Does anyone want sixth spot? It’s a question which must be in the minds of several clubs in and around the final playoff place as their clubs stagger gracelessly towards the finish line.
The form chart reads more like the bottom of the table than the top. Cardiff (one win in six) hold sixth for now ahead of Brighton (one win in six) and Middlesbrough (no wins in eight). Portsmouth, Coventry, Bristol City and Nottingham Forest have all won more games in their last six than the three teams most likely to win the final playoff spot.
Then there’s Leicester with three wins in their last six. On the back of only their second pair of back to back wins of the season, there is a new found sense of optimism. But is it deserved? This is the same group of players that crashed to 3-2 defeats at Bristol City and Watford recently, that couldn’t beat Nottingham Forest at home and who couldn’t keep it tight for another few minutes at Blackpool. Leicester’s capacity to inspire hope has, this season at least, been matched just as readily by their ability to disappoint.
The 1,300 fans who made the trip to the New Den last season know that disappointment only too well. Surely Leicester’s performance won’t be as poor as it was on their last visit, a dismal 2-0 defeat in the freezing winds of Bermondsey.
Millwall have one of the worst home records in the division. Their 2-0 win over Hull last Saturday was the club’s first home league win since Boxing Day. The Lions have won only 3 of 22 matches against sides in the top half this season. At home they’ve averaged just 0.7 points per game against sides in the top half – the worst record in the Championship.
But of course part of the reason Leicester have failed to put themselves in the top six for longer than three days this season has been their inability to win ‘winnable’ games. The Foxes have picked up just 12 points from a possible 30 away from home against sides in the bottom half.
If those stats point to anything it’s a draw, possibly the fifth goalless one at the New Den this season. Leicester are chasing three successive wins for the fist time in 14 months. But if they didn’t manage it you wouldn’t be surprised, would you?