Sometimes after a dozen league matches it is possible to tell which Championship sides are likely to dominate for the rest of the season. By this time last year QPR were running away with the division. A year previously Newcastle and West Brom were on their way to doing the same, and a year before that Birmingham and Wolves sat apart from the rest.
But with just two points separating 2nd placed West Ham from 10th placed Brighton, the clearest conclusion we can draw this year is that no clear conclusions can be drawn at all. Southampton might run away with the division, but they too will be be aware of previous leaders at this stage (Watford 2007/08, Cardiff 2006/07) who faded away after looking impressive in the Autumn. Indeed, at this stage in the 2006/07 campaign eventual Champions Sunderland were 19th, and Birmingham were 9th.
For Millwall fans even the example of Roy Keane’s heroics as Black Cats boss is unlikely to be enough to rouse hopes of anything other than a relegation scrap. The Lions are without a win in 10, have taken just two points on the road and have conceded an average of two goals a game on their travels.
Even more frustratingly, Kenny Jackett’s men have dropped seven valuable points from winning positions, a trend familiar with clubs on the slide to League One. The last time these sides met here in that division, the visitors were victorious. But it remains one of just two league wins for Millwall in Leicester.
Victory for the Foxes would set them up nicely for the trip to Millwall’s big rivals West Ham next weekend. Sven’s men have won four home league matches on the bounce at home, a fifth would set their best run at this level since the Foxes opened the Walkers Stadium in 2002 with six straight home league wins.