The Race For the Premier League Is Hotting Up

Brentford returned to winning ways on Wednesday night but Norwich City remain seven points clear at the top of the Championship as the season reaches its final third.

The Canaries boosted their hopes of an instant return to the Premier League with a 3-1 win away at strugglers Birmingham, with Daniel Farke having turned around the Canaries’ shocking end of season form from last term.

Teemu Pukki has rediscovered his goalscoring boots, and he scored twice more at St Andrew’s to take his total to 17 this term. In Emi Buendia, Todd Cantwell and Max Aarons, Farke possesses a squad with Premier League quality and the experience of last term will serve them well if they are to secure a return to the top flight.

They won’t get away from the chasing pack easily, however. Brentford got back on the horse after three straight defeats with a 3-0 hammering of Sheffield Wednesday. The injury-hit Bees have been without top scorer Ivan Toney, Pontus Jansson, Rico Henry and Christian Norgaard and have struggled in recent weeks without the spine of their talented side. But they made light work of a Wednesday side still stuck in the bottom three.

Promotion Candidates

Watford made it four wins in a row and are finding form under new manager Xisco Munez, chalking up a thrilling 3-2 win at Blackburn. In Joao Pedro and Ismalia Sarr they boast two of the finest attacking players in the division who could fire them into the top two, although Swansea are arguably better placed than the Hornets.

Steve Cooper’s men have only conceded a frankly ridiculous 19 goals in 30 games and kept another clean sheet as they beat Coventry 1-0 at the Liberty thanks to a Ben Cabango goal. With two games in hand on their promotion rivals they could close the gap on leaders Norwich to just two points and are currently healthily-priced at 11/2 to win the division outright with Betfred.

Elsewhere, Cardiff continued their revival under Mick McCarthy and have now broken into the top six after a hard-fought 2-1 win at Bournemouth saw them leapfrog their hosts. The Bluebirds were 15th when McCarthy took over in January and 13 points off the top six, but have rallied remarkably, winning their last six.

Valerian Ismael’s Barnsley are up to eighth after beating Stoke 2-0, continuing their sensational form since the former LASK boss took over from Gerhard Struber in October. The Tykes had only taken three points from six games before he arrived and now they have an outside shot at returning to the Premier League for the first time since 1998.

Facing The Drop

Bottom club Wycombe beat a stuttering fifth-placed Reading side 1-0 to keep their slim hopes of survival alive. Gareth Ainsworth performed one of the modern football miracles to get the Chairboys up from League One but faces an even bigger challenge this term, with his side now eight points away from safety.

Meanwhile managerless Sheffield Wednesday sit 23rd having lost their last three without scoring a goal, as the hunt for a permanent boss continues and the initial shine of caretaker boss Neil Thompson begins to fade.

Latest Championship Betting

With the Championship coming to a climax, there are plenty of bookmaker offers to get your hands on, including the likes of a £20 free bet on UK football, or even a welcome package if you are a new customer.

You can use that free bet on a range of different football markets, including the Championship outright betting where Norwich City are the 2/5 favourites to lift the title at the end of the season. Brentford can be backed in the same market at 5/1, with Swansea City at 6/1, and Watford now as big as 10/1 to bounce straight back up to the Premier League after suffering relegation from the top flight last season.

In the relegation betting, Wycombe Wanderers are favourites for the drop at 1/55, with Sheffield Wednesday at 8/13 and Birmingham City at 4/5.

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