Leeds have been cut to 9/20 favourites in bwin’s Championship winner predictions after again replacing West Brom at the top of the table.
With nine matches remaining, Leeds are leading the way by one point after a 2-0 win over West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield at Elland Road courtesy of goals early in each half from right-back Luke Ayling and striker Patrick Bamford.
The victory means Leeds have now won five consecutive league games without conceding for the first time since December 2009, while only one of their remaining games is against a team currently in the top eight.
Huddersfield boss Danny Cowley has no doubt Leeds deserve to be champions after hailing “genius” Marcelo Bielsa.
“We had to hang onto Leeds in the second half,” said Cowley. “We saw the best team in the league playing at the top of their game today. They were relentless at times.
“I’ve had 13 years as a manager, and that was right up there in terms of an opponent’s performance. I thought they were outstanding.
“That was a blueprint in terms of their physical quality and intent. They have so much purpose.”
Baggies blanked again
The day got even better for Leeds when West Brom could only manage a goalless draw at Swansea and the full-time result from south Wales was greeted by loud cheers at Elland Road.
The Baggies have failed to score in back-to-back games after the 1-0 home defeat by Wigan a week earlier and they have now drifted to 7/4 in the Championship outright betting.
Boss Slaven Bilic has called for calm, though, with his side still six points clear of the play-off places.
“It’s good to get the clean sheet with a solid performance and to more or less control the game,” he said. “But we know have to be better in terms of quality in the final third. That’s what was missing.
“The results apart from Leeds and Brentford were OK, the results around you affects the valuation of the point.
“I would love to be in top spot, but it doesn’t worry me. We have one less game to go, the gap is very balanced, it is significant, it is big enough not to panic.
“It also keeps you on your toes and keeps you focused knowing you could lose it in a split second and find yourself in a situation where it is smaller.”
The gap to third is six points after Fulham had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Bristol City, with Tom Cairney’s late equaliser rescuing a point at Ashton Gate.
The Cottagers are now 50/1 in the Championship title odds while Brentford, who are four points further back in fourth, are 100/1 after a 5-0 thrashing of Sheffield Wednesday ended a run of five games without a win.
Nottingham Forest crashed to a 3-0 defeat at home to Millwall on Friday night and are 150/1 in the Championship winner odds having dropped below Brentford on goal difference.
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