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Championship Focus: Top three all win; everyone else drops points

Leeds United v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship

LEEDS, ENGLAND - MARCH 01: Patrick Bamford of Leeds United celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the Sky Bet Championship between Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion at Elland Road on March 01, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

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The EFL Championship’s races for Premier League promotion and the second-division title might just go down to the final days — if not day, singular — of the season based on the recent form of three runaway clubs.

[ MORE: What did we learn on a wild PL Saturday? (video) ]

As we discussed last week, Norwich City and Leeds United have paced the league for the vast majority of the season and remain in line to return to the PL for the first time in three and 14 years, respectively. There remains, however, a threat to their duopoly: Sheffield United are unbeaten in their last eight outings (five wins) and sit just two points back of Leeds, who are two points off the pace of Norwich.

All three of the aforementioned promotion chasers won this weekend — Norwich 1-0 Swansea City; Bristol City 0-1 Leeds; Sheffield United 2-0 Rotherham.

[ MORE: PL Sunday preview: Liverpool in chase mode; Arsenal v. Man United ]

That’s all the joy and happiness there is to report from the upper reaches of the Championship this weekend, as the next five teams in the table (entering the weekend) all dropped points.

West Bromwich Albion were one of the luckier sides, able to salvage a 1-1 draw with 24th-place Ipswich Town despite coughing up an early lead. Manager Darren Moore, who took over and re-energized the club just before the Baggies were relegated from the PL last season, wasn’t so lucky: he was fired with West Brom sitting fourth in the table.

Fifth-place Middlesbrough blew an early lead of their own and gave away all three points to suddenly red-hot Brentford (four wins in their last five — up to 12th, six points out of 6th) at the Riverside Stadium. Sixth-place Bristol City fell victims to Leeds, which opened the door for Derby to leapfrog them for the fourth and final playoff place on the back of their draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

After 35.5 of 46 rounds…

PlaceTeamPointsGD
1Norwich City72+27
2Leeds United70+22
3Sheffield United68+27
4West Bromwich Albion61+20
5Middlesbrough58+13
6Derby County55+2
7Bristol City54+7
8Nottingham Forest53+10
9Preston North End51+6
10Birmingham City50+8
11Hull City50-1
12Brentford49+13

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