Who will be promoted from the Championship this season?

Kenny Jackett has his work cut out but Millwall are still in with a chanceWith the thrills and spills of the Premier League this season the media have had too many things to report on. Due to this the coverage given to the N Power Championship has been minimal and mainly focused around the success of QPR. They seem to have finally got the mix right and are everything but certain of a place in next year’s top flight.

The question that is on most people’s lips though is who will join them. At the beginning of the season I, like most people, was sure that Middlesbrough with their summer signings would be promoted without a hitch but the charge never materialised and now they are only just ahead of the relegation dog fight. Teams like Crystal Palace and Sheffield United were expected to be in the toss up for a play-off place and are now both in a very worrying position. However where there are under achievers there are inevitably over achievers.

Last year Millwall, Leeds and Norwich were all plying their trade in the third tier of English football. Now though they are all in with more than a decent shout of reaching the “promised land” as many pundits call it. I do not think though that promotion is what a club like Leeds needs at a time when they’re trying to build solid foundations but I would hate to argue this point with one of their supporters. Norwich are probably in the strongest position to go up out of the “newly promoted sides” simply because they are the highest placed. Only because of a recent Cardiff spurt (largely due to a Manchester City player, Bellamy) they do not occupy second spot and only sit in third. Millwall of late have eased up a bit and so find themselves in eighth position but still in with a shout. Maybe it is bias or maybe some sort of sixth sense but I think that getting promoted is perhaps a bridge too far for Kenny Jackett’s men.

The Welsh contingents in the football league are also looking pretty likely to be promoted. Cardiff City are looking to rectify last year’s shock play-off defeat by going up automatically this year, and as they currently sit in second place they are odds on to achieve this. Swansea have also been sitting in the upper echelons of the championship table for quite some time which means that a trip to Wembley at least is expected of them. There have never been two Welsh clubs in the Premiership before, could next year be their time?

Nottingham Forrest and Reading though will certainly have a lot to say about this. They wouldn’t mind stopping this statistic from occurring just so as they can play in one of the best leagues in the world. Reading have shown that they can compete and beat the “big boys” (if you still count Aston Villa as a big club) and that has to count for something. Nottingham Forrest had a brilliant yet torrid time of things last year. Any other season and they would have been promoted as champions and yet thanks to the pairing of Newcastle and West Bromich Albion they had to be content with a third place finish. The cruel ways of the play-offs meant that they were beaten by Blackpool, some say unfairly. This year has been less successful but they still find themselves in the midst of the promotion contenders. You never know, if they just about sneak into the play-off positions this year a glory filled day out to Wembley could be on the cards.