Ray Parlour has made his prediction of the three clubs that he thinks will be trading the Championship for the Premier League next summer.
After 18 matches the league table is now taking a lot more shape and currently Newcastle & Brighton are looking hot favourites for the automatic promotion spots, with the bookies overwhelmingly agreeing with that.
Newcastle currently on 40 points, then Brighton 38, Reading 34 and Birmingham next best with 31.
Ray Parlour accepts that he has gone for ‘obvious choices’ in Newcastle and Brighton but picks ‘dark horse’ Sheffield Wednesday as the third to go up.
They are currently in seventh place on 28 points, amongst many clubs trying to fight their way into the play-off spots – only eight points separate 15 teams, from Leeds in 5th to Wolves in 19th.
Last season Brighton lost out on goal difference to Middlesbrough for automatic promotion and perished with Sheffield Wednesday in the play-offs.
Newcastle may be clear favourites at the top but fellow relegated teams Norwich and Aston Villa have given the rest an opportunity, the two clubs in that big glut of competitors – Norwich two points off the play-offs and Villa four, though the pair are 13 and 15 points respectively behind Newcastle.
Ray Parlour speaking to Talksport:
“I have gone for Newcastle and Brighton (to be promoted) – the obvious choices.
“Then I’m going to go for a dark horse.
“I think someone like Sheffield Wednesday, who are just outside the play-offs at the minute.”