Written by Will Perrott
The Championship is said to be one of the most competitive leagues in the world, with only 4 play-off places available the last 16 games for every single club will become a cup final. I look at three clubs who could potentially secure the final play-off spot as the season slowly wraps up.
As it stands Sheffield Wednesday currently occupy the sixth spot and after last year’s play-off final heartbreak the Owls are looking to bounce back stronger. Carlos Carvalhal recruited Jordan Rhodes in January, the Scottish international will add more competition to Sheffield’s deadly attack. Rhodes has plenty of experience in the championship and after achieving promotion with his parent club Middlesbrough last campaign, he will be hungry to do the same for Wednesday. Carvalhal has a very strong squad at his disposal, Ross Wallace and Adam Reach have the potential to unlock any defence in the championship and with a tough run of fixtures including Norwich and Birmingham the owls will need their main men to perform.
The owls really need to pick up at least 7 points in there next three games as they come up against 2 of the championship strugglers Blackburn and Nottingham Forest. It’s the perfect opportunity for Wednesday to start a run. Carvalhal has recruited very well and has built from the back, he has arguably the best goalkeeper in the football league in Kieron Westwood but will his new look side pull together and secure that final spot?
Derby have really turned the corner since reappointing Steve McClaren. There was a lot of negativity regarding the appointment including some criticism from Robbie Savage and Alan Shearer.
This criticism was expected as Derby had sacked McClaren just 17 months prior to his reinstatement so of course it came as a massive shock to the whole championship, but it looks as if the Rams made the correct decision as McClaren has transformed Derby. They are now playing free flowing attacking football, the rams went through November and December without picking up a single loss and it looks as if positivity is flowing through the Ipro stadium again and with Darren Bent and Tom Ince firing away the only way Derby are heading is up.
The Rams have a golden chance to continue their brilliant run as they step up against three sides who all sit in the bottom half of the championship, Bristol, Burton and Cardiff. Although every team in the bottom half of the table are fighting desperately, I can’t see Derby slipping up I’m predicting McClaren’s men to take 9 points from those three and if they do they will surely leap up the table.
The Fulham faithful are crying out for premier league football after being relegated in 2014 they have found themselves languishing in the middle of the championship. That seems to have changed since appointing Slaviša Jokanović. The ex-Watford man has managed to get rid of the deadwood and he now seems to have the fans on his side.
Jokanović is an incredibly passionate man he has already achieved promotion with Watford to the promise land and that was at the first time of asking. Fulham currently sit in 10th only 6 points off the plays offs but it has to be said they are just too inconsistent, they have drawn the most games in the league along with Aston Villa, and Birmingham which is incredible when you consider Newcastle have lost 7 games and they sit top of the league, yet Fulham have only lost one more than the league leaders but they are currently 19 points behind them. That proves that Fulham have the discipline in defence but they just need to turn the draws into wins and I believe they can do that in there next couple of games. Fulham step up against Bristol, Cardiff and Wigan. It’s time to kick on from here for the Cottagers with Chris Martin back firing and the emergence of talented youngster Ryan Sessegnon, Play-Offs looks achievable for the whites.
Who’s going to sneak into the play-offs this season? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by John Lord