With 9 games to go, Leeds and West Brom seem to be in the driving seats for automatic promotion. So lets look at the chances of the rest of the current top half of the table's chances of making the play-off places. FULHAM with a current 4pt cushion over 4th placed team have 6 games still to play against sides still in the top half, Brentford(H), Leeds(A), QPR(A), Forest(A), Cardiff(H) and WBA(A). BRENTFORD currently on 60pts have only 4 teams in top half to play, Fulham(A), WBA(H), Derby(A) and Preston(H). FOREST also on 60pts have 5 games against top half to play, Bristol(H), Derby(A), Fulham(H)Preston(A) and Swansea(H). PRESTON in 6th spot on 56pts also have 5 games against top half to play, Cardiff(H), Derby(H), Forest(H), Brentford(A) and Bristol(A). BRISTOL CITY on 55pts have 5 games with top half teams, Blackburn(A), Forest(A), Cardiff(H), Swansea(A) and Preston(H). MILLWALL on 54pts have 4 teams in the top half, Derby(H), Swansea(H), Blackburn(H), and QPR(A). CARDIFF also on 54pts have 6 of the top half Leeds(H), Preston(A), Bristol(A), Blackburn(H), Fulham(A) and Derby(H). BLACKBURN on 53pts have 5 top half teams to play, Bristol(H), Leeds(H), Cardiff(A) WBA(H) and Millwall(A). SWANSEA also on 53pts have 4 matches against top half, Millwall(A), Leeds(H), Forest(A) and Bristol(H). Derby on 51pts have 7 teams in the top half to play, Millwall(A), Preston(A), Forest(H), WBA(A), Brentford(H), Cardiff(A) and Leeds(H). QPR on 50pts have just 3 from the top half, Fulham(H), Millwall(H) and WBA(A).
Looking at those matches to play Derby and Fulham have the toughest end of season fixtures. Fulham could lose their 4 point gap and be overtaken on 3rd spot, but I feel they have enough quality to stay in the top 6. Brentford should stay in the top 6 with only 4 tough fixtures and have scored 64 goals this season only conceding 33. Forest have a tough run in and depending on their home form might hang in there. Preston are catching the jitters of late and look like they could miss out with 5 tough games out of 9 to play. Bristol City have been hit and miss of late and could also miss out in closing in on the top 6. Millwall are one of the in form teams of late and depending on their home form could slip into the top 6. Cardiff have, of late only beaten teams at the bottom of the table, they draw too many games for me and with 6 games against teams at the top will fade away. Blackburn with only 2 wins in their last 8 matches seemed to also gone off the boil and could continue to fade away. Swansea barring Millwall are the lowest scorers in the top half and I feel this will stop them getting into the top 6. QPR are the most inconsistant team in the top half and leak goals and only 2 teams in the league have conceded more than their 62 goals. Derby are one of the form teams and since the arrival of Rooney have only tasted defeat in the league 3 times scoring 25 league goals having scored in every game played since Wayne made his debut in the Barnsley match. But the big question is can they keep it up. The records show that the team finishing 6th would at least need around 74pts or probably more. I going to predict that the Rams will finish 8th, I hope I'm wrong, because this is a weak Championship this season.