For many football fans around the world, the English Premier League is viewed as the most competitive league.
The prize for promotion from the Championship into England’s top tier is huge both in terms of a clubs growth, their potential to attract higher calibre playersm and the enormous financial gain.
The season is starting to head towards the end with just two months left and the race for promotion is hotting up.
Current odds of the Magpies being automatically promoted to the Premier League are very favorable at. It would be quite an incredible turn of events if Newcastle didn’t achieve automatic promotion – they currently sit 10 points clear of 3rd placed Huddersfield Town. Despite this, boss Rafael Benitez wants his team to focus on the remaining seven games, knowing full well that anything can change quickly in football.
Another club with an ever-growing chance of gaining a spot in the Premier League is Brighton, who currently sit just one point behind league-leaders Newcastle. With their latest victory, the Seagulls are inching closer to outright promotion and are in fine form – notching sevens wins from their last ten outings. Similarly to Newcastle, it would take a drastic turn of events for the South Coast side to miss out on an automatic promotion place.
Sitting in 3rd place in the league – importantly with a game in hand over all of their nearest promotion rivals – the Terriers have struggled in the past few weeks, losing three of their last six outings. However, with a ten point cushion back to 7th placed Fulham and the aforementioned game in hand, most fans would have Huddersfield as a lock-in for the play-offs.
Another team who went through a rocky patch of form not too long ago was Reading. Prior to their last three games (all wins), the Royals had won just one of the previous five. Similarly to Huddersfield, their early season form has put them in a commanding position to bring play-off football back to the Madjeski Stadium. Nine points clear of Fulham with six games to play, it would be quite a shock if the Berkshire club aren’t in the post-season.
While their chances of automatic promotion are less than the favorites, Leeds still have a strong position for a play-off place come the end of the regular season. Many expect the team to be part of next year’s league but more than likely through competing in the playoffs. The team even has an unexpected group rooting for them: Manchester United Fans! Leeds were relegated back in 2004 and have yet to return to England’s top tier.
The club who are currently looking from the outside of the play-off picture is Fulham. Two points behind Sheffield Wednesday who occupy the 6th and final place, the Cottagers have stumbled in their last four games managing to pick up just four points when they need them most. Their penultimate fixture this season is an away tie vs Huddersfield, and it’s very likely the outcome of this game will have a huge say on who finishes inside of the play-offs.
With the season coming to it’s close, the office will be playing Soccer Safari, however for the aforementioned teams the play-offs are a roller-coaster they won’t want to miss.