One-time Leeds idol Eddie Gray, believes that there are still as many as a dozen teams fighting out the battle for promotion.

Newcastle lead the table with 49 points and Brighton are on 48, then you have only nine points separating 11 clubs – from Reading on 40 points in third back to Barnsley and Aston Villa both on 31 points in 12th and 13th respectively.

Villa and Barnsley are only six points off the play-offs and Eddie Gray thinks a place in the top six is there for any of the top half of the table still to grab.

However, he does think that realistically ‘the top two could be up and away’.

Gray predicts Newcastle ‘will invest heavily’ if Rafa Benitez believes it is necessary.

Whilst in Brighton’s case, recent financial figures showed a sizeable loss for the past year and Eddie Gray indicates that this could mean little money to spend in next months’s window – but that the south coast club already have the players who can get the job done this time.

If Newcastle & Brighton can grow the gap even further back to third in this flurry of festive matches, then you would have to think (hope!) Eddie Gray is calling it right.

As for Leeds United, they are currently fifth and only two points off third, with surely their best chance in a long time of having a shot at getting back to the Premier League.

Eddie Gray speaking to Leeds United TV:

“You look at the Championship and there are still 12 clubs I think who still have a chance of being in the top six and we (Leeds) are one of them.

“Looking at the league, you would think that the top two could be up and away.

“If they have to invest, Newcastle will invest heavily and bring in top class players.

Brighton are in a little bit of debt but they have players in their football club who look like getting the (necessary) results for them.

“The rest of the clubs such as ourselves, Reading, Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield, Derby County…there are a lot still in it.”