The promotion race run-in

 

image

With only 12 games remaining, the competition for the top 2 is steadily heating up. At the current time only 2 points separate 4th (BHAFC) from 1st (Burnley).


Championship Top 4

top 4

As you can see, it is a very close battle between Burnley, Hull, Middlesbrough, and Brighton. Lets see who (on paper) has the toughest run in.


 

Top 4 remaining fixtures

champ fixtures image

Brighton-

The only current top four sides Brighton face are Middlesbrough and Burnley. However tricky fixtures against promotion chasers Sheffield Wednesday, Birmingham, Preston, and Derby still remain. Wins against struggling teams such as Fulham, MK Dons, and Charlton are absolutely crucial for their promotion hopes.

Middlesbrough-

Middlesbrough face all the other teams occupying the top 3. This could be a combination for promotion or disaster as results against these teams will help pull them away from the pack. Furthermore, Karanka’s side must be winning matches against the current bottom three, Charlton, Rotherham, and Bolton.

Hull-

Hull only face one top four team (Middlesbrough). They have must win matches against struggling teams like Bolton, Leeds, Rotherham, and Bristol City. Although the last 13 fixtures don’t seem too harsh on Steve Bruce’s side, they also have to contend with the FA Cup. This just means more games to play coming up to the final hurdle.

Burnley-

Burnley face Brighton and Middlesbrough in two promotion ‘six-pointers’. Burnley must be winning games against Charlton, Leeds, Blackburn, and Fulham if they want to avoid a slip-up.


Average league position of remaining opponents

average opposition

Chris Hughton’s men have the hardest run in on paper with the average league position of their opponents being 11.3 – Meanwhile, Middlesbrough are in the ‘middle of the pack’ with an average opposition league position of 12th. Hull and Burnley boast the ‘easiest’ opposition on paper with 12.8 and 12.6 respectively.


 

Potential number of fixtures left in all competitions

This includes all cup competitions.

Brighton – 12

Middlesbrough – 13

Hull – 16

Burnley – 12

Brighton and Burnley have the least amount of fixtures to play. This is because both teams got knocked out of the FA cup reasonably early on in the competition. Middlesbrough have one game in hand meaning they have 13 games to play. If Hull beat Arsenal and make it through the quarter and semi-final, they will have 16 games to play.


Conclusion

Most people will agree that this season is tighter in terms of promotion. Nobody has pulled away from the pack and it is hard to predict who will come first. Brighton have probably the most interesting climax to the season… Derby at home followed by Middlesbrough away could be some nail biting fixtures. Let’s just hope the players can hold their nerve and keep some consistency coming into the final leg! Who will come out on top in this nerve racking season? We will find out in about 8 weeks!

-George Carden

 

 

 

 

 

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