6 Championship Teams Who Are Capable of Gatecrashing the Play-offs This Season

The Championship is never over till it's literally over. 


For seasons now, whether it be Leicester in 2013 or Brighton in 2014, we're always treated to some last minute drama. This campaign should hopefully be no different - even if Wolves  appear to be running away with the title. 


Here are six Championship teams who could be the ones to deliver this year's drama...

6. Fulham

Fulham were one of the favourites to make a Premier League return prior to the start of the season, but things didn't go to plan for the Cottagers and the London club rarely look like threatening the playoffs let alone the automatic places in the early months of the campaign. 


Slaviša Jokanović seems to have finally turned things around for the possession-based team however, and the Whites are now just one point off 6th place having won five of their last seven league games. 


They may well lose teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon in the January transfer window, but if  Jokanović is allowed to reinvest the hefty fee they will no doubt receive, Fulham may even fancy their chances of snatching a second-placed finish which is currently just 10 points out of reach. 

5. Brentford

Brentford had a sketchy start to the season, and you could argue that the Bees were unlucky -but they were also very wasteful with their chances. The 11th-placed side use a moneyball system to compete with the other Championship teams who have vastly superior budgets, and it has worked wonders at the London-based club. 


This season, Sergi Canos from Norwich and Ollie Watkins from Exeter City have been the shrewdest pieces of business by the Bees, with both impressing mightily at Griffin Park. Dean Smith has a side full of pace and trickery and, while they might not always be defensively sound, they nearly always promise excitement. 


Lasse Vibe seems to have found his shooting boots as the club has taken on a more clinical edge recently, while Ryan Woods has been instrumental in the middle of of the park. Brentford  will need to keep hold of the 24-year-old in January, if they can do that then expect them to finish in or around the play-offs come May. 

4. Middlesbrough

Considering the amount of money Boro spent in the summer and the quality they bought, Pulis'  side should already be in the playoffs - at least. Things rarely work out that way in the Championship however, and, as it stands, Middlesbrough are in 9th, just two points off 6th. 


Tony Pulis was appointed as Boro coach after Garry Monk left with the club in 9th place. Since his arrival, the former West Brom boss has lost two of his opening three games, and the club still remain in the same position. 


Pulis will be given time in the North East, nevertheless, as Steve Gibson has already shown with Monk, an eventual play-off challenge will be expected of him and his side.

3. Ipswich Town

Mick McCarthy's Ipswich are currently just four points off the playoffs in 12th place. The Tractor Boys, who were expected to finish towards the bottom of the Championship, got off to an excellent start having won all four of their opening fixtures and were second in the table at one point.


Since then, progress has been halted by an injury crisis which has seen as many as 13 players sidelined. Summer arrival Emry Huws has been ruled out for the season, as have youngsters Teddy Bishop and Andre Dozzell. Another summer arrival, Tom Adeyemi, is also currently injured, meaning the Town, especially in midfield, have virtually no options.


Nevertheless, Mick has somehow kept his side in the hunt for the playoffs and, with players hopefully returning from the treatment table, he may even look to conjure the Blues back into the playoffs for the first time since the 2013/14 season. 

2. Norwich City

Norwich City have been undergoing a transitional period under new head coach Daniel Farke and it showed in what was an inconsistent first-half to the season. After a questionable start to the campaign, the East Anglian side beat rivals Ipswich in October to climb up to 6th in the table and were unbeaten in their last nine league games. The German revolution finally looked to be working. 


That win, however, seemed to curse Farke's side, as they went on a subsequent dreadful run of no wins in seven, and the former Dortmund coach looked in real trouble of losing his job. Things have steadied since then, and Norwich currently find themselves just behind Ipswich in 13th place and six points off the playoffs. 


Norwich will no longer receive parachute payments at the end of this season, and so the club will be desperate for promotion before they are forced to sell their top assets in the summer. The Yellows, who have already sold playmaker Alex Pritchard to Huddersfield for a reported £11m, will need to keep hold of star player James Maddison if they are to stand any chance of breaking into the play-offs. 

1. Sheffield Wednesday

Yes, with Wednesday currently 12 points off the play-offs, it would take Luhukay's side a monumental effort to finish anywhere near sixth. Nevertheless, the Owls, who finished 4th just last season, still have some quality players who are more than capable of mounting the challenge. 


Former head coach, and current Swansea boss, Carlos Carvalhal left the club in December having guided them to the play-offs in the past two seasons. Things felt stale at Hillsborough and a change of manager was probably needed. New coach Jos Luhukay was appointed by Wednesday in January, the former Hertha Berlin boss' first game in charge was against rivals Sheffield United. Despite playing most of the second-half with 10 men, the Owls could have snatched all three points late on in what was an encouraging display. 


The Dutchman's first priority will be to steer Wednesday away from the relegation places, after that who knows? The 16th-placed side have shown that they can do it before with not too a dissimilar team. 

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