Comparing the run-ins of the Championship promotion contenders

Quick Reads

The Championship promotion race is becoming increasingly tense with competition for both automatic and play-off places getting incredibly tight.

Should Leeds United and West Brom win their games in hand, only four points will separate first to fourth, while Derby County are only two points off sixth-placed Bristol City.

To help those of you out looking for the best bets for the remainder of the season, we’ve taken a closer look at the run-ins each club faces to see who has the toughest, and who has the easiest. We’ve done it for the Premier League top six, too.

Norwich City

Remaining fixtures (current league position): Bristol City (6), Millwall (20), Swansea (13), Hull (12), Rotherham (22), Middlesbrough (5), QPR (18), Reading (21), Wigan (19), Sheff Wed (15), Stoke (17), Blackburn (14), Aston Villa (10)

Average league position of remaining opponents: 14.8

Sheffield United

Remaining fixtures: West Brom (4), Sheff Wed (15), Rotherham (22), Brentford (16), Leeds (3), Bristol City (6), Preston (11), Birmingham (9), Millwall (20), Nottingham Forest (8), Hull (12), Ipswich (24), Stoke (17)

Average league position of remaining opponents: 12.8

Leeds United

Remaining fixtures: Bolton (23), QPR (18), West Brom (4), Bristol City (6), Reading (21), Sheff Utd (2), Millwall (20), Birmingham (9), Preston (11), Sheff Wed (15), Wigan (19), Brentford (16), Aston Villa (10), Ipswich (24)

Average league position of remaining opponents: 14.1

West Brom

Remaining fixtures: Sheff Utd (2), Leeds (3), Ipswich (24), Swansea (13), Brentford (16), Birmingham (9), Millwall (20), Bristol City (7), Preston (11), Hull (12), Reading (21), Rotherham (22), Derby (7)

Average league position of remaining opponents: 12.8

Middlesbrough

Remaining fixtures: QPR (18), Wigan (19), Brentford (16), Preston (11), Aston Villa (10), Norwich (1), Bristol City (6), Swansea (13), Bolton (23), Hull (12), Stoke (17), Nottingham Forest (8), Reading (21), Rotherham (22)

Average league position of remaining opponents: 14.1

Bristol City

Remaining fixtures: Norwich (1), Birmingham (9), Preston (11), Leeds (3), Ipswich (24), Millwall (20), Sheff Utd (2), Middlesbrough (5), Wigan (19), West Brom (4), Aston Villa (10), Reading (21), Sheff Wed (15), Derby (7), Hull (12)

Average league position of remaining opponents: 10.9

Derby County

Remaining fixtures: Nottingham Forest (8), Aston Villa (10), Wigan (19), Sheff Wed (15), Stoke (17), Swansea (13), Rotherham (22), Brentford (16), Blackburn (14), Bolton (23), Birmingham (9), QPR (18), Bristol (6), West Brom (4)

Average league position of remaining opponents: 13.8

Conclusion

Of the teams battling for automatic promotion, Norwich City and Leeds United have the easiest run-ins on paper, with Sheffield United and West Brom both facing the same average difficulty of opponents.

However, the current make-up of the league table could swiftly change over the next couple of weeks with Sheffield United, Leeds and West Brom all set to play each other.

In terms of the battle for the play-offs, Derby could be a good bet to make their way into the top six as they face one of the easiest run-ins of the featured teams, with current sixth-placed side Bristol City facing the most difficult.


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