We are a little more than halfway through the EFL Championship season, and we are starting to see which teams have the best chance of earning direct promotion to next season’s Premier League. We also have a crowded pack of teams that could qualify for the promotion playoffs, with only eight points separating third place in the table from 14th place. Which teams have the best shot of getting the points necessary to win the Championship and call the Premier League home next season?
Leeds is one of the favorites to win the Championship and return to the Premier League after a 15-year absence because of their stingy defense. They have allowed the fewest goals of any team in the league, and they’ve scored 37 goals so far this season. They have seven matches left against the top 10 teams in the table, but they end with three matches against bottom eight teams in the league. Currently in second place with 48 points, their schedule shapes up and their defense will give them the best chance to win the league outright and earn direct promotion.
West Bromwich Albion
West Brom currently sits in first place with 51 points, and they’ve done that by scoring a lot of goals. They lead the Championship in goals scored, and that’s going to help them outpace teams. They have seven matches left against top 10 teams, and they have a really good chance of staying in first place to win promotion by winning the EFL Championship.
Brentford is third with 40 points, and they have seven matches left against top 10 teams. March will be a make-or-break month for them, as they host Sheffield Wednesday, travel away to Fulham, and then host West Brom. They are off the pace right now to win the league outright, but are in prime position to make the promotion playoffs.
Sheffield Wednesday has eight left against top 10 teams, but its schedule in February, March and April that will seal their fate. In February, they have seven matches against the bottom half of the table, but it sets up for a murderer’s row of six straight weeks in March and April where they face top 10 teams. If they can emerge from that with a few wins, that could mean the difference between promotion and another season in the Championship.
Fulham’s had the worst form of the top six teams lately, but they don’t play a match against a top 10 team until late February. After that, it’s five straight top 10 opponents, with eight total against the top 10 teams the rest of the season. They’re sitting in fifth place and need to earn a lot of points to separate themselves from the peloton, but if they can get the wins against the teams they should be defeating, Fulham will return to the Premier League after being relegated last season.