Will it be Norwich, Leeds or Sheffield United? Sky TV pundits have their say
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Sky TV’s pundits have had their say on the destination of Championship honours – and there are no nasty surprises for Norwich City fans.
Scott Minto, Danny Higginbotham, David Prutton, Don Goodman, Andy Hinchcliffe and Keith Andrews have all cast their expert eyes over the next few games and predicted how they believe the run-in will unfold.
Who will win promotion?
Scott Minto: 1 Norwich, 2 Sheffield United.
I’ve said for some time now that it will be Norwich plus one. They look as if they are playing without any pressure or fear, because no one expected them to be where they are. Second place is more difficult to call because it is chopping and changing so much.
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Danny Higginbotham: 1 Norwich, 2 Sheffield United
They are five points clear of second place and they’ve just got the consistency. Full credit to Daniel Farke, and to Stuart Webber as well, they didn’t have a great start to the season and it just shows that patience is key. Chris Wilder has done an incredible job at Sheffield United. He was named Manager of the Year and rightly so.
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David Prutton: 1 Norwich, 2 Leeds
The freedom with which Norwich are playing is superb to see. They have a gap and they aren’t going to mess it up from here. I know Leeds suffered a setback at the weekend but every time you expect them to fall away they come back stronger. I think they will just edge it.
Don Goodman: 1 Norwich, 2 Sheffield United
The way Norwich are playing I can envisage them winning all their remaining games. They won’t throw it away from here. Second place is a tough one and it is pretty much a 50/50. But I think Sheffield United can just grind out results and that will see them through.
Andy Hinchcliffe: 1 Norwich, 2 Sheffield United
Norwich are deserved title winners. I think Sheffield United have recovered well and with the games they have left I think they have enough.
Keith Andrews: 1 Norwich, 2 Sheffield United
Sheffield United had a big swing at the weekend. It’s very difficult to call who’s going to come second in that division. When you look at the run-in I slightly favour Sheffield United, only slightly.
Who will win the play-offs?
Minto: It is between Bristol City and Derby for me for the final spot, but I’ve just got a sneaking suspicion that Frank Lampard and Jody Morris can get Derby there. Play-offs are a lottery and I’d be a fool to put any money on it! I think it would be a Villa vs Leeds final and at that point, after what happened last season, I would have to back Aston Villa.
Higginbotham: Aston Villa are on a fantastic run and I feel like Derby will get in as well. The momentum is there for both. I also fancy a Villa v Leeds final, but I worry for either side that misses out on the top two. There could be a hangover there and Aston Villa could capitalise.
Prutton: It will probably go to the final day of the season to sort the final spot, but I think Derby are back on form now they have a fit squad again. The two sides battling for automatic promotion behind Norwich right now are a cut above the rest. I’d back either going into the play-offs, so Sheffield United for me.
Goodman: I think Villa are nailed on so it just comes down to the last spot, which I think is between Bristol City and Derby. I’d back Frank Lampard’s side to make it, but I reckon Leeds will triumph at Wembley.
Hinchcliffe: Derby will take the final spot but Aston Villa will play Leeds in the final and win.
Andrews: When you look at them across the two games against the other play-off contenders then I would say I fancy Leeds. They will beat Aston Villa in the final.
Who will get relegated?
Minto: Reading, Bolton, Ipswich. I feel like the Royals’ home form will cost them in the run-in. Rotherham will edge them out.
Higginbotham: Reading, Bolton, Ipswich. Rotherham have incredible spirit and there is no pressure on them. I’m going to have to say Reading to join the other two.
Prutton: Rotherham, Bolton, Ipswich. Rotherham have put up an incredible fight this season but I think they will just fall short.
Goodman: Reading, Bolton, Ipswich. Reading have the tougher run-in and I think that will prove decisive.
Hinchcliffe: Reading, Bolton, Ipswich. The way they play isn’t hugely convincing and they have tough games so I see Reading getting dragged down.
Andrews: Reading, Bolton, Ipswich. I know for a fact Rotherham and Millwall are up for the fight, but Reading don’t convince me at all.