Clarets are class above the rest

Saturday 28th December 2013 13:23

Burnley: Gunning for promotion from the Championship

Burnley: Gunning for promotion from the Championship

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Birmingham FanZoner Daniel Bliss assesses each Championship side's performance so far as we enter the crucial festive period.

1. Leicester A

Is this finally their big season? They look better than last year and the foxes believe they can beat anyone home and away. Must beat the teams around them to get into the automatic places.

2. Burnley A+

Sean Dyche has got the leaders playing with confidence and scoring plenty of goals. Danny Ings is arguably the league's best player so far and if he keeps up his superb form, they can be serious promotion contenders.

3. QPR A -

The R's have the strongest squad in the league by quite some margin. They have remained in the promotion pack without really getting out of second gear. Hard to believe they will be a Championship side next year.

4. Derby A +

Steve McClaren is working his magic with the Rams after an average start. An outstanding finish to 2013 with seven wins on the bounce has got them noticed. No longer the wally with a brolly!

5. Nottingham Forest B +

Playing some good football and always a difficult team to beat. In desperate need of a consistent goal scorer to book them a worthwhile place in the promotion battle.

6. Leeds B+

The Elland Road faithful have cheered their team into the promotion mix with a solid home record. If they can start finishing teams off, they could make a famous return to the top tier.

7. Reading C

Although they are in the promotion race, the strength of the squad has the potential to outplay most the division. Promotion is the priority and it is now time to push on.

8. Brighton B

The Seagulls do not look as strong since Gus Poyet departed but still worthy of their league position. With a little bit of consistency, they can certainly have a crack at the play-offs.

9. Ipswich A

Mick McCarthy again proving he knows this league very well as he continues to slowly revive the fortunes of the once famous tractor boys. On course for a positive season of progression.

10. Blackpool C+

After an excellent start, a lack of discipline and bad run of form during December has seen them slide outside the play-offs. Overall, Paul Ince should be happy with the season so far.

11. Blackburn C-

Not long since they were a comfortable Premier League side but they have set to show signs of them returning anytime soon. Clueless owners can only be frustrating for fans and manager.

12. Wigan E

Their Europa League campaign seems to have had a negative impact on their league form. Now they're out, I predict an improvement and a promotion charge remains possible.

13. Huddersfield B

Certainly look to have improved from last season and a mid-table position suit them well. With a bit of luck, fans might be able to start looking up rather than down.

14. Watford E

The Hornets will be desperately disappointed with the season so far. Some shambolic results and the departure of Gianfranco Zola suggest they are nothing special without last year's loanees.

15. Bournmouth B

One of the stronger teams of the bottom half, they don't look in any real danger of relegation. A comfortable mid-table season seems likely for the newcomers and will please the fans.

16. Birmingham D

Turmoil off the pitch always meant it would be a tough season for Blues. However, they have ended the year on a good unbeaten run but Lee Clark has got to get them moving up the table.

17. Middlesbrough D

Again Boro seems to be playing below expectations and the new manager has yet to make a big impact. Once he enforces his ways, they have the potential for the top ten.

18. Bolton E

Really haven't got going yet despite boasting one of the better championship squads on paper. The higher-profile players need to step up and turn this poor season around.

19. Millwall D

Steve Lomas never looked likely to win over the passionate Lions fans and it was no surprise to see him shown the door at The Den. They should be safe but nothing to really cheer about.

20. Doncaster C

Always looked like struggling but they are giving it a good go. They must ensure they beat the teams down the bottom to have a chance of surviving. Long season

21. Charlton D

Looks like they are going to be dragged into a relegation scrap again but have shown some positive performances. In a dangerous position and it could all end in tears.

22. Sheffield Wednesday E

Despite pulling in big crowds week in week out, Wednesday have look dreadful at times. A club of their size should be doing better, only time will tell if their players are good enough.

23. Yeovil C

With the weakest squad in the league, everyone turns up expecting to beat them. However, they have showed they are no pushovers and will battle all the way to the end.

24. Barnsley E

Struggling again at the bottom of the table and it looks like being a long painful season for the fans. They need to improve quick or face sliding out the of the league.

Predictions for the end of the season

1. OPR

2. Leicester

Play-off winners: Reading

Relegated

22.Doncaster

23. Barnsley

24. Yeovil

By Daniel Bliss, Birmingham's FanZone blogger.

Don't forget to follow @FanZone too for links to all the latest blogs.

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