Championship winners and losers returns! Leeds United in negative column while Leicester City impress

Lewis Oldham
Championship winners losers
Leeds United boss Daniel Farke and Leicester City's Stephy Mavididi.

F365’s Championship winners and losers column is back! We start as we mean to go on by giving Leeds United a kicking, while Leicester City are back on top…



Leicester City
The Foxes took a major step towards returning to the Premier League on Saturday as Stephy Mavididi’s late goal earned Enzo Maresca’s side a much-needed 2-1 victory against relegation-threatened Birmingham City.

Leicester had looked set to run away with the Championship title but an inopportune mid-season sticky patch saw them lose four matches in the space of six games and it suddenly left them at risk of missing out on promotion completely.

Under threat of becoming bottlers, Leicester’s decline in form proved that Maresca’s Manchester City-inspired winning machine are indeed human, but normality has resumed since Bristol City beat them in their first game after the international break.

They were under huge pressure when they hosted play-off chasers Norwich City on Easter Monday but fought back after Gabriel Sara’s opener to earn a priceless three points.

Leicester had difficulties against Birmingham – who are fighting for their lives under returning manager Gary Rowett – but they found a way to get over the line and with their three rivals dropping points, it felt like a massive result.

Fans of the Championship have been spoiled this season as the fight at the top and bottom is still wide open. Leicester, Ipswich Town, Leeds United and Southampton have been a level above everyone else this season. But barring their recent dip, the Foxes have comfortably been the most consistent of the promotion contenders and are deservedly back in control at the summit.

A difficult summer awaits Leicester with FFP issues likely to force the sale of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (and others, perhaps), but if you ignore the incoming treacherous waters and focus on this season, they remain on track to win the league by amassing over 100 points and will go down as one of the great teams ever seen in the Championship.

READ MORE: Leicester City stars reassigned due to FFP… Man Utd land £25m target, Newcastle solve defensive crisis


Norwich City
The Canaries are also deserving of some love. At the beginning of this season, head coach David Wagner was under immense pressure and it felt at one stage that it would only be a matter of time before he lost his job with Frank Lampard touted as a potential replacement. 

But clubs are not always right to twist rather than stick (especially if Lampard is an option) and Norwich have benefited from not being trigger-happy with Wagner, who has managed to turn this season around after a difficult start.

A glum post-relegation campaign saw Norwich finish 13th last season after being expected to contend for promotion, but they are back where they want to be this term.

Norwich have gone under the radar compared to the four automatic promotion contenders, but they have been among the in-form Championship teams this season as they have won ten of their 16 league games in 2024.

After Leicester handed them a rare defeat on Easter Monday, Norwich picked up three points against arch-rivals Ipswich Town – who were on a three-match winning run – on Saturday to boost their play-off hopes. They now have a four-point advantage over seventh-placed Coventry City, who have a game in hand.

Norwich could end up facing Ipswich Town in the play-offs if Leeds United pip their local rivals to second place.

As impressive and as refreshing as Ipswich’s surprise promotion tilt has been, Norwich would likely welcome a play-off clash more than Kieran McKenna’s squad as they have not been beaten in the East Anglian derby since April 2009.

They may have broken their promotion-relegation yo-yo last season but Wagner has rejuvenated Norwich and even without the injured Jonathan Rowe, the presence of Sara and Josh Sargeant gives them a great chance of going up via the play-off route.



Leeds United
Time for the big fat losers and we start with Leeds United, who passed up a great opportunity to move ahead of Ipswich Town at the weekend.

Following Ipswich’s loss to Norwich, Leeds would have gone two points clear of their promotion rivals had they beat Coventry City, but they came unstuck on the road to suffer a league defeat for the first time in 2024.

Leeds have not been their usual selves since returning from the international break as they had to rely on last-gasp goals to draw 2-2 at Watford and then beat Hull City 3-1 on Easter Monday.

Like Norwich, Coventry have improved as this season has progressed as they are fighting for a top-six spot while they also prepare for an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.

So Leeds can be forgiven for losing to Mark Robins’ team, but these bumps on the road are coming at an awful time for the West Yorkshire side as they attempt to earn promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. If they do, they could save Kalvin Phillips from his Manchester City nightmare but recent results will be a worry for Championship specialist Farke.

READ MORE: Ranking Championship auto promotion candidates by how much we’d like them in the Premier League


Down at the bottom, Millwall have endured a torrid week…

The Lions initially benefited from their board hitting the panic button to snatch Neil Harris from Cambridge United to task the club legend with saving the club from relegation.

We were not convinced this was the right move at the time but this risk initially paid off as a run of three wins in four eased Millwall’s relegation fears.

But they have since crashed down to earth as the effects of their new manager bounce have worn off.

Now winless in four, Millwall suffered damaging losses to Rotherham United – whose relegation was confirmed by losing to Plymouth Argyle on Friday night – and Huddersfield Town, while victories for three of the teams around them have dragged Harris’ side right back into the mire as they are just two points clear of the bottom three.

These two results were bad enough on their own, but the manner of Millwall’s performances were as much of a concern and it does not get any easier for Harris with a home match against Leicester City coming up this week.

After ending Rowett’s largely successful stint as manager due to his dull style of play, Millwall have taken two steps back by bringing back Harris after the failing Joe Edwards experiment increased their relegation worries. Regardless of how this season ends, another change in the dugout will be required in the summer as the current boss is surely not the long-term answer.