Huddersfield Town have been there or thereabout at the top of the Championship since the first ball was kicked this season. But things could be about to go horribly wrong as we approach the final furlong in this campaign.
Friday night’s clash with Bristol City gave David Wagner’s men the chance to close the gap on league leaders Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion – but they suffered a 4-0 hammering by their opponents – giving the Magpies and the Seagulls a great chance to pull further clear.
Fortunately for Huddersfield, Newcastle could only manage a draw while Brighton lost 2-0 to Leeds United.
But that’s left Terriers fans wondering what might’ve been had their side have beaten Bristol City on Friday night.
It would’ve put Huddersfield just three points off an automatic promotion spot – with a game in hand over their opponents.
It’s a different story now though, as Huddersfield are just two points ahead of Garry Monk’s Leeds side in fourth.
A play-off spot is all but guaranteed – but we know just how much of a lottery that process can be. And worryingly for Huddersfield fans, it’s one which doesn’t tend to favour sides currently in their position.
Last campaign, it was Brighton who missed out on promotion via the play-offs, despite finding themselves in the top three for much of the season.
The year before it was Middlesbrough who had been near the top of the table for much of the season, before falling at the final hurdle and finding themselves in the second tier for another year.
In the 2013-14 campaign, it was Derby County who finished third in the table, but lost out to Queens Park Rangers in the play-off final.
And the year before that, Crystal Palace came out of nowhere to win promotion via their top six finish, despite Watford missing out on an automatic spot by two points after spending much of the campaign in and around the top two.
The list of clubs coming short despite dominating for much of the season is endless.
And given the competition likely to be in this year’s play-offs – one would have to admit that Huddersfield have it all to do if they’re to go up via that method.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing