The Championship is one of the most exciting and unpredictable leagues in Europe. Whilst many English fans mock the second division, supporters around the world watch it with a close eye, making it actually one of the most viewed leagues in Europe.
And this season has been particularly exciting with the race for promotion twisting and turning every week. Old Premier League favourites have struggled to get into gear, whilst some outfits have surprised, flirting with the prospect of the play-offs for most of the season before falling away entirely.
But the three front-runners Middlesbrough, Burnley and Brighton are currently leading the way and it looks like they are here to stay.
Whilst teams like Hull have fallen away, the three Bs have kept pace and are now leading the fight for automatic promotion as we head into the final crunch games of the season.
Middlesbrough are arguably the favourites as they sit top of the division, but with Burnley and Brighton both only two points behind, things could still change massively at the summit. One of these will end up in the play-offs, which is always a bitter blow if you’ve been in a title charge for the majority of the season, but that’s what makes the Championship so special.
Middlesbrough have been impressive for the entirety of the season, and were in the mainstream media not long ago after that bust-up between Aitor Karanka and his players a month or so ago. After a controversial defeat, the Argentine told his stars he didn’t want to manage them any longer, and a furious set of events ensued. But the club’s chiefs managed to calm the situation, he came back and they’ve been impressive since.
An intense 1-1 draw with Burnley on Tuesday halted their progress somewhat, but prior to that they’d won six on the spin – impressive stuff.
Burnley on the other hand haven’t been too bad either. Led my Sean Dyche, their immediate form hasn’t been as impressive as Boro’s, but they have a canny knack of being able to get out of a hole, and that was proved on Tuesday as they grabbed a last-gasp equaliser to stop Middlesbrough in their tracks.
Under Sean Dyche the Clarets have a manager that knows the league well and that can get them out and into the Premier League. It’s always tough but if you want anyone for the job, Dyche would be the man.
Nine goals in two games from Chris Hughton’s Brighton have also made certain teams stand up and take notice. The Seagulls are supported well at home week-after-week and have pushed their two rivals all the way. A 4-0 drubbing of QPR on Tuesday was needed in order to keep pace and they have every chance come the end of the season if they can keep pace.
Things will surely change as the season comes to an end, but this could be one of the most exciting Championship finales in years.