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Championship: Teams outside top-six still in with a play-off chance

| 11.10.2017

The 2017-18 Championship season is 11 rounds in and the table is beginning to take shape.

Only four points separate the top six sides, with Cardiff City currently leading the pack on 24 points.

Among those clubs chasing the Welsh outfit, we have Sheffield United, Bristol City, and Preston North End.

Can these relatively smaller teams, with comparatively smaller budgets, keep that form going? Or, will the big boys reel them in as the campaign progresses?

We take a look at three teams outside the current top sextet who offer plenty of value.

Derby County

Gary Rowett’s squad may be back in 15th at present but they remain just seven points off the top-six with a game-in-hand.

Rowett has put together a good Championship squad including Tom Huddlestone, Tom Lawrence, and Sam Winnall. But consistency has been lacking so far.

After an impressive 5-0 home win over Hull City in early September, they’re winless in four.

Six points in back-to-back games at Pride Park against Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday could see them rise back up the table.

At 9/4 to make the play-offs come May, we fancy their chances.

Ipswich Town

Just how does Mick McCarthy do it? With a budget of next-to-nothing, the former Republic of Ireland manager somehow has Ipswich sitting pretty in eighth.

Summer signings from Rangers, Martyn Waghorn (six) and Joe Garner (four) are among the league’s top scorers.

With 20 goals in just 10 league fixtures, The Tractor Boys are averaging two a game. However, they’ve conceded 16, and that will be the worry as we go deeper into the season.

If big Mick can tighten it up at the back, 8/1 on Ipswich making the top-six is pure value.


Things haven’t gone to plan so far at the Madejski Stadium this season.

Big things were expected of Jaap Stam’s side after reaching the Championship play-off final last season. But the Royals seem to have buckled a little under that weight.

Down in 20th with just nine points to date, Reading have a lot of work to do to catch up.

However, Stam’s outfit certainly has the experience to turn things around. They didn’t lose anyone of any note squad-wise.

If anything, the additions of Sone Aluko from Fulham and Leandro Bacuna from Aston Villa should have added even more quality.

Bolters sometimes come from nowhere in the Championship to make the play-offs. It’s still early doors at the minute. 18/1 on Reading is huge.

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



Cian Carroll

Starting life as a football columnist for his local paper in Dundalk, Cian has written for a number of media outlets with pieces published in The Birmingham Mail and Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo. A lover of football, GAA, boxing, rugby and MMA, he’s a big Aston Villa and Dundalk fan. He can be regularly spotted on various mountain tops.