, it can sometimes be hard to believe that Nottingham Forest haven’t played in the top tier of English football during the 21st century. Indeed, they started the new millennium in the second tier after relegation and haven’t been back since.

Twitter: Electric Reds close the gap

#NFFC produced an outstanding performance on an absorbing night at The City Ground to defeat promotion rivals Leeds United by two goals to nil.
This season there’s renewed hope amongst fans, with Forest keeping themselves very much in the mix for automatic promotion. Priced at 3/1 to achieve that aim, Forest have started 2020 with solid form and the team is full of belief they can lift their club back to the big time, especially after beating promotion rivals Leeds United recently.

Brentford

For a club that has spent the vast majority of their history in the lower divisions, Brentford have certainly made big waves in the Championship, finishing inside the top half of the table in each of the five previous seasons. The Bees have even flirted with promotion a few times during that period, much to the surprise of betting experts and pundits alike.

While fans will bid farewell to their cherished Griffin Park home at the end of this season, they could still do so by celebrating promotion to the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history. That would be a fitting tribute to a wonderfully traditional football ground, with bookies offering 8/13 odds for the fairy-tale story of promotion coming true this season.

Updated 25 February 2020 at 6:37 pm by Integrity

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