Football FanCast columnist Josh Learner casts his eyes over the Championship promotion race and wonders which team is going to take the initiative.
Football has come up with some strange scenarios in the past, but only a few can match the scenario unfolding in the Championship currently. Call it a league full of tams deprived of any Premiership quality and glamour, but as the race for promotion race hots up, bookies scratch their heads in astonishment at the lack of consistency. Like a King earning his place on the throne but abdicating over insecurity, all the teams so far to reach the top have duly stepped down before long. So just who is going to go up this season? And more importantly, how?
As a Bristol City fan and watching WBA thump us 4-1 at Christmas I was adamant they were the team that would run away with the league. They were the complete unit, with the experience and marksmanship of Phillips, the flair of Gera and the distribution of Greening. But sloppy defending has cost them dearly and although with two games in hand of Bristol City at the top and only three points behind, it would take a courageous gambler to bet on all six points being gained
Watford and Stoke are a couple of odd teams too, lacking any venom at the top. Watford, for so long were placed menacingly in pole position but then decided to start losing and drawing too many games at home costing them dearly. And Stoke, the silent riders coming from nowhere after Christmas climbing up the table like a team possessed, suddenly snapped out of it when realising just what was at stake. Last nights defeat at home to Palace was a must win for Pulis's men. Pressure? Definitely a hint.
Oh dear, I'm really struggling for some consistency here. Let's try Bristol City. Well a fine run of 13 games unbeaten and the ability to come back after a 6-0 trouncing at Ipswich gives some indication of the mentality Johnson is implemented at Ashton Gate. Our ability to win narrowly and lose heavily explains our zero goal difference, unbelievable really for a team at the top of the table. Bottom placed Colchester have scored more than us all season. And plus, recently our performances have been frankly disappointing to say the least winning one in seven. Ok I really am quite pickled now.
Let's try Hull City; surely they have a fantastic chance of automatic promotion? And judging on their form of late dispatching Watford 3-0, Colchester 3-1 and Southampton 5-0 they have the momentum to push themselves all the way to the top.
The facts our all that is certain at the moment. Three points separates first and fifth. Any ideas readers? It may not be the best football, but you can't say it's not going to be an enthralling end to a bizarre season