Sky Sports EFL pundit Andy Hinchcliffe has insisted that he believes that Brentford will still come out on top in the race for automatic promotion to the Premier League this term.
It is starting to look like it could be a straight three-way battle between Brentford, Swansea City and Watford to join league leaders Norwich City in the Premier League next season.
The Hornets are currently sat in second place in the table, but Swansea in third are just one-point adrift and have two games in hand. While Brentford are three points back but they also have a game in hand.
The next few weeks could well define who comes out on top in the battle for promotion. Brentford do not have to play anyone around them in the top six or seven until the end of April when they meet Cardiff City. While Watford and Swansea both have a little tougher runs coming up on paper at least.
Speaking to Sky Sports’ latest EFL Podcast, Hinchcliffe outlined that he thinks it will still be Brentford who come out on top in the race for the top two. While he suggested that the next six games for all three teams might well prove to be crucial in deciding who earns promotion.
He said: “There’s so much that can happen, it’s the Championship so so much can happen. But I think if you look at the next six games. Crucial, crucial games for Brentford with the form that they’re in. They aren’t playing any of the teams that are in and around them at the top of the table. Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? We’ll soon find out.
“But as we know in the Championship on it’s day any team in the Championship can beat anybody.
I think it’s crucial for Watford in the next six games more than anyone else, they’ve got Cardiff, Middlesbrough and Reading to play in three of those six fixtures. So not that it’s all going to be sorted out in those next six games but we could, could have a better idea in six games time.
“But for the neutral and for the fans of these teams surely this is what we wanted at the end of this crazy, crazy season there’s so many teams still in the mix.
“I would still hang my hat on Brentford. I still feel Brentford are in the top two in terms of the quality of teams in this division, but Watford with the change in coach and change in formation are a lot more dangerous and they’ve actually picked up a lot more than I expected them to do. So you have to give them credit for changing things and putting themselves in the mix, but it’s absolutely wide open.”
This will be an encouraging prediction for Brentford fans to hear, and the Bees do look to have a major chance to assert their position in the race for the top two given their forthcoming fixtures. It will be interesting to see how they manage to react to that and whether they can go on a run and put pressure on Swansea and Watford.
Watford have been applying real pressure of late and they are in good form since tweaking their set-up to a 4-3-3. While Swansea continue to show lots of character in scoring two late winners in their last two matches. That suggests that Brentford are going to need to keep picking up results to stay in the race and then to come out on top.
As Hinchcliffe says it will be a very intriguing battle and won that could go down to the wire. However, Brentford might just have enough quality in their squad to edge out the other two sides and seal promotion to the Premier League.