Michael Dawson has told Alan Brazil’s TalkSPORT Breakfast Show (April 17, 09:10) that Leeds United will gain automatic promotion to the Premier League, and Aston Villa will return to the top flight via the play-offs.
Dawson is currently at Nottingham Forest and has seen both clubs first hand this season. Injury has restricted the 35-year-old to just 10 games this season, but he has featured against both the Whites and the Villans.
The veteran defender knows what it takes to get promoted from the Championship having done so with Hull. He sees Marcelo Bielsa and Dean Smith celebrating come the end of the season.
He told talkSPORT: “I think Leeds will complete the job. What Chris (Wilder) has done at Sheffield United has been fantastic but I fancy Leeds now. They play some good football.
“Then you’ve got the play-offs and it really is a lottery. I just think Aston Villa, Dean Smith has gone in there and they’ve got the momentum at the right time. He’s really revived them and now they’ve got Jack Grealish back, I think they’ll do it.”
Incidentally, Dawson’s Forest side can impact both Leeds and Villa over Easter. They travel to Sheffield United on Friday, before entertaining play-off hopefuls Middlesbrough on Monday.
Pundits, players and supporters love to wade in on the promotion shake-up at this time of the year.
Dawson is better placed than most to cast an opinion on the Championship, however. He might not have played much this season but he will have seen every side in action.
Leeds are firmly in the box seat for automatic promotion and Villa are in fantastic form heading into the play-offs.
Sheffield United fans aren’t likely to appreciate Dawson’s comments and they will hope to still pip Leeds into second.
Nonetheless, it looks set to be an exciting end to the season in the Championship.