Not long ago I was convinced Leicester City were going to romp to promotion as champions with a few games to spare. They were imperious with what looked like an unassailable lead.

Fast forward a few weeks and the Foxes are hanging on precariously, looking anything but invincible. Their lead at the top has been whittled down to a flimsy three points after dropping 10 points in their last five matches.

Suddenly not just automatic promotion but also the championship are up for grabs. The Championship title race has been blown wide open.

With Leeds United and Ipswich in their slipstream and Southampton not too far behind, the run-in is going to be a serious test of Leicester City’s temperament and how well they handle the pressure of leading the title race.

The Foxes are wobbling and like hounds stalking wounded prey the chasers are sensing blood.

We are guaranteed a thrilling finish, with twists and turns in the nine remaining games.

Advantage Leeds United?

It was a very good weekend for my beloved Leeds United.

The Whites beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 on Friday night, throwing down the gauntlet to rivals who needed to respond 24 hours later.

Ipswich looked on course to reclaim second place from the Whites after edging 1-0 ahead late in the tie only for Cardiff to mount a stunning injury-time comeback and claim a 2-1 win.

It was a sickening blow for the Tractor Boys. For a side who have developed a knack for scoring dramatic late winners themselves, this was almost a taste of their own medicine.

It could have been worse for Leicester City, who twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at play-off hopefuls Hull City, for whom Fabio Carvalho missed an early penalty.

The Foxes will need more of the same fighting spirit if they are going to fend off rivals and hold on to their place at the summit.

Southampton, farther adrift on account of having played two fewer games, also needed a  late double to beat wretched Sunderland 4-2 and stay within striking distance of the leading pack.

Four points separate first and third with 27 points still on offer. Who will blink first?

Norwich make their move

Norwich City are now the proud occupiers of the final play-off spot after thumping hapless Rotherham 5-0.

It’s reward the Canaries’ recent solid form merited. But even the eternal optimist Norwich fans must concede that automatic promotion is a bridge too far for their side.

However, few will bet against the Canaries consolidating their place in the top six and claiming a play-off berth. David Wagner’s men have the momentum and know-how.

With eight points separating them, all the clubs sandwiched between 5th and 11th have more than a mathematical chance of inserting themselves into the play-off narrative.

In truth, with the top four places to all intents and purposes spoken for, it’s increasingly looking like West Brom and one other from a raft of hopefuls to complete the top six.

Owls get reality check

Second-from-the-bottom Sheffield Wednesday saw their four-match winning streak halted by Leeds United.

It was not an unexpected result, despite the Owls’ recent admirable show of defiance.

Can Sheffield Wednesday dust themselves down and go on another run?

The teams above them are dropping points regularly. As a result the Owls are only one point adrift of safety.

Meanwhile, a 5-0 thrashing at Carrow Road condemned Rotherham to a 9th straight defeat and a second consecutive loss by the identical score line. That’s defeat by an aggregate score of 10-0 in the last two games, underscoring the Millers’ wretched and relegation form.

Rotherham United are staring down the barrel and seem resigned to their fate.


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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