The most competitive league in the country
With four teams within six points of each other fighting for the one spot
Ah the Championship. Home of brilliant names like Bartosz Białkowski, Reza Ghoochannejhad and Emile Heskey. And to the most competitive race in all of Europe. Probably. We may be letting our Championship bias show. Usually the race to get into the playoffs brings up more drama and heartbreak than you feel when the McFlurry machine isn’t working in McDonalds. And this year is no different with four teams within six points of each other. We’ve prowled through the stats and remaining games to detail the main contenders to join the Premier League next year.
The red hot favourites at odds of. They’ve currently got a hold of 6th with a three point lead. They’ve only lost twice since the turn of the year with one of the best home records in the division (P19 W11 D6 L2). That’s important because they’ve four home games left and two of them against playoff rivals in Ipswich and Cardiff City. They’ve been decent away from Hillsbrough and after a couple of seasons in the mundaneness of mid-table,the Owls are in a good position to fly high into the playoffs for the first time in 11 years. The third best attack
But if their wings are clipped, who’s in the best place to catch them?
The Bluebirds are currently 7th but have come in under the radar after just one loss in two months from Boxing Day to the end of February. They’ve been playing really good football mainly down to Anthony Pilkington. The Irish international has 8 goals, 7 of which have come at home. Veterans like Peter Whittingham and recent star Lars Immers have helped Russell Slade bring together a playoff charge which looks promising.
It could all come down to a trip to Sheffield in the penultimate game of the season. Their odds of for a top 6 finish are worth a punt.
Ipswich have one of the most experienced managers in the league and are only four points off Wednesday. Five defeats in their last nine games has seen them drop from the golden spot of 6th down to 8th. They have an easy run in on paper playing five teams from the bottom half and four of those are at Portman Road.
Of course, the Championship is about as predictable as a Chris Kamara report and anyone can beat anyone. The Tractor Boys can still throw a spanner in the works of the Steel City side though – their game in hand is in Hillsbrough. At odds of keep an eye on them.
If they can fix their away form after the international break then Birmingham look to be the value bet at.
Not only will they hope to play a major part in the playoff race but it’s St Andrews that will decide who wins the Championship – Brum still have to play the top three at home. They tend to score at least once at home (they’ve done so in 12 out of 18 home games) and with a good defence they won’t fear Burnley, Middlesbrough or Hull. The side have conceded on average 0.95 goals per game – that’s the third best defence in the league behind Hull and Boro which isn’t too shabby.
Trips to Reading, Charlton and Huddersfield on paper shouldn’t cause too much trouble. But Birmingham haven’t scored away from home since January. They require slips from the Owls and Bluebirds. If that happens, you’ll see the odds shorten.
You can get the full top six betting right here if you want to try and prove this bitter Championship fan wrong. Sit back and enjoy the ride anyway as the race to Wembley rumbles on.