The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

DE­SPITE th­ese two clubs not hav­ing met in the league since 1980, they find them­selves in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion two games short of the sea­son’s half­way point.

Both be­gan steadily if in­con­sis­tently be­fore im­pres­sive runs that ended last week lifted them into play-off con­tention. Fresh from pro­mo­tion, Brent­ford are the Cham­pi­onship’s sur­prise pack­age, de­spite de­feat at Hud­der­s­field last week. Their big­gest prob­lem now is over-ex­pec­ta­tion after five wins from five in Novem­ber earned Mark War­bur­ton the man­ager of the month award and cat­a­pulted them into play-off con­tention.

Hav­ing fin­ished eighth last term, Black­burn’s po­si­tion on the play-off pe­riph­ery is less sur­pris­ing. They could eas­ily have been nes­tled inside the top six be­fore this game, after an in­jury-time win­ner cost them at Sh­effield Wed­nes­day last week, but while Rudy Gest­ede and Jor­dan Rhodes are a fine pair­ing, they need to im­prove de­fen­sively to mount a pro­mo­tion chal­lenge.

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