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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham News and Links for Wednesday, January 3

Your EFL Championship roundup

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Ajax v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

good morning!

With the EFL Championship a little more than halfway through the season, now’s a good time to see where every single club stands (in fitzie’s own perspective).

[Here’s a recap of fitzie’s predictions for this season. He is already very wrong on Leicester]

This isn’t last year’s Championship. We have a runaway favourite with two clubs competing for that second automatic promotion spot.

As for the playoffs? I don’y even think there’s one playoff spot that is in contention. The quality drops off a lot here.

Still, we know this is when the season really picks up and there’s always a chance for a club to crumble (Ipswich Town?) or surge (Buehler?)

Title Contenders: Leicester City (65 Pts)

Only two questions here: When will Leicester clinch the title, and how many points will they end up with? They’re currently on pace for 115 points.

See you in the Premier League, Harry Winks!

Race for automatic promotion: Ipswich Town (55), Southampton (52)

Russell Martin’s got Southampton cooking. The Saints have not lost since September, closing the gap against double-promotion hopefuls Ipswich.

Both teams are a lot of fun to watch, and I recommend you do so when you get the chance. But only one looks invincible right now. Can Ipswich Town reset?

Playoff contenders: Leeds (48), West Brom (42), Sunderland (40),

There’s a big gulf here. Leeds are solidly fourth. And I still like WBA to clinch a playoff spot on the back of Carlos Cobreran’s management. Sunderland have also recovered from their shaky start to the season.

Playoff pretenders: Hull City (39), Coventry (37), Cardiff City (37), Watford (36), Bristol City (36), Boro (36)

None of the others look even close to good enough to claim a playoff spot, let alone make promotion. So who might do it? Perhaps Coventry, Bristol City or Boro.

Middle ground: Norwich (35), Preston (35), Millwall (32), Swansea (32), Blackburn (32)

Season is a wash here already. Credit to Millwall for three wins on the bounce to essentially secure themselves another season in the Championship.

Preston have moved back down to midtable, their forever homes. Blackburn have fallen off (predictably) after last year.

Don’t expect any big movements from any of these clubs. Can’t wait to be proven wrong.

Relegation battle: Plymouth Argyle (29) Stoke City (29), Birmingham (28), Huddersfield (25), Sheffield Wednesday (22), QPR (21), Rotherham (18)

The bottom three are what I expected entering this season, but Wednesday are making a go of it with three wins in five.

I’ve always felt Argyle were good enough to stay up. Even when results haven’t gone their way against the bigger teams, they play some good football. Morgan Whittaker is an exciting player.

I don’t think any club has been in worse form than Birmingham since Wayne Rooney took over. It was a disastrous decision. After a 3-0 loss to Leeds, the Blues owners have cut their losses and let Rooney go.

Appointing Rooney was about getting Birmingham into the playoffs (they were already there). The next appointment will be about escapaing relegation.

Fitzie’s track of the day: Infinite Surprise, by Wilco

And now for your links:

For those hoddlers asking about this yesterday: The Athletic takes a look at the ‘captaincy conundrum’ as Sonny departs for Asia Cup

Wayne Rooney should ‘avoid any club that wants him’