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Leicester grab top spot from Cardiff as Posh and Ipswich struggle

| 22.10.2012

Leicester moved to the top of the Championship table on goal difference over Cardiff after a late equaliser earned them a point against Birmingham.

The Foxes failed to record a sixth straight victory in the league, but their draw in West Midlands makes them favourites at 7/2 to finish top.

Nigel Pearson’s side were the form team going into the clash at St Andrew’s, and with an 100% home record they have been impressive this season.

However Cardiff have also won five from home on their own turf, and have an identical record on the road as Leicester, with both sides winning twice, drawing once and losing on three occasions.

Just two goals separates the two clubs, and the Bluebirds – who incidentally now only play in blue away from home – are 4/1 to win the league.

Leicester can turn to one-cap England wonder David Nugent to find the net, whilst Frenchman Anthony Knockaert has adapted swiftly to English football in midfield.

For Cardiff, Welsh star Craig Bellamy is a proven performer at the highest level and a key man for Malky Mackay’s side, and winger Peter Whittingham has been in impressive goalscoring form for the capital club.

The battle for top spot in the Championship looks like it will be an enthralling but enduring tussle between these two clubs, with a gulf in class evident between them and the rest of the promotion contenders.

At the other end of the table, struggling Peterborough and Ipswich Town found no respite on trips to Watford and Hull respectively.

Darren Ferguson’s side suffered an agonising last-minute 1-0 defeat at Vicarage Road, having shown signs of improvement with two wins from their last three.

Posh managed to cope without former star Craig Mackail-Smith last season when they finished 18th, but are now odds-on at 4/11 to drop down to League One.

Ipswich fell to their second loss in a row, and have now failed to win in nine games, a dismal spell stretching back to 21 August when they narrowly overcame Watford.

Tractor Boys manager Paul Jewell admitted after the defeat that he was considering his future, and with such a crisis engulfing the Suffolk club their odds of 5/2 to be relegated appear tempting.

Elsewhere, fourth place Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their last eight outings, and look good value at 10/1 to gain promotion to the Premier League.

The playoffs are always something of a lottery, but if Palace can keep hold of teenage striking sensation Wilfried Zaha in January they will give themselves every chance.

Unfortunately events at Hillsborough on Friday night where Sheffield Wednesday played out a 1-1 draw with Leeds United marred the weekend’s action.

Both managers condemned the actions of a Leeds fan who took to the pitch after Michael Tonge’s equaliser for the visitors and struck home keeper Chris Kirkland in the face.

The FA have launched an investigation into the incident, after Gloucestershire police confirmed they arrested a 21-year-old man from Cheltenham on suspicion of assault.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Author

Jamie Dickenson