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Championship: Blades on right path for promotion

Sheffield United have emerged as potential Championship play-off contenders since the appointment of Paul Heckingbottom in November.

Heckingbottom took charge at Bramall Lane for the second time last year and he has them flying up the Championship standings, with the Blades 3/1 to be promoted come the end of the season.

He was initially handed the reins in the latter stages of 2020-21 after Chris Wilder left in March but, already sitting 12 points from safety, Heckingbottom was unable to prevent the Blades from suffering relegation from the Premier League.

Slavisa Jokanovic signed a permanent deal over the summer, but he struggled to get a tune out of his squad and was subsequently sacked in November with the club sitting 16th.

Heckingbottom returned to the dugout on 25th November and he has majorly improved their fortunes in such a short time.

Championship Standings

PositionTeamPlayedPoimts
1Fulham3064
2Bournemouth3058
3Blackburn Rovers3254
4Queens Park Rangers3052
5Huddersfield Town3250
6Middlesbrough3049
7Nottingham Forest3147
8West Brom3146
9

Sheffield United

2946

Promotion back on the agenda

United sit ninth in the Championship ahead of hosting Hull City on Tuesday after enjoying a six-game unbeaten streak in the league.

It's the highest they have been in the standings all campaign and they could potentially end the night in the top six if they pick up all three points at Bramall Lane.

Heckingbottom started his tenure with a 2-0 home win against Bristol City and they've lost just once with the 44-year-old at the helm.

That defeat came at Derby County on 15th January, but they are unbeaten in six, winning four during that sequence, ahead of Tuesday's clash with the Tigers.

United are priced at 8/15 to beat 11/2 Hull and the draw is available at 3/1.

Blades going back to basics

The South Yorkshire outfit were leaking goals prior to Heckingbottom's arrival, shipping 26 in 19 games, but they now look much tighter at the back.

Heckingbottom's second stint in charge started with a clean sheet at home to Bristol City and they've earned a further five shutouts in 10 games, conceding just seven times.

They will need to remain defensively solid if they are to continue climbing up the standings and will be confident of claiming another against the Tigers.

Hull are the third-lowest scorers in the division, netting just 26 times in 31 outings, and a United win to nil, available at 11/8, offers interest.

R's looking to get back on track

Queens Park Rangers also return to action on Tuesday when they head to London rivals Milwall.

The R's sit fourth in the Championship, but they have failed to win either of their last two league outings and suffered a disappointing defeat to rock-bottom Barnsley on Saturday.

QPR are priced at 21/10 to pick up all three points against 31/20 Millwall with the draw 21/10.

Millwall are unbeaten in three at home, winning two and drawing one and QPR have often struggled with their trips to the Den. They picked up all three points in 2019, but that's their only victory at Millwall since 1990.

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Sky Blues' hopes going cloudy

Coventry City were the surprise package in the Championship during the first half of the season, but they've slipped away since the latter stages of 2021.

They sat fifth after drawing at Bournemouth on 27th November, but have slipped to 12th after winning just three times since that trip to the Vitality Stadium.

Despite their recent struggles, the Sky Blues are just five points adrift of the play-off places and they have games in hand on the majority of sides ahead of them in the standings.

Mark Robins' side weren't expected to compete for promotion ahead of the term, however, they can reignite hopes of claiming a top-six spot with victory at Cardiff City on Tuesday.

Coventry, who won their last away fixture at Reading, are 29/20 to beat Cardiff, with the draw priced at 11/5.

The Bluebirds have picked up six points from their last two home outings, beating Peterborough United and Nottingham Forest and although they sit down in 20th, they don't appear to have any major relegation fears with a 12-point gap to the drop zone.

Relegation six-pointer on the cards

Wednesday's only Championship fixture takes place at the Weston Homes Stadium when Peterborough United host Reading in a clash between two clubs seriously lacking in form, with the outcome likely to have major importance in the relegation fight.

Peterborough sit 22nd and are two points and one place behind Reading, but they do have a game in hand.

Posh are without a win in seven league outings and have failed to score in their last three, conceding seven goals in the process.

Reading, meanwhile, haven't tasted victory in 10 Championship fixtures and they have lost each of the last seven.

The draw is priced at 12/5, with a 1-1 final scoreline available at 11/2.

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