What can be learnt from matchday 15 of the Championship?
Watford look well set for promotion
The Hornets moved two points clear at the top of the table with a convincing 3-1 victory over London rivals Millwall, and they look seriously threatening. Goals are being scored from all across the park, and the defensive errors that characterised the Hertfordshire side in recent years seem to have disappeared - evident by going nine games without losing. New head coach Slavisa Jokanovic has won two of his three games in charge, and he has brought a directness and passion to the team that seemed subdued since the departure of Gianfranco Zola last year. Whilst many will criticise the Hornets for their treatment of managers this season - criticised wrongly, with just one of three removed managers unfairly dismissed - there is no denying that they possess one of the strongest squads in the division.
Chris Powell has saved Huddersfield
One of the form teams in the division, the Terriers defeated promotion chasing Nottingham Forest on Saturday to move within just six points of the promotion places - extending their unbeaten run to seven games. Having suffered such a poor start to the season, with Mark Robins leaving his post as manager after the first game of the season - a 4-0 thrashing at home to Bournemouth - Chris Powell has taken the reigns and stabilised the club, leading them up the table. Powell, generally considered to have been unfairly dismissed from Charlton last season, has a good pedigree in the Championship, and he could well be the man to move Huddersfield into the top end of the table, with plenty of the season left.
Can Bournemouth be real promotion contenders?
Once again, Bournemouth are surprising everyone in the division under Eddie Howe. After ending the 2013/14 season at a club high 10th place, the Cherries look to improve upon their fledging squad by going one better - and securing promotion to the Premier League for the first time in their history. Callum Wilson - who arrived at Dean Court from Coventry over the summer - has stepped into the goalscoring void left by Lewis Grabban’s transfer to Norwich, and Artur Boruc’s short term loan to the South Coast was an inspired move - with the club yet to lose a game in which he played. The only thing stopping them being considered as real contenders for promotion is the fact that they have never been in this situation before, but, if they continue to play as they have been - with five consecutive victories recorded - they will surely be at the top end of the table come May 2015.
Leeds are creating few positives in their dreadful situation
A seventh game without a win of Saturday moved the Elland Road club into a precarious position, with just four points separating them from the relegation places. Darko Milanic lost his job after failing to win any of the six games he had in charge of the Whites, and Neil Redfearn - now appointed coach on a permanent basis - failed to bring the same impact in his first game in charge as he did when named caretaker boss in September. Whilst a string of negative results could be forgotten if off-pitch issues were being improved, the club are still waiting on Massimo Cellino to clear his name in the Italian courts, as well as hold to his promise of buying back Elland Road for the club. It is still not the time for the club to panic, but if things do not improve in the coming weeks, it may be the time for Leeds to return to League One - rather than the Premier League.
The Championship is once again incredibly exciting
Watford claimed top spot from Derby County on Saturday, moving two points clear of second place due to the Rams losing two consecutive games. In doing so, the Midlands club dropped to fifth place, with just six points separating the Hornets from ninth placed Charlton. If Watford lose at Birmingham on Tuesday, the Hertfordshire club could fall to sixth place, whilst five separate clubs are looking to claim top spot. The Championship is often regarded as one of the most competitive divisions in European football, and it is once again living up to its reputation. Whilst it makes perfect watching for the neutral, being a fan of any Championship club can have you sent from glory to despair in the space of two days, with the intense turnaround of fixtures making the division impossible to call - even after 15 games.