Who will win Championship title & automatic promotion?

A graphic showing Che Adams of Southampton, Crysencio Summerville of Leeds, Kieran McKenna of Ipswich and Kieran Dewsbury-Hall of Leicester
Two points separate the top three, and seven points separate the top four in the Championship, with the top two gaining automatic promotion to the Premier League

Leeds’ 4-3 win at Middlesbrough on Monday keeps alive the incredible Championship race for automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Had Leeds lost on Teeside, leaders Leicester would have been able to secure promotion to the Premier League with a win over fourth-placed Southampton on Tuesday.

There are now just two points separating the top three clubs – with only the top two places securing automatic promotion.

BBC Sport examines the thrilling Championship run-in and Opta predictions.

Current table

Team Played Points GD GS Form (past 5 games)
1. Leicester 43 91 42 81 WWLLW
2. Leeds 44 90 43 80 WLDLW
3. Ipswich 43 89 32 85 DDLWW
4. Southampton 43 84 29 85 LWWWD

If teams are level after 46 games, the title will be decided on goal difference and, if still level, goals scored.

What are the remaining fixtures for each club?

Fixtures in bold indicate key games between top-four teams

23 April Southampton (h) Leicester (a)
26 April QPR (a)
27 April Hull (a) Stoke (h)
29 April Preston (a)
30 April Coventry (a)
4 May Huddersfield (h) Blackburn (h) Southampton (h) Leeds (a)

Who are the firm favourites?

Opta, with its 10,000 ‘supercomputer’ simulations, has Leicester as favourites, with Tuesday’s pivotal game at Saints to come.

They have a 73% chance of winning the title and 92% of sealing promotion. After Monday’s win, Leeds’ chances of automatic promotion have increased to 60%, while Ipswich have a 47% chance of securing back-to-back promotions, according to Opta.

Southampton’s chances of finishing in the top two and an immediate return to the Premier League have slipped to about 1%.

Team % chance of winning title % of automatic promotion Predicted final points Current position & points
1. Leicester 73 92 96 1st – 91 points
2. Leeds 15 60 93 2nd – 90 points
3. Ipswich 12 47 93 3rd – 89 points
4. Southampton 0 1 88 4th – 84 points
Predicted points rounded down to nearest point

Opta predicts the current top three will all pass the 90-point mark – nobody has reached that total and failed to be promoted in the past 10 seasons.

Southampton are predicted to get 88 points following Saturday’s loss, with two of their final three games away at Leicester and Leeds.

“The league is spectacular and you’re a fool if you try and predict it because there’s been so many twists and turns,” former Ipswich and Luton striker Sam Parkin said on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Former Hull, Derby and Bolton manager Phil Brown added: “It is all about bottle and the pressure. It is all about being able to handle that as a group and club.”

What if the teams finish level on points?

Should there be a tie, the league is decided on goal difference, then goals scored, then most points in the head-to-head matches, then goal difference in head-to-head games, before goals scored in those games.

If all of that is level we go to number of wins, then goals scored in away games.

Whatever happens, there should be plenty more twists and turns between now and the final day of the season on 4 May.

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