Let’s dive into the festive edition of the SkyBet Championship Round 23 Winners and Losers. Discover how Leicester City strengthens their promotion bid, Leeds United’s dazzling win, and Ipswich Town’s reality check.

Reality check for Ipswich Town as Leicester City tighten grip on the promotion race halfway through the campaign.

It’s as we were at the bottom, while a few sides underlined their Jekyll and Hyde characters.

This way for your Christmas edition of the Sky Bet Championship Round 23 Winners and Losers.

Leicester City: Tightening the Grip on Promotion

Leicester City were kept at bay for over an hour by a stubborn Rotherham United in the top-versus-bottom clash before romping to a 3-0 victory.

Top of the pile at Christmas with a six-point cushion at the halfway mark, the Foxes’ automatic promotion bid is in rude health.

Leeds United: A Display of Brilliance and Inconsistency

It would be perfectly understandable if Leeds United fans found their side’s scintillating display against Ipswich both exhilarating and frustrating.

The 4-0 victory was a reminder of how good the Whites can be on their day. Yet the previous two results – a defeat at Sunderland and home draw against Coventry – also signposted Leeds United’s frustrating inconsistency.

But for their maddening habit of dropping points against “lesser” opponents, Leeds United would be on Leicester City’s coattails.

Play-Off Aspirations: Norwich City and Watford Climb Up

Norwich City and Watford moved within two points of the play-off spots with wins over Huddersfield Town and Blackburn Rovers respectively.

They will both be hoping to push on during the second half of the season to keep their play-off hopes alive.

Sky Bet Championship Round 23: The Struggle and Triumph

Middlesbrough’s Mixed Fortunes Continue

Another of the Championship’s Jekyll and Hyde sides, Middlesbrough edged West Brom 1-0 to stay within striking distance of the play-off positions while pegging back the Baggies’ momentum in the process.

Ipswich Town: Promotion Prospects in Question

It was a chastening defeat for Ipswich Town, one that will provoke questions about the credibility of their promotion credentials.

The Tractor Boys were well and truly beaten, made to look like pretenders by a rampant Leeds United side. In fact, the gulf in quality was as wide as the 4-0 score line suggests.

Could the defeat be the start of the wheels coming off the Tractor Boys’ automatic promotion challenge? They are now six points adrift of the leaders.

Doubters will be quick to say “we told you so”, but that is premature vindication.

I’m wary of overstating the damage occasioned to Ipswich’s automatic promotion hopes by the defeat. The match exposed their vulnerabilities, yes, but Kieran McKenna’s men still have a handy seven-point cushion over their nearest pursuers, Leeds United and Southampton.

And to be honest, there is no shame in Championship newbies losing to Premier League dropouts.

Championship’s Festive Shake-Up: Who Stumbled and Who Soared

West Brom and Hull City: Playoff Positions in Jeopardy

West Brom (5th) and Hull City (6th) lost 1-0 and 3-2 to Middlesbrough and Bristol City respectively. Despite the losses both retained their places in the top six but conceded ground to Leeds United and Southampton, who are in third and fourth respectively.

The Baggies and Tigers are now hanging on precariously to their play-off spots and find themselves under threat from the chasing pack, while falling further behind the teams above them.

Sunderland Misses Out on Climbing the Ladder

Sunderland were comprehensively beaten 3-0 at home by Coventry City, slumping to a second consecutive defeat.

With Hull City having lost 24 hours earlier, the Black Cats had a big incentive to win. Instead, a huge opportunity to reclaim the final play-off spot from Hull City was squandered.

The Championship Bottom Four: A Fight for Survival

Rotherham United’s Relegation Fears Escalate

Huddersfield Town, QPR, Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United United all lost to maintain the status quo at the bottom.

There is still plenty of football left in the season and therefore too early to write any one of them off. However, off the quartet, Rotherham, with just nine points from a possible 69 and one point from the last 15 on offer, look most at risk of relegation.

Part Winners, Part Losers of Round 23

Wayne Rooney: Glimmers of Hope Amidst Pressure

Birmingham City secured a battling 3-3 draw at Plymouth Argyle to give embattled manager Wayne Rooney some much-needed breathing space.

After the defeat to Leicester City last time out, the seventh loss of Rooney’s tenure, the Blues needed to stop the bleeding. A share of the spoils did just that.

Birmingham City have become a woefully nondescript side since Rooney took over from John Eustace at the end of September.

The Blues have not managed back-to-back wins in 12 attempts under Rooney. They have struggled for any sort of momentum, lurching from one defeat to the next, interspersed by a draw or the occasional win. For that reason, Rooney remains a manager under pressure.


I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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