Leeds United vs West Brom: Who will win the Championship?
07 Jun 2020 10:07 am, by YorkshireSquare
The EFL’s announcement that the Championship season should resume on the weekend of June 20 was music to the ears of fans across the country. With nine games to go there is still plenty to play for at both ends of the table, although there is one key battle that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion have been going head-to-head at the top of the standings for most of the campaign and the pair look in good shape to win promotion. Both clubs will be eager to claim the title and with just one point separating them ahead of the resumption it is tough to call the winner.
Life is a rollercoaster for Leeds
Leeds were amongst the favourites to win promotion this season and return to the Premier League for the first time since 2004. They were in excellent form during the early part of the season, but an inconsistent run of results around the turn of the year threatened to derail their challenge. Marcelo Bielsa’s side eventually steadied the ship, collecting 16 points from their last six matches to regain top spot over the Baggies. However, having suffered late wobble during the 2018/19 campaign Leeds, would be well advised not to take anything for granted this time around.
Bilic gets Baggies bouncing again
West Brom’s decision to appoint Slaven Bilic as manager has proved to be inspired and he looks well on course to lead his team into the Premier League. The Baggies have been tough to beat this season, losing just five times and rewarding punters who enjoy live betting on the Championship with numerous comebacks during the campaign. Bilic’s tactical acumen has shone through and supporters have rightly praised his ability to resolve his team’s problems when they have been behind. They have picked up 24 points after conceding the first goal and that ability to dig in should stand them in good stead over the course of the run-in.
Banana skins await Leeds on the road
With the bottom three in the Championship – Charlton Athletic, Luton Town and Barnsley – still to visit Elland Road, the Whites will fancy their chances of winning the title. However, other home games against Fulham and Stoke City are unlikely to be easy, while their schedule on the road is fraught with danger. Cardiff City, Blackburn Rovers, Swansea City and Derby County are all battling for a play-off spot and will be eager to knock Leeds off their perch. Despite the tough schedule, Leeds are more than capable of picking up enough points away from home to retain their grip on top spot.
Yorkshire tests could trip up West Brom
West Brom face tough games against Fulham and Brentford, while fixtures against play-off chasing Derby County and Blackburn will also be tricky. On the flip side, home fixtures against Birmingham City, Hull City and Queens Park Rangers all look winnable and should yield nine points. Visits to Yorkshire could prove to be West Brom’s undoing, with Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield Town no pushovers on their own patch. West Brom are unlikely to go down without a fight, but a marginally easier run-in for Leeds should help them win the Championship title.