Liverpool will this season cruise on until the end of the season and win the Premier League, no one doubts that, even if it is technically possible to get another outcome, but in the Championship you have a very different scenario.
Of course Wayne Rooney must be mentioned, he is really the star of this league at the moment, and has so far played 9 league games and scored 3 goals. He did play in the FA Cup 5th round against Manchester United, and had a couple of opportunities to score, but never found the net. The now 34 year old is in a player/coach role, and must be thrilled to see his team win 3-0 at home to Blackburn in the weekend.
Derby is at the moment in 12th position with only six points away from a play off position. Another former Premier League star, Aleksandar Mitrovic is the leading top goalscorer with 23 goals to his name. Mitrovic is of course important in his role at Fulham who are chasing the top two, but looks a bit behind as they are now on 64 points and 6 points behind West Bromwich Albion who are at the moment 2nd in the table.
The leader of the pack is at the moment “sleeping giant” Leeds United. Their manager Marcelo Bielsa might be the biggest star in the EFL Championship together with Wayne Rooney and both are in a coaching capicity. Bielsa looks certain to lead Leeds United back into the Premier League as the current leaders are 1 point in front of the WBA’s.
This looks a bit like the PL, a given close, with Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion securing the top two spots and gains straight promotion, while a number of clubs will be chasing for the play off positions.
The odds of a big bomb upsetting these clear views of who are going up can of course happen as the best sportsbooks can help to find out. The race of survival though looks a much more open affair with a number of clubs in that battle. Charlton Athletic, Luton Town and Barnsley are at the moment the bottom three, but that could change as other teams such as Hull City, Wigan Athletic, Middlesbrough, Huddersfield Town and Stoke City are not safe either.
Fulham are in the play-off’s at the moment with three other teams, Brentford, Nottingham Forest and Preston North End. A player to watch is The Bees top forward Ollie Watkins, who are one that should be viewed by “bigger and better” as Griffin Park might not be the last place this goalscorer will play his home games. 22 league goals so far and really setting the standard for head coach Thomas Frank as he is leading this exciting group of players towards something extraordinary.
To talk about who will be in the play-off’s by the end of the seaso nis a bit of a difficulty as so many clubs are chasing just a few points behind the current quartet. Maybe the most exciting player in this league before Christmas, Jarrod Bowen was given a chance to leave and joined West Ham United. This might not have been the best decision made at Hull City as they are very close to relegation at the moment.
Marcelo Bielsa is a brilliant coach, but without brilliant players he would not have been able to lift his team as high as he has at the moment and one to count is of course the 24 year midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who has a bit of an injury struggle at the moment, but they have managed to cope in some way. Ben White is another glittering talent and not to forget top target man Patrick Bamford, 13 goals so far.
A player that has grabbed a bit of attention is the Birmingham City youngster, 16 year old Jude Bellingham, and his presence at such a young age can give everyone a lifted eyebrow. Scott Hogan has also joined Birmingham City on loan from Aston Villa and so far netted 7 goals in 8 games for The Blues.
QPR also have an exciting player on their books, 21 year old Eberechi Eze, who has been linked with several PL clubs. QPR manager Mark Warburton must be lucky to have him in his team, without him The Hoops would have been fighting a battle to survive in the division, and they might have to see him leave in the summer as he needs to get to a higher level, he is too good to play for a team in the wrong end of this table.
Excting days in front as we are preparing for a thriller in and around the play-off’s and of course in the relegation zone it will be clubs fighting for their lives in every game going forward.