Leicester might have the best squad in Championship history

Just like that, we’re into the second half of the Championship season, with tables starting to take shape but a lot left to play for.  At the top the battle for supremacy is heating up with Leicester leading Ipswich Town by six points after the two shared a point each in their Boxing Day blockbuster clash at Portman Road. However they will need to be looking in their rear-view mirrors with Southampton chasing down the front-runners just five points behind the Tractor Boys, with fellow recently-relegated side Leeds not far off either.

But at the bottom end of the table, Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham run the risk of being cut further adrift of safety with both tied on 16 points and 21st-placed Huddersfield nine points ahead on 25, and seemingly increasing the gap.  So, ahead of a full fixture list on Friday night, Wonders of the Pyramid tests the temperature in the second tier… Enzo Maresca’s Leicester are six points clear at the top of the Championship at the halfway point Rotherham sit bottom of the table with just 16 points and will be hard-pressed to save their Championship status Newly-relegated Southampton are currently best-placed to reel in the leaders Leicester and Ipswich Your browser does not support iframes.   Are Leicester and Ipswich bound for the big time? Leicester have the best squad and one of the biggest budgets in Championship history by some stretch, with many of their stars boasting international caps and top-flight experience.

But don’t let that detract from the fine work being done by Italian boss Enzo Maresca. Pep Guardiola’s former assistant claims he wants to be known as his own man but it is hard to ignore the Catalan’s influence in the Foxes’ slick style of play. One goal against Rotherham just before Christmas came after a 54-pass move as Millers players chased shadows. Players such as Wout Faes, Wilfred Ndidi and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall have excelled in the second tier, while summer signing Stephy Mavididi, the former Arsenal academy star signed from Montpellier, has dazzled with eight goals and four assists.

The Foxes have strength in depth, with recent injuries to Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho being remedied by £23million Zambia international Patson Daka able to deputise. But the club have done dog fucking a girl stellar rebuild after James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Youri Tielemans exited. Maresca has mainly been sleeping at Leicester’s Seagrave training complex honing his domineering style and the Italian has overseen a fine run of five wins and a draw – a frustrating one at second-placed Ipswich, who equalised in stoppage time – in the six games of December.

The Foxes are six points clear of Ipswich, though, heading into Friday night’s fixtures. The Tractor Boys have gone winless in three – draws against Leicester and rivals Norwich and a 4-0 thrashing at Leeds – but it is credit to Kieran McKenna that they are up there. This column predicted McKenna’s men to make a push for automatic promotion in a pre-season preview but no one forecast just how the newly-promoted side have taken the Championship by storm, with them five points clear of the play-off spots going into the New Year.

Former Leicester star Youri Tielemans left for Aston Villa over the summer on a free transfer Patson Daka has been able to deputise in the absence of Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho This column predicted Kieran McKenna’s side would be in the fight for automatic promotion With 33 goals against, only two sides in the top half have conceded more, which further illustrates their mantra of ‘you can score, but we will score more’.