As the end of the football season is no longer a mere glimmer on the horizon, the question stands, who will rise from the Championship to join the contenders in the Premier League?
They say that the cream rises to the top, but in the case of the Championship this cream has been bobbing around for some time. Allardyce’s West Ham and Adkin’s Southampton have been dancing in the top two for the most part of the season, but with Cardiff and Blackpool hot on their heels, it still looks like it’s anyone’s league.
The bookies favourites for automatic promotion at the beginning of the season were the Hammers and a fresh, promising Leicester City. Without surprise West Ham have sustained wins and draws throughout, but when it comes to the Foxes.. Oh how wrong they were.
The season began with Brighton and Hove taking flight of the tops spots with teams like Leeds and Derby showing their determination for the play offs. Obviously the nature of football is unpredictable and these positions no doubt changed dramatically. As much as I’d love to see Leicester rocket up into the top spot, without even winning two consecutive games all season that is really not going to happen.
Baring this in mind, if the table stays similar to what it is now, it looks like we’ll be seeing West Ham return followed by an eager Southampton, pursued by an even more enthusiastic Cardiff. Some say Cardiff have had it a long time coming and the Hammers will cherish being on familiar ground, but could we imagine Southampton rubbing shoulders with teams like Spurs or Man City? Having said this, we questioned teams such as Stoke and Norwich in that position, but we don’t have to look too hard to see how well they are doing.
I think it’s safe to say that West Ham have this one in the bag, with their sustained play this season, I’m sure they will continue their score sheet until the end. I wouldn’t put money on Southampton however, as since their recent smudges, I think that they will probably have to battle it out in the play offs for a chance at the big time.
I can in fact see Cardiff finally clinching their place in the Premiership this season, their persistence these past years is certainly paying off with them only two points away from the automatic spot.
As for Leicester City, I’ll just have to hope that they win the FA Cup.. No harm in hoping right?