Is Championship Automatic Promotion race now four into two after Friday’s result?
Has the Championship Automatic Promotion race now expanded from a three horse race to four?
Before last night’s game, Eddie Gray claimed that if Leeds beat Birmingham, Newcastle and Brighton would be thinking ‘we have got to win our game’ on Saturday.
Leeds duly beat Birmingham 3-1 on Friday night and the table now looks like this:
Leeds have narrowed the gap to only seven points behind Brighton and none adrift of Newcastle but have played one game more, though Newcastle and Brighton have a far superior goal difference.
As for Huddersfield they are now only one point ahead of their Yorkshire rivals but have played two games less.
The next few days see the following fixtures affecting the top five:
Saturday 4 March
Forest v Brighton (3pm)
Reading v Wolves (3pm)
Huddersfield v Newcastle (5.30pm)
Tuesday 7 March
Fulham v Leeds (7.45pm)
Huddersfield v Aston Villa (7.45pm)
Rotherham v Brighton (7.45pm)
Reading v Newcastle (8pm)
By the time of the final whistles on Tuesday night, all clubs will have 10 games remaining with the exception of Huddersfield who will have 11, and the table will almost certainly be a lot clearer in terms of exactly how many possible clubs are competing for the Championship Automatic Promotion spots.
Looking at Leeds’ remaining fixtures they have Brighton at home (18 March), Reading away (1 April) and Newcastle away (now 14 April – live on TV).
Depending on other results in the meantime, you could argue that if they took six points off Newcastle and Brighton they could be in the mix.
Bottom line though is that a win for Newcastle at Huddersfield today would see them in a very dominant position, 11 points clear of third and a far superior goal difference to their rivals, with only 11 matches remaining.
Eddie Gray talking to Leeds United TV before Birmingham 1 Leeds 3:
“It will be good to go and win the game on Friday night and let the other teams be thinking that Leeds United are still going really well.
“If we win the game on Friday night then the top two team will be thinking ‘we have got to win our game’ and they have both got tough away games.
“Newcastle are going to Huddersfield – which is a hard game for anybody, whilst Brighton are at Forest, so tough games.
“We (Leeds) will win (against Birmingham) with an odd goal in three, Chris Wood to score.”
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