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Leeds are the big winners as the Championship title race opens up

| 12.12.2010

For much of the season, it has looked like being a two-way fight between QPR and Cardiff to win promotion to the Premier League as champions, with Swansea also threatening sporadically, however Leeds have started to creep into contention.

The Whites were down in 16th and a dozen points behind Cardiff after being thrashed 4-0 at home by the Welsh club in October but an eight-match unbeaten run has followed that has taken them to within two points of the second-placed Bluebirds and five points off leaders QPR.

Leeds’ latest success came at Turf Moor, where hosts Burnley had only been beaten once previously this season, and wasn’t lacking in excitement as they fought back from 2-0 down at half-time to triumph 3-2, Jonny Howson grabbing the decisive goal in the 85th minute.

Despite their surge up the table, Simon Grayson’s side remain massive 20/1 outsiders to take top spot, a tempting price given the struggles that several of the pacesetters are enduring at the moment.

QPR, the table-toppers and 5/6 favourites, surrendered their undefeated start to the season in spectacular fashion with a 3-1 loss to Watford at Loftus Road, Cardiff (4/1) have won just once in seven, losing four in that time, and Swansea (10/1) appear to have difficulty stringing together victories.

Another team considered capable of taking advantage of the top three’s loss of form are Norwich, who are two points behind Leeds in sixth but shorter at 18/1 to win the title.

The Canaries suffered a setback at the weekend though, being beaten 2-0 by Portsmouth at Carrow Road, and it’s their home record that threatens to compromise a promotion push, as their points haul in front of their own fans is identical to that of relegation-threatened Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.