The Championship form table is interesting for all kinds of reasons ahead of the Nottingham Forest v Newcastle United clash tonight.

The most striking feature is that despite Newcastle winning five of their last six Championship matches, they are only third in this form table.

What will give Rafa Benitez extra food for thought of course, is the fact that the two clubs at the top are also the pair who are United’s closest challengers in the current full table. Brighton trail by two points and Reading by six – Brighton travel to Cardiff tomorrow and Reading are at Fulham.

Of course, if Newcastle pick up their pre-Blackburn results/form, then matters will take care of themselves, However, if Rafa’s team does hit a bit of a sticky patch, it must be a worry to see the two clubs building such momentum as we head into the bus festive period.

Something else that won’t escape your notice is the positive effect McClaren and Bruce are having at the moment on Derby and Villa, both clubs were in false positions but worth keeping an eye on just how high they can end up in the table.

As for tonight’s opponents, Forest had managed to win only once in 11 Championship matches since August, until they managed to somehow bounce back with two impressive away wins at Ipswich (2-0) and Barnsley (5-2). Those two wins giving their recent form a much more respectable look.

Newcastle will be looking to get well on top tonight and prove that the recent results for both clubs are only a temporary diversion to the norm.

One final piece of note – just look at how Norwich have collapsed in the form table below and to a slightly lesser extent, Huddersfield.

Championship form table over the past six matches:

championship form table

Nottingham Forest’s last six results with latest one listed first;

Barnsley 2 Forest 5

Ipswich 0 Forest 2

Forest 1 QPR 1

Reading 2 Forest 0

Forest 1 Cardiff 2

Blackburn 2 Forest 1

Newcastle’s last six results also listed with the latest result first;

Newcastle 0 Blackburn 1

Leeds 0 Newcastle 2

Newcastle 2 Cardiff 1

Preston 1 Newcastle 2

Newcastle 3 Ipswich 0

Barnsley 0 Newcastle 2