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Championship Promotion Watch: Feb 6-12

Let's not shy away from this. Reading are in a promotion race and it's time to start keeping an eye on other results.

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

There's just over one third of the season to go in the Championship it's time to start crunching some numbers and working out just how Reading can win promotion. While simply winning our remaining 16 games should do the job, chances are we're going to need a fair bit of help from those around us. So over the final three months of the season, we'll be looking at what the teams around us are doing and who they've got to face. We'll focus mainly on the top six, with a look a bit further down to 7th and 8th.

(1) Newcastle - 6 Points Ahead - 17 Games Left

Points last week: 4/6

Current Promotion Odds: 1/14

Newcastle had a solid week, picking up four points from two home games with QPR and Derby. Dwight Gayle's absence continues to hurt Rafa Benitez's side, whose fans have also had to deal with speculation over their manager's future. Rafa says he's staying but it was easy to see his frustration at not being able to make a major signing on deadline day.

Games This Week: Wolves (18th) (A) - Saturday 5.45pm (SKY)

A trip to Molinuex can prove tricky, just ask Jaap Stam, while Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool found out just how good Paul Lambert's side can be when they're on form. More importantly, Newcastle themselves found out that Paul Wolves are no pushovers as they lost 2-0 to them at St James' Park back in September.

However at 18th in the table Wolves are a fragile side and Derby, Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds and Norwich have all come away from with three points from the West Midlands. Unfortunately you'd expect Benitez to come back with maximum points as well.

(2) Brighton - 5 Points Ahead - 17 Games Left

Points last week: 1/6

Current Promotion Odds: 1/6

Brighton ended a fairly miserable week on a high, as a 97th minute goal earned them a point against Brentford, who blew 2-0 and 3-2 leads at Griffin Park. That point helped make up for a demoralising thrashing at Huddersfield three days earlier.

Games This Week: Burton (21st) (H) - Saturday 3pm

Hard to feel optimistic about Burton getting anything out of their trip to the Amex. While they did win away at QPR a week ago, overall they've had an awful record on the road, with their only other win away coming at Rotherham back in December. There's no such thing as an easy game in the Championship but this has to be three points for Chris Hughton's side.

(3) Reading - 56 Points - 16 Games Left

Points last week: 4/6

Current Promotion Odds: 5/1

Despite failing to get the win over Ipswich that we wanted, four points from two away games is a good return for any side. Throw in four signings and suddenly things are really looking up for Reading right now.

Games This Week: Barnsley (9th) (H) - Saturday 3pm

Barnsley were the league's early suprise package but seemed to be heading back down to midtable mediocrity after Reading's 2-1 win at Oakwell sparked a six game winless run. Yet the Tykes bounced back and have lost just four of their last 17 games to keep themselves in the play-off hunt. Selling two key players to Villa last week won't have helped their chances but don't underestimate our visitors from Yorkshire this week.

(4) Huddersfield - 1 Point Behind - 17 Games Left

Points last week: 6/6

Current Promotion Odds: 11/4

What a week for Huddersfield, who toppled Brighton and Leeds to claim all six points. David Wagner's side are bang on form and that's why their promotion odds are third best in the league right now.

Games This Week: QPR (19th) (A) - Saturday 3pm

QPR are one of the hardest sides to predict. One minute they're winning at the Mad Stad and drawing at St James', the next they're losing at home to Burton. Here's hoping Jamie Mackie can do some celebrations we can all get behind.

(5) Leeds - 2 Points Behind - 16 Games Left

Points last week: 3/6

Current Promotion Odds: 3/1

Wagner v Monk may have been more entertaining than Mayweather v Pacquiao but all Monk has to show for his scuffle at Huddersfield is a bruised ego. A win over Blackburn earlier in the week will have made things a bit easier to stomach but Leeds are still struggling for consistency on the road, with just one win in their last five away games.

Games This Week: Cardiff (17th) (H) - Saturday 3pm

Fortunately for Monk, he's got a couple of home games coming up, starting with Neil Warnock's Cardiff on Saturday. As we saw the other week, they're a stubborn side and hopefully 'Colin' will be extra motivated to get a result against his old team.

(6) Sheffield Wednesday - 7 Points Behind - 17 Games Left

Points last week: 3/3

Current Promotion Odds: 5/1

Only one game for Carlos Carvalhal to negotiate last week, as Wednesday picked up all three points at the DW Stadium against Wigan. That win was enough to see them move above Derby into the play-off spots, as they look to go one better than last season's play-off final defeat to Hull. Just as importantly they signed a man who's scored more Championship goals than any other over the past five years in Jordan Rhodes.

Games This Week: Birmingham (12th) (H) - Friday 7.45pm (Sky)

Birmingham FINALLY won a game under Gianfranco Zola this week so fingers crossed they can cause a few problems for Wednesday live in front of the Sky cameras on Friday night. Defeat would almost certainly end Brum's flickering play-off ambitions so they should be keen to get a result.

The Chasing Pack

(7) Norwich - 10 Points Behind - 17 Games Left

Points last week: 3/3 - Current Promotion Odds: 15/2

Games this week: Wigan (23rd) (A) - Tuesday 7.45pm & Nottingham Forest (15th) (H) - Saturday 3pm

(8) Derby - 10 Points Behind - 17 Games Left

Points last week: 0/3 - Current Promotion Odds: 5/1

Games this week: Bristol City (20th) (H) - Saturday 3pm


(9) Barnsley - 11 points behind

(10) Fulham - 13 points behind