The battle to win promotion to the Premier League is always a fiercely fought affair and this season’s race promises to be no different.
West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United lead the way approaching the halfway mark in the campaign, but there are plenty of teams who will feel they can overhaul the top two sides.
Read on as we assess some of the main contenders for promotion from the Championship this term.
Baggies bouncing under Bilic
West Brom made an inspired choice when they appointed Slaven Bilic as manager and they are on course to claim one of the two automatic promotion slots.
Their form has brought them to the attention of the bookmakers and one of the best online betting sites around rates them as 7/5 shots to claim top spot.
A six-game winning run fired the Baggies into first place and it would be a brave move to back against them staying there for the rest of the season.
Bilic has built an impressive squad and West Brom are strongly fancied to secure promotion to the top flight.
Leeds look the real deal
Leeds looked certainties to win promotion for most of last season, but a late dip in form ultimately cost them their chance of going up.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side haven’t suffered any hangover from that disappointment and look the most likely candidates to beat West Brom to the title.
Their team looks a cut above the majority of the Championship and it would be a surprise if they aren’t in the top two at the end of the season.
The only nagging doubt is whether they can maintain the relentless pace Bielsa demands, although their squad does look strong enough to cope.
Fulham aiming to catch the big two
A run of four wins on the spin powered Fulham into the promotion reckoning, but a defeat against Bristol City halted their progress.
However, they have plenty of talent in their squad and will fancy their chances of closing the gap on the top two over the coming months.
Their promotion hopes probably rest on hanging onto Aleksandar Mitrovic, with the free-scoring striker likely to attract plenty of attention during the January transfer window.
If Fulham can resist offers for the Serbian, they are a good bet to secure at least a play-off spot this season.
Blackburn a lively outsider
Blackburn had been struggling to find their form, but four successive victories fired them onto the fringes of the play-off race.
Manager Tony Mowbray appears to have found a system that gets the best out of his players and they could kick-on during the second part of the season.
Rovers have plenty of firepower at their disposal, with the likes of Bradley Dack, Sam Gallagher, Danny Graham and Adam Armstrong capable of terrorising Championship defences.
With Mowbray confirming that he wants to strengthen his squad in January, Rovers are a lively outsider to finish in the top six.