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The Runners and Riders in the Championship

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So - at the halfway stage (roughly) the Championship is beginning to take a little more shape, but there are always one or two teams who sink and one or two who rise from the ashes to mount a challenge...

Automatic Promotion contenders:

QPR - Obvious contenders; 7 points ahead with the ability to spend in January.  Also have one of the league''s most talented players in Taarabt and whatever you say about him,  a great manager in Warnock. 

Cardiff - Probably have the best first XI on paper in the league, but have found a few cracks lately.  Bellamy doesn''t seem to have had the influence he could have done, but if they keep Bothroyd and get the early season form back they will be sniffing around the top 2.

Leeds - Shame, but think they have the resources to keep contending up there - they have the ''name'' to attract new players in January and score loads of goals.  They also have a poor defence which needs to be addressed, but playoffs/automatic contenders

Nottingham Forest - They will rise from where they have been and for me might just sneak 2nd place.  I would prefer to have the points, but they are so good at home.  They have a brilliant set of strikers and Billy Davies knows how to get a team up.

Play Off contenders

Norwich - Well, we are only a point off automatic promotion - and it is probably because I don''t like getting carried away - but I still think PlayOffs are our best hope!  We will have to see how January sales go, but we certainly have the basis of a play-of squad.  Certainly, if we can keep our away form up then I am sure our home form will improve and see us through.

Swansea - For me, don''t score enough goals for automatic promo but a good passing team and also do very well at home.  Think they could sneak play-offs but no better.  They desperately need a good striker!

Reading - Outsiders for the play-offs.  They have been fairly consistent but they are not much to fear.  They have a good basis of a side with Harte, Hunt, Long etc but seem to draw too many.

Burnley - I can see them getting a good new manager in who will turn them around and make them Play-Off contenders.  Have a decent squad still.

Hull - Another team I see signs of improvement in.  They are unbeaten in 8 under Pearson, and are signing Fryatt and Aaron McLean who I think will get goals.  They will have to go on a fabulous run but I can see them pushing up.

Leicester - Could be the big surprise team in the second half of the season. Apparantly, Sven has some money to spend and if he does so wisely by getting good Champ players, not mega-stars, they could see themselves nearer the top.

Who will fall away?

Coventry - They are crap.

Derby - Ditto

Watford - Great season so far but not a good enough squad and may have to sell

Millwall - Having a good season but inconsistent


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Good analysis Pabs - surprised that no-one else has replied (yet). That said, it''s probably because you won''t find many disagreements.

Short of major implosion, QPR will soon be out of sight (we will have to play massively better than Tuesday to stand any chance).

Cardiff are faltering and could be play offs - they have been in contention for last two seasons and the thought of missing out again could well unnerve them.

Not convinced about Swansea but they do play good football - play off spot I think.

Leeds have surprised me considering how rank they were in the last two or three months of last season. They have been the best side down here by a mile so far this season. Potential to get second spot.

Forest blow hot and cold but if they get on a run then with recent signings you would have to put them down for playoffs.

Us? Much will depend on two things, namely

a) If Holt stays and can keep his mind on his job. His recent form is a vast improvement from September and October.

b) If Wes stays. Without him we simply don''t have that guile and touch of magic that separates the plodders from the top promotion candidates.   

Of the rest, Burnley are the most likely to come through - they played us off the park at times down here and would have won easily had they not sat on their 2-0 lead.     

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still think qpr will drop out the top 2

1- forest






still a long way to go it will all change

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Middlesbrough? Really?


I mean, at the start of the season I would have said ''yes'' they have a good squad who will probably challenge for promotion but halfway through the season they only have about 25 points.  That means they would need about 50 in second half of season to get in the playoffs! 

Eg. 15 wins, 5 draws, 3 defeats.  Do you think they are capable of that?

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