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Championship Promotion Watch: Feb 20-26

The race for promotion continued without us this weekend, here's how things shake up.

Reading Football Club Championship Trophy Victory Parade Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

(1) Brighton - 8 Points Ahead - 14 Games Left

Results last week: Brighton 1-1 Ipswich, Barnsley 0-2 Brighton

Promotion Odds: This Week: 2/13 - Last Week: 2/13

We've got new leaders this week, as Brighton took advantage of Newcastle's weekend off to climb above them into first place. Four points from six was about what you'd expect but they did it the hard way after drawing at home to Ipswich and winning away at Play-off chasing Barnsley.

Games This Week: SAT: Reading (4th) (H)

It doesn't get much harder for us at the weekend as we go away to the leaders who have a full week's rest. Brighton haven't beaten us this season, with a draw at the Mad Stad and a Reading win at the Amex in the EFL Cup, yet this will be a whole different kind of pressure under the glare of the Sky TV cameras.


(2) Newcastle - 6 Points Ahead - 15 Games Left

Result last week: Norwich 2-2 Newcastle

Promotion Odds: This Week: 1/12 - Last Week: 1/19

Newcastle's odds have drifted again a little after a week that saw them fail to beat Norwich at Carrow Road. They had the weekend off and fell to second, yet the depth in their squad was clearly evident when Rafa Benitez decided to leave £3m summer signing Daryl Murphy out of the squad... must be nice to have such luxury!

Games This Week: MON: Aston Villa (17th) (H) - Bristol City (21st) (H)

A pair of home games against 17th and 21st seems easy enough but Villa have quality and with little else to play for they might just be inspired to prove a point after an appalling season so far. Bristol City are also no mugs, having earned a point at Pride Park a couple of weeks ago and pushed Leeds hard at Elland Road.


(3) Huddersfield - 1 Point Ahead - 15 Games Left

Result last week: Rotherham 2-3 Huddersfield

Current Promotion Odds: This Week 2/1 - Last Week: 5/2

David Wagner's side have that hint of Brian McDermott's team from 2012 in that they just keep grinding out win after win after win. They had to dig deep to beat Yorkshire rivals Rotherham in midweek before a much changed side forced a replay with Manchester City in the FA Cup.

Game This Week: TUES: Reading (4th) (H) - SAT: Barnsley (9th) (A)

A tasty matchup against us tomorrow night is followed up by another Yorkshire derby against Barnsley on Saturday. Six points from those two and you'd better believe they can take a spot in the top two. Reading will have to get past German central defenders Michael Hefele and Chris Schindler who are both fit to start on Tuesday night after recovering from stiff muscles.


(4) Reading - 60 Points - 14 Games Left

Result Last Week: Reading 3-2 Brentford

Current Promotion Odds: This Week: 5/1 - Last Week: 5/1

We made hard work of it but picked up a big three points against Brentford heading into a brutal pair of away fixtures. The bookies remain lukewarm on our promotion prospects at a best price of 5/1 for the third week in a row.

Game This Week: TUES: Huddersfield (3rd) (A) - Brighton (1st) (A)

You get the feeling this is make of break for us in terms of any hopes of an automatic promotion place. As I said with Huddersfield, if we come out of this week with a pair of positive results then get on board the hype train but a pair of defeats would leave us at least 11 points behind Brighton having played a game more,.


(5) Leeds - 2 Points Behind - 13 Games Left

Results Last Week: Leeds 2-1 Bristol City - Ipswich 1-1 Leeds

Current Promotion Odds: This Week: 9/2 - Last Week: 5/1

Another efficient yet unspectacular week for Garry Monk's side that possibly saw their automatic aspirations ended with a 1-1 draw at Portman Road. Eight points behind Newcastle having played two games more and 10 behind Brighton who also have a game in hand seems like too tall of a mountain to climb.

Games This Week: SAT: Sheffield Wednesday (6th) (H)

Whatever the result here, Reading stand to gain as the two teams directly below us face off. A draw would do very nicely but a home defeat for Leeds is also an attractive option given that their recent wobbles could start to turn into a full on slump.


(6) Sheffield Wednesday - 2 Points Behind - 14 Games Left

Result Last Week: Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Blackburn - Nottingham Forest 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday

Current Promotion Odds: This Week: 4/1 - Last Week: 5/1

Wednesday themselves are coming into some fine form, with a pair of 2-1 wins against stubborn sides in the past seven days. They didn't even need a Jordan Rhodes goal to win either game and it's four wins on the spin now for the Owls who've lost just once in 2017.

Games This Week: TUES: Brentford (15th) (H) - SAT: Leeds (5th) (A)

Brentford shouldn't pose a great deal of bother for Carlos Carvalhal's side but as mentioned, that Yorkshire derby against Leeds on Saturday will be a tasty affair.


The Chasing Pack

(7) Norwich - 9 Points Behind - 13 Games Left

Points Last Week: 1/6 - Current Promotion Odds: 9/1

Games This Week: SUN: Ipswich (13th) (H)


(8) Fulham - 11 Points Behind - 15 Games Left

Points Last Week: 3/3 - Current Promotion Odds: 13/2

Games This Week: WEDS: Bristol City (21st) (A) - SAT: Cardiff (12th) (A)



(9) Barnsley - 11 points behind

(10) Preston - 11 points behind