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Who might win promotion from the Championship?

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The break for the World Cup will provide Championship managers a chance to pause and take stock and it will also provide an opportunity to predict who might be involved in the promotion race at the end of the season.

 

Of course, nothing is certain in football. Few would have forecast last season that Nottingham Forest who were bottom at New Year would eventually go up via the play-offs.

Nevertheless, there are some familiar names currently near the top of the table, and most will be hoping to maintain their challenge to the end of the season.

 

It is no coincidence that four of the top seven teams have been Premier League clubs recently. They are still enjoying the benefits of the parachute payments they received on dropping down and, as a result, have bigger budgets than some of their other rivals in the league.

 

Despite that, it may still be a surprise that Burnley are the current league leaders. Many were surprised when they dispensed services of Sean Dyche, the man who had kept them punching above their weight in the top flight for years.

 

Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany did not seem an obvious replacement, having not pulled up any trees during his stint in charge of Anderlecht, but he has got the Lancastrian side playing a brand of flowing football the likes of which their supporters have not seen for years.

Blackburn, Burnley’s neighbours, are also their closest challengers, and are hoping to end their decade long exile from the Premier League. Their manager Jon Dahl Tomasson has helped create a winning mentality and has installed a team ethic where players come in, and out of the team, but still fully understand their roles.

 

Third placed Queen’s Park Rangers have Michael Beale as head coach, who was formerly Steven Gerrard’s assistant at Rangers and Aston Villa. Keeping hold of Beale may be the biggest challenge for the West London club if they want to remain in contention. He has already reportedly turned down the Wolves job.

It should be no surprise that Norwich City are also at the top end of the table. They have developed a reputation as a yo-yo club, achieving promotion in two out of the past four seasons, only to drop straight back down again. It would not be a surprise were they to be promoted again – their biggest challenge is to stay up this time if they get there.

 

Watford will be hoping to force their way into the play-offs, but the prospects already look bleak for West Bromwich Albion, who were many people’s tips for promotion.

 

Having sacked Steve Bruce and replaced him with Carlos Corberan, they are currently bottom of the league.

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.

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