Can anyone beat Leicester?
Watford returned to the King Power stadium for the first time since their dramatic play off win last May and they were intent to getting a similar scalp on leaders Leicester. The Hornets raced into a 2-0 lead in the first half, but there two goal lead did not last long as Matty James’s volley cut the deficit just two minutes after the second Watford goal. In the second half Watford battled hard against the growing pressure coming from the Foxes renowned attacking options. It seemed they had held onto the lead with the game coming to a close. However, just like the late antics of the game in May there was further late drama. Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater smashed home an equalizer from outside the area in the 4th minute of injury time, breaking Watford hearts. This was the first time Leicester have dropped points since mid-December, so it was a fine achievement by Watford as their confidence grows under Giuseppe Sannino. Meanwhile Leicester will be pleased to remain unbeaten and maintain a gap from the chasing pack.
Charlton are in a right state
There is not much good news coming out of Charlton at present. The Addicks suffered a 4th Championship defeat in succession, the latest defeat coming at home to Birmingham who have been indifferent themselves of late. Charlton went into the game knowing that a win good help them in their aim to avoid relegation, as well as draw opponents Birmingham into immediate danger. It did not go to plan however as they fell 2-0 through a brace from Federico Macheda. Charlton are second bottom in the form table and have some tough fixtures in the next month or so. They host promotion contenders QPR before playing relegation rivals Barnsley and then travel to league leaders Leicester. This run puts huge pressure on the second of those three fixtures as it is there only realistic chance of getting some points. Charlton are still waiting for their first win of 2014 and now are at risk of dropping into the bottom two in the coming weeks.
Bournemouth have developed into a tough opponent
Early on in the season Championship new boys Bournemouth were in real danger of being the Championship whipping boys on the road. There first two trips away from the Goldsands in the second tier resulted in a 6-1 defeat at Watford and a 5-1 defeat at Huddersfield. The travelled to out of form Bolton this weekend, but without doing little wrong they were two goals down after just over half an hour through great finishes from Lee Chung-yong and Lukas Jutkiewicz. At the start of the year this would have signalled an implosion from the Cherries, however now they are a resolute group. Top goalscorer Lewis Grabben sparked a comeback with possibly the goal of the weekend, a cannon from 25 yards that flew into the top corner. This gave Bournemouth impetus in the second half and they got on level terms when Simon Francis got his head to a low corner from Ian Harte. A sign of Bournemouth’s comeback that some fans were disappointed to not get the victory although the Cherries have now lost just two of their last nine Championship games, a stark improvement from the start of the season.
Forest are the draw specialists
A rather unwanted title for a team that have aspirations to get promoted this season, but it was a far to common story for Forest in their trip to the leagues most out of form team Blackpool. In far from ideal conditions Billy Davies’ men looked like they had taken an expected three points from Bloomfield Road despite missing a host of great chances to put the game to bed. Once again though they let the lead slip in the final few minutes, this time letting Andy Keogh to head home. Forest should have beaten the Blackpool team who are without a win in thirteen league games. The Reds have now drawn twelve games this season the joint most in the Championship although a positive stance to this is that Forest have lost the fewest games on the road all season. The key factor determining whether Forest finish 2nd or 6th is whether or not they can turn these frustrating draws from winnable games into three points.
It’s up for grabs now
No one wants to even whisper that they are in the hunt for automatic promotion, but all the teams from 1st to 5th are right in the mix. Derby’s first win against a top six side closed the gap to one point between themselves and Q.P.R. who are one place above them in 3rd. Burnley picked up another three points at home through a dominant display over Millwall, this seized the chance they had to return to 2nd place, jumping above Q.P.R. . Meanwhile 5th placed Forest, as already mentioned, could have made it just three points between 2nd and 5th if they had won at Blackpool, but they dropped two points. There are still seven games between the teams in the current top five meaning a lot could change between now and May. Everyone apart from Leicester are yet to make an automatic berth their own. With all the teams sitting in the upper ends of the form table it is going to go right down to the wire. So sit back and enjoy the roller coaster of the promotion hunt.