Archie Gray has enjoyed a breakout season at Leeds.

Comparing Leicester, Leeds, Ipswich & Southampton’s fixture difficulty in the EFL promotion race

The promotion race in the Championship is heating up with Leicester City, Leeds United, Ipswich Town and Southampton all harbouring hopes of top-flight football next season – but which side has the most favourable fixture list?

All four clubs have been engaged in the most relentless push for the Premier League that most Championship watchers can remember.

Leicester, Leeds and Southampton haven’t sulked after last season’s relegation and each have put together jaw-dropping winning runs at various stages this season.

Alternatively, Ipswich have maintained momentum from last season’s promotion from League One and are aiming to bring top-flight football back to Portman Road for the first time since 2001-02.

Leicester are currently six points clear at the top, but defeats to Middlesbrough and Leeds in February might induce some jitters in that corner of the east Midlands – and we’ve shown that both Leeds and Ipswich have easier remaining fixtures than the Foxes.

The Whites have won every game in 2024 at the time of writing and face the majority of the bottom third before May – before a potentially huge game against Southampton on the final day.

Ipswich will also face Southampton on Easter Monday and will be desperate to beat Norwich in the Old Farm derby five days later.

Meanwhile, the Saints are five points adrift of the final automatic promotion place and need to face all three of their promotion rivals before now and the season’s end.

We’ve added up the current league position of all four side’s remaining league opponents – with Leicester counting for one point and bottom side Rotherham United counting for 24 – and worked out the average strength of each side’s remaining fixtures.

Leicester City – 78 points

2/3 – QPR (H)
5/3 – Sunderland (A)
9/3 – Hull (A)
15/3 – Southampton (H)
29/3 – Bristol City (A)
1/4 – Norwich (H)
6/4 – Birmingham (H)
9/4 – Millwall (A)
13/4 – Plymouth (A)
20/4 – West Brom (H)
27/4 – Preston (A)
4/5 – Blackburn (H)

Average league position of opponents: 11.8

Leeds United – 72 points

2/3 – Huddersfield (A)
5/3 – Stoke (H)
8/3 – Sheffield Wednesday (A)
17/3 – Millwall (H)
29/3 – Watford (A)
1/4 – Hull (H)
6/4 – Coventry (A)
9/4 – Sunderland (H)
13/4 – Blackburn (H)
20/4 – Middlesbrough (A)
27/4 – QPR (A)
4/5 – Southampton (H)

Average league position of opponents: 14.5

Connor Roberts of Leeds United celebrates his goal and makes the score 1-1 during the Sky Bet Championship match Leeds United vs Leicester City at Elland Road, Leeds, United Kingdom, 23rd February 2024

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Ipswich Town – 72 points 

2/3 – Plymouth (A)
5/3 – Bristol City (H)
9/3 – Cardiff (A)
16/3 – Sheffield Wednesday (H)
29/3 – Blackburn (A)
1/4 – Southampton (H)
6/4 – Norwich (A)
10/4 – Watford (H)
13/4 – Middlesbrough (H)
20/4 – Coventry (A)
27/4 – Hull (A)
4/5 – Huddersfield (H)

Average league position of opponents: 12.4

Ipswich Town's Brandon Williams

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Southampton – 67 points

2/3 – Birmingham (A)
6/3 – Preston (H)
9/3 – Sunderland (H)
15/3 – Leicester (A)
29/3 – Middlesbrough (H)
1/4 – Ipswich (A)
6/4 – Blackburn (A)
9/4 – Coventry (H)
13/4 – Watford (H)
20/4 – Cardiff (A)
27/4 – Stoke (H)
4/5 – Leeds (A)

Average league position of opponents: 10.6

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