It looks like it's going to be a roller coaster ride this season for the teams battling it out at the top of the Championship for automatic promotion to the "promised land" that is the Premier League.
In what look's like it will be the closest and most exciting finale in a good few years, there are no less than SEVEN teams who genuinely have a shout at taking two of the automatic promotion places up for grabs.
Good luck to anybody predicting who will take those two spots as the teams contesting them continue to both amaze and frustrate their supporters with their inability to show true consistency and put some valuable breathing space, points wise, between themselves and their rivals.
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After looking that they might run away with it at one stage after an impressive run of form Derby have shown they are far from certainties after several "wobbles" but the same can be said for all of the teams up there in the "mix" so to speak.
Bournemouth are undoubtedly, for me, the surprise package this season, and they continue to pick points up and refuse to "go away" as they battle it out impressively with the surrounding teams. They are up their on merit and a great example of how teamwork can be so important as the average man in the street would struggle to be honest to name any outstanding players they have in their squad.
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Middlesbrough seem to blow every opportunity that's presented to them to take top spot and progress further, but they are a very accomplished team with an astute manger in charge and a red hot striker bang in form - and I fully expect them to challenge for the title to the end.
Watford, to me, are a bit of an enigma. Undoubtedly a talented team capable of beating anybody on their day but their next five fixtures will be their most important of the season in my opinion as they face tough games with Reading, Wigan, Ipswich, Boro and Derby.
Brentford and Ipswich look like they'll be heading for play-off positions, which I'm pretty sure if you'd offered them that before the season kicked off they'd have grabbed it with both hands. Brentford have done very well this season, another surprise package, and Ipswich seem to lack genuine consistency and that killer instinct to be considered title challengers this season.
And that leaves us with...Norwich, who after an extremely impressive start, are looking like the form team again now they've sorted themselves out. The appointment of Alex Neil, although questioned by many, looks a shrewd move. T
hey seem to be scoring for fun at the moment whilst also picking up valuable victories and they look like a team on a roll and if they continue their current run surely it's only a matter of time before they reclaim the top spot again...but NOTHING is as simple as that in this Championship race and no doubt there will be a few twists and turns come May.
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