Middlesbrough set to retain their grasp on Championship top-spot


Their 1-0 victory over Burnley on Tuesday night took Middlesbrough to the top of the Championship, and according to Ladbrokes News readers that is where they will stay.

The Riverside club have been waiting seven years for a return to the top-flight and our latest poll says that will come to an end after this campaign.

The form that Aitor Karanka’s men are in certainly suggests that the north east outfit are set to prove the 53 per cent that tipped them for the title right.


With clean sheets in seven of their last eight Championship fixtures it has been an excellent rearguard action that has formed the back-bone of their push for top-spot.

And with a good spread of goals this term – five players have netted three or more this term – they are also far from shy when it comes to matters down the other end.

The 2003-04 League Cup winners are the 11/8 favourites to be lifting the trophy at the end of the term, and it seems the majority of people have them down to do just that.

As far as the race for the second automatic promotion spot goes it looks as if it will a two horse race according to our poll.

Our readers struggled to separate them but in the end it was Brighton who came out on top with 21 per cent of the votes ahead of Derby with 19 per cent.

The Seagulls remain the only unbeaten side in the top five tiers of English football, but could the 10 draws from their 21 fixtures see them fall short of the automatic places?

County find themselves just two points behind with just a solitary defeat to their names since the end of August, but according to our poll, they should cling on behind Boro come May.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.