Ian Holloway believes that West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United will face a battle for automatic promotion this season, with the EFL on Quest pundit predicting the chasing back will close the gap on them.
West Brom have managed to go on a 12 match unbeaten run since suffering their only defeat of the season at Elland Road back in October, with Slaven Bilic’s side winning seven of their last eight Championship matches to open up a 12 point gap on the teams chasing the automatic promotion places.
Meanwhile, Leeds have also been on their own impressive run of form, with the Whites currently unbeaten in their last 11 Championship matches since losing at 2-1 at Milwall , and although Marcelo Bielsa’s side surrendered a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 with Cardiff City last weekend, they are still ten points clear of third.
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However, in his latest column for the Mirror, Holloway stated that he believes that the chasing pack will start to narrow the gap as the campaign progresses.
“I don’t see Leeds and West Brom running away with it. I reckon come January you’ll see that ten-point gap from second downwards slowly shrinking.”
Having secured promotion from the Championship twice as a manager with Blackpool and Crystal Palace, Holloway knows all about how demanding the second half of the season can be on any promotion contenders in the English second tier.
West Brom and Leeds have been by far and away the two standout teams in the Championship during the first half of the campaign, and have deservedly opened up sizeable points cushions over the teams chasing the automatic promotion places.
However, that could all change very quickly if the two sides go on a run where they drop a few points, which can easily happen towards the end of the season, as Leeds saw last term when they missed out on promotion, so the two sides will need to be warry of the potential threat from the chasing pack.