The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE -

JUST seven points sep­a­rate the top eight clubs in this year’s Cham­pi­onship. In­cred­i­bly, when Wat­ford play Mid­dles­brough to­morow in game 41, fourth will go above first if the Hor­nets win. Now that is ex­cite­ment for you.

The lure of the Pre­mier League is cre­at­ing an in­cred­i­ble com­pe­ti­tion be­neath it.

No­body can pos­si­bly pre­dict the dra­mas that will un­fold. Nor could any­body make up the sto­ries that have al­ready been told.

Who would be­lieve, for in­stance, that Mark War­bur­ton would be leav­ing Brent­ford with his side in fifth place at the first time of ask­ing in the Cham­pi­onship?

Or who would be­lieve that a rel­a­tively small club like Bournemouth could be sit­ting on the verge of the top-flight?

Such an in­tense con­test as this one is bril­liant for the en­tire Foot­ball League. All 72 clubs ben­e­fit from stan­dards ris­ing at the top. In the same way as a chain is only as strong as its weak­est link, the am­bi­tion and phe­nom­e­nal per­for­mance of th­ese top Cham­pi­onship clubs leads the way and sets the stan­dards for oth­ers to fol­low.

I’m go­ing to have a crack and call it: Wat­ford and Mid­dles­boro au­to­mat­i­cally, with Derby through the play-offs. That’s my shout. No dis­re­spect to any of the oth­ers. That'’ what my in­stinct tells me.

Let’s be hon­est, any of the eight could make it. Those that do will most cer­tainly have de­served it.

GO­ING: Mark War­bur­ton

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