Why Derby County may have a key advantage in the promotion race

On paper, Derby County have an easier run-in than their main promotion rivals Ipswich Town, Middlesbrough and Bournemouth.

Derby County may hold an advantage in the race for promotion as we put the fixture lists underneath the microscope.

Steve McClaren’s Derby side may currently be situated in second place in what can only be described as the tightest Championship promotion race in recent history, but as we look at the remaining fixtures it does look as if they have the best run-in.

Derby County remaining fixtures

Home – Bolton, Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton, Birmingham, Middlesbrough, Watford, Brentford, Blackpool and Reading.

Away – Cardiff, Bournemouth, Rotherham, Fulham, Brighton, Norwich, Wolves, Wigan, Huddersfield and Millwall

Bournemouth remaining fixtures

Home – Watford, Derby, Huddersfield, Blackburn, Wolves, Blackpool, Middlesbrough, Birmingham, Sheffield Wednesday and Bolton

Away – Wigan, Brentford, Forest, Fulham, Cardiff, Ipswch, Brighton, Reading and Charlton.

Ipswich remaining fixtures

Home – Wigan, Sheffield Wednesday, Reading, Birmingham, Brentford, Bolton, Bournemouth, Blackpool, Cardiff and Forest

Away – Rotherham, Fulham, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Watford, Huddersfield, Wolves and Blackburn

Middlesbrough remaining fixtures

Home – Charlton, Leeds, Bolton, Millwall, Ipswich, Wigan, Rotherham, Wolves and Brighton

Away – Brentford, Blackpool, Birmingham, Sheffield Wednesday, Forest, Derby, Bournemouth, Watford, Norwich and Fulham.


The Rams, as suggested, do look to have the easier run-in as they have played six of the top 12 sides twice already, with Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and Brentford remaining at home and Bournemouth, Norwich and Wolves away.

Bournemouth, who also enjoy a relatively easy run of games away from home, still have six of the top 12 to face at home, including Derby County and Middlesbrough.

Ipswich still have four of the top 12 to face at home and away from home, so will need to keep consistent in order to win promotion. However, arguably, none have it more difficult that Middlesbrough.

Boro still have seven of the top 12 to play away from home, including four of the top six, and face two tough home matches in the form of Ipswich Town and Wolves. In fact, the North East club will face a daunting run of games from the end of March to mid-April which will see them travel to Forest, Derby, Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich consecutively.

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