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(Video) Who is set to for promotion to the Premier League: Seven Championship challengers including resurgent Middlesbrough and Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth

As we head into the final part of the season, suddenly the pressure of possible promotion is starting to hit a host of Championship clubs, all with a realistic chance of reaching the promised land of the Premier League.

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The lead in the league table has changed hands nearly twenty times this season, and staggeringly with around ten games to go, just eight points separate Middlesbrough in first, from Ipswich in seventh. The gap only increased after Boro’s 4-1 thrashing of Mick McCarthey’s side this lunchtime, having been five before kick-off.

Here is a run down of all the top seven’s challengers for promotion…

1st Middlesbrough

Aitor Karanka has got Boro playing some fantastic football, and if they can keep Patrick Bamford fit, then they will definitely be there or there abouts come May. They look somewhat shaky at the back, with a string of goalkeeper errors this season, but their fire power should see them through.

Verdict- Promoted

2nd Bournemouth

The Cherries have impressed everyone this season with their attacking prowess. Eddie Howe’s fearless brand of football will be required if they are to survive in the top flight given their lack of experience at that level. Their performance against Fulham last time out encapsulated their free-flowing football this season.

Verdict- Promoted

3rd Derby

Derby have done a remarkable job bouncing back from last season’s play-off heartbreak. But without strikers Chris Martin and Darren Bent, they have struggled for goals at times, and their complacency last time out against Birmingham – where they squandered a 2-0 lead in stoppage time – will be a concern for Steve McLaren.

Verdict- Championship next season

4th Watford

With the cluster of talent continually coming in on loan at Watford, you feel it is a matter of time before they get promoted. Despite their impressive current run, where they’ve lost just once in their last eight, they have conceded a fair amount of goals, which may prove their downfall.

Verdict- Championship next season

5th Norwich City

The Canaries are definitely the form team this year. Since Alex Neil arrived as manager in January, Norwich have dropped just seven points out of a possible thirty-six. Their performance last time out against Millwall was emphatically ruthless, and they seem capable of getting goals from any player, in any position.

Verdict- Promotion

6th Brentford

A cloud definitely lingers over Griffin Park, with Mark Warburton’s impending departure from the club in the summer. However the Bees get on this season, it will be considered a success, having only been promoted last year. They could be relying on the exciting playmaker, Jota, and Arsenal loanee Jon Toral, if they are to spring an unlikely surprise.

Verdict- Championship next season

7th Ipswich Town

Portman Road has been a different ground this season, as Mick McCarthy guides Ipswich up the table after years of mid-table mediocrity. However, the team have struggled since the turn of the year, bagging only four victories, and becoming outsiders in the promotion race. The thumping by Boro won’t help their confidence, and may just end their chances.

Verdict- Championship next season

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