Sunderland to miss out? Predicting the Championship’s top six race

The Championship top six battle is hotting up with 12 games left to play.

England’s second tier is known for providing moments of beauty in the latter stages of the campaign with late heartbreak and joy as teams fight it out for a spot in the most coveted league in football.

Last season three points separated five teams between 6th and 10th. Blackburn Rovers came back from 3-1 down to win 4-3 to send Sunderland into the play-offs, but they themselves missed out due to an inferior goal difference.

As things stand just nine points separates 1st and 4th and another nine between 5th and 10th. It is all to play for, but here we make our top six prediction.

1st: Leicester City

The Foxes have faltered lately, but remain six points ahead of everyone else. I think 2nd place is still up for grabs, but it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Leicester City lifting the title come May.

2nd: Leeds United

Nine wins on the bounce have seen Daniel Farke’s men climb to 2nd in the table. They currently occupy one of the two automatic promotion spots and whilst there is a long way to go, they are hitting form at just the right time.

3rd: Ipswich Town

For a sustained period this season it appeared as if Kieran McKenna’s side were set for back-to-back 2nd place finishes. They’ve been a real feel good team in the division this season, but I think the experience of the sides around them will just pip them to it on this occasion.

4th: Southampton

Russell Martin’s side have done incredibly well to turn around quite a lacklustre start to the campaign. They’ve enjoyed long unbeaten runs this season, but they may have left themselves with just too much to do and three defeats in their last five suggest the inconsistencies remain.

5th: West Brom

The Baggies were a long-standing Premier League side not so long ago and I think this season is their best chance yet at recovering that top division status.

Carlos Corberan has them 5th currently and I don’t see any change to that between now and the end of the season.

6th: Coventry City

This was a big toss up between the Sky Blues and Hull City.

Coventry City are currently four points behind the Tigers and the top six, but I think they’ve got a better chance of making it than Hull City.

Mark Robins’ side have a fair share of winnable games left and for me they’ve proven this season they’re more than capable of consistently taking points from the top sides and it is for that reason I have given them the edge here.