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QPR host shaky Leicester in Championship crunch clash

| 20.12.2013

It’s almost as close and exciting at the top of the Championship as it is in the Premier League at the moment with just five points separating the top four clubs.

And the tension will be ratcheted up another notch this Saturday lunchtime when leaders QPR and third-placed Leicester lock horns at Loftus Road. Coral go 11/10 the home side, 5/2 the visitors and 23/10 the draw in a game that could well have a big say on the destination of the title, not to mention promotion.

QPR have always been strong favourites to bounce straight back up to the Premiership and are now 10/11 after returning to the top of the table last weekend with a 2-0 win at Blackpool.

Leicester, 5/1 second favourites and 11/10 to be promoted, tasted life at the top just three weeks ago, but it didn’t seem to suit them because they then took just one point from their next three games before being knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Manchester City.

Second-placed Burnley, the early front-runners with ten wins from their opening 13 games, have also hit a flat spot with just one win in their seven subsequent fixtures and they will be hoping that Danny Ings and Sam Vokes, between them scorers of 22 of their 31 Championship goals this season, can help them regain momentum at home to Blackpool this weekend.

Certainly, clubs with designs on promotion to the big time can’t afford long spells in the doldrums, with the likes of Derby (6/1 to win the title, 6/4 to gain promotion), Reading (16/1 and 11/4) and Leeds (33/1 and 6/1) breathing down their necks,

Derby have won six out of their last six under Steve McClaren and will fancy their chances of extending that sequence at home to struggling Doncaster, beaten 3-0 at home by Leeds last weekend.

Wigan (10/1 for promotion) are outsiders to keep an eye on. The FA Cup holders are below mid-table at the moment, but might well start moving in the right direction under new boss Uwe Rosler now that Europa League distractions have come to an end. They have a game in hand, too, after the abandonment of their game at Sheffield Wednesday in midweek.

Wednesday are one of half a dozen teams and more losing sleep over relegation from the Championship, even after winning two of their last three.

Coral make Barnsley (8/15), Yeovill (8/13) and Doncaster (11/10) favourites for the drop, but not far behind come Wednesday (2/1) and Charlton (9/4) with just five points separating the bottom six.




Jon Freeman