Top Three Suffer Defeat as Middlesbrough Climb to Top of Championship
Middlesbrough went into the weekend in 4th place in the Championship, but they had the advantage of playing first with a game on Friday night against Sheffield Wednesday. They knew a win in that game would be enough to put them at the top of the table going into Saturday's games and put pressure on the rest of the teams around them and that is exactly what happened. They won against Wednesday, moved to the top of the table and then all three teams who were originally above them failed to win their games, leaving Middlesbrough sitting at the top after everyone had played.
After setting the early pace with Leeds, this was a bounce back for Middlesbrough, despite them winning just two of their last five games. However, those two wins have come in their last three, and they will now be looking to use that momentum, and the boost of being top of the league, to kick on and try create a gap between themselves and those chasing them.
They don't have long to wait until they can begin that, we have a full Championship fixture list spread across Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Middlesbrough play Rotherham, a team who are fighting at the bottom of the table right now and three points will be expected from this one, anything less would be seen as a big shock. Rivals Sheffield United are also in action on Tuesday, though they have a much trickier game against Stoke City. On Wednesday, Leeds face Ipswich who are currently bottom of the league so they will be hoping for three points while West Brom play Derby, a team who should be full of confidence after beating Sheffield United this weekend.
It is no surprise to see Middlesbrough as the long odds on favourites to beat Rotherham on Tuesday, they are priced up at 5/13 to win the game. The draw can be backed at 10/3, while those thinking a big shock could be in store can back a Rotherham win at 7/1. This is the first opportunity that Middlesbrough will get to kick clear of the chasing pack, and it looks to be a very good one for them.