Huddersfield Town and QPR backed as Don Goodman delivers Birmingham City relegation verdict | OneFootball

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·8 December 2023

Huddersfield Town and QPR backed as Don Goodman delivers Birmingham City relegation verdict

Article image:Huddersfield Town and QPR backed as Don Goodman delivers Birmingham City relegation verdict

The Championship relegation battle is hotting up, with sides down the bottom showing signs of improvement recently, as well as the likes of Birmingham City being dragged into the mix recently.

Danny Röhl has made Sheffield Wednesday far more competitive, whereas Marti Cifuentes has improved QPR at both ends of the pitch instantly. Huddersfield Town's form under Darren Moore has been more mixed since his appointment, but there have been positive signs following draws against Swansea and Southampton, plus a fantastic win away to Sunderland in their last three fixtures.

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Rotherham United are set to name Leam Richardson as Matt Taylor's successor, but have plenty of work to do to catch up to the sides outside of the relegation zone. Stoke City and Millwall will also be casting an eye over their shoulders in the meantime.

However, it is Birmingham who have been on an alarming run recently, sitting on 23 points, leaving them just ahead of the sides listed on the table below.

John Eustace was controversially replaced at St. Andrew’s by Wayne Rooney, despite leaving Birmingham in sixth place at the time of his dismissal. Having been sacked by Birmingham in October when they were flying-high in the Championship, it was hoped that Rooney could continue where Eustace left off.

That hasn't transpired, with Rooney winning just once since his arrival, and losing five of his eight games, seeing Birmingham tumble down the table. Blues have also entered the conversation surrounding relegation to League One, with 27 games still to play in the second tier.

Sky Sports pundit and EFL expert Don Goodman believes the relegation battle is a difficult one to call, but expects Birmingham to finish above the dotted line by the end of the campaign.

Goodman, speaking to BoyleSports who offer the latest EFL Betting, said "It’s a tough one. The teams at the bottom have given themselves a lot to do. Birmingham have a nice cushion courtesy of the points picked up by John Eustace.

"When I look at the table now, I see improvements in QPR, particularly, and Huddersfield are scrapping and fighting. Birmingham have a seven-point cushion, so that means they’ve got to lose three games and QPR have to win three games.

"At the minute, there’s enough of a cushion there and enough fixtures over the Christmas period and the next four or five weeks for Birmingham to start winning games. "Birmingham’s away form doesn’t look very impressive at all, it’s the points they’ve picked up at home, which is why drawing at home to Rotherham was a little bit of a surprise considering Rotherham’s away record.

"I think Birmingham will be okay, but it might be more through luck than judgement."

Championship relegation battle

Birmingham certainly have enough quality within their ranks to pull themselves out of danger, but Rooney needs to address their poor form quickly. What started to look like a season of chasing promotion, has quickly unravelled to one where they look to be treading water at the wrong end of the table again.

QPR look like a side to keep an eye on, given the firepower in their wide players and attacking-midfielders, but they still have plenty to do before they can even reach parity with sides like Birmingham. The festive period is always crucial in giving a clearer picture by the New Year.

Huddersfield are a side who could fluctuate either way, but Goodman is right to point out that a fair bit of luck is involved for whoever survives, which could be what Rooney needs more of at the moment, just to catch a break after a difficult start. January and each club's utilisation of the transfer market could also be a major determining factor.

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