Sheffield United: Who's going up? Writers covering the top 12 clubs in the Championship give their predictions - and how many believe The Blades will be in the Premier League next season?

With the race for Premier League promotion entering its final straight, Sheffield United remain well-placed to challenge for promotion from the Championship at the end of the season.

By Danny Hall, Communities Sports Reporter
Friday, 08 March, 2019, 09:58
Sheffield United's Bramall Lane home

But how fancied are Chris Wilder's men, according to the rest of the division? Here, writers covering the top 12 clubs in the Championship give their assessment of the season so far, analyse their clubs' run-ins and predict who will be celebrating in May.

Norwich are effectively guaranteed a top-six finish but currently look primed to finish the job in the top two
Its been an intoxicating ride built on phenomenal recruitment and coaching to take Norwich from a 14th-placed finish and turn them into such an admirable, fluent and impressive squad
There is a tricky trip to Middlesbrough after the international break and the odd potential stumbling block like Hull at home and Aston Villa away on the final day. But other than that, Norwich have done a lot of the hard work
Two two: Norwich & Leeds. Play-offs: Middlesbrough
The season is looking much rosier after that morale-boosting demolition of West Brom.
This is the closest they have come to a return to the Premier League in 15 years, so its hard to say anything other than excellent. It has been an exciting, entertaining tale following Marcelo Bielsa throughout the campaign.
The visit of Sheffield United to Elland Road on March 16 jumps out as the season-defining fixture, a traditional six-pointer at the top of the table. Beyond that obvious game, this weekend's trip to Bristol City will prove a stern follow-up to Fridays thrashing.
Top two: Norwich and Leeds. Play-off winners: Sheffield United
United's promotion prospects are very much alive - especially after recent results at Norwich and West Brom showed they have the talent, character and belief to be a serious contender this time
Superb to watch, playing positive football no matter the opposition and enjoying more highs than lows. Crucially, theyve bounced back from the rare lows quickly which has been one of the most impressive things for me
The Leeds game looms large in the near future and its hard to overstate how important that could be. But United know - cliche alert - that there are no easy games in this league and therell be plenty of twists and turns to come before May 5
Ive got to back the Blades havent I? If I had to stick my neck out, with a mixture of head and heart, Id say Norwich will win the league with Leeds and United joining them in the Premier League - however that may happen!
Big-match wobbles and stuttering home form likely equates to heartbreak in the play-offs.
Before the season, most fans would have taken the position Albion find themselves in with 11 games to play. But expectation levels have risen with every passing week and play-offs are now viewed as the bare minimum
Eighth-placed Birmingham are the highest-ranked team to visit across Albion's final six games at The Hawthorns. And the Baggies have a number of fixtures on the road that don't appear too onerous for a team with the division's second-best away record.
At this stage my picks for top two would be Norwich - whose blip just never seems to arrive - and Leeds after the way they destroyed Albion last week. For the play-offs, I'd love to go with West Brom, but just think Middlesbrough could be the trickiest proposition.
It'd take a collapse to miss out on the top six and a flawless run to reach the top two. As has been the case throughout the season, Boro hardly concede but don't score enough.
It's been something of an odd season. Boro haven't been outside the top six since the opening day of the season but rarely has the mood surrounding the club felt particularly buoyant - in part due to average home form. That Boro aren't in the top two is because of a lack of goals and attacking spark
Kind. They only face two sides currently in the top six - Norwich and Bristol City - and they're both at home.
Norwich to win it. I'm confident of that. This time last week I would have said Sheffield United for second but after that Leeds win against West Brom I'm now swaying towards them for the second automatic spot. Boro for the play-offs.
City's chances are in their own hands but with tough, tough games to come (and will likely depend on their home form).
It's been a good one for the Robins, especially given last summer's trading when several key players moved on. Hopefully the current side can hold on to a top six position and pick up their reward for some good consistency.
Tough. No other side in the top eight teams has a tougher run judging by points won per game on average.
Definitely Norwich City, then Leeds United for the other automatic spot and I'll go with West Brom given their firepower.

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Derby have as good a chance of making the play offs as any of the clutch of clubs just below them and the two just above them, and once in the play offs anything is possible, as Derby have discovered in three of the last five seasons.
To be challenging for a top-six finish is an achievement given the big changes at the club last summer. Frank Lampard, a new manager new to management, was appointed along with a new backroom team. Nine signings arrived, top scorer Matej Vydra was sold, the average age of the team was lowered significantly and a new style of play was implemented.
Derby recorded a much-needed win against Wigan on Tuesday night to halt a run of three successive league defeats and their next three games are all at home, offering an opportunity to put more points on the board.
Norwich and Leeds for the top two, Sheffield United play-off winners
Birmingham's promotion credentials are profoundly uncertain, the EFL could kill them off, they could fail themselves - or they could mount the most unlikely of charges.
It's been a welcome relief after a couple of years of going nowhere fast and with the spectre of relegation hanging over the club. Problems still remain off the pitch - with talk of a points deduction - but on it Garry Monk has build a high-octane team in the image of its fanbase, hard-working, committed and proud.
A little bit of everything. Obviously beating Aston Villa for the first time in more than eight years this Sunday would be a wonderful gift to the long-suffering supporters. After that there are tricky trips to Preston and West Brom - and some difficult home matches against Leeds and Sheffield United.
I said Leeds, Boro and Stoke to go up at the start of the season. I'll stick with Leeds for one automatic spot, clearly Norwich are favourites for another. Through the play-offs - the Pulis factor and Boro.
There is still hope and Forest have been improving steadily in recent weeks. But they need to put together the kind of run they have not managed all season to gatecrash the party now.
The fact that there has been significant improvement has been overlooked by many. Forest have gone from a side fighting relegation last season, to one that is competing at the right end of the table just not quite as high as many would like.
Things change so quickly I was asked this question only a week or two ago and came up with a different answer... Right now Id go for Norwich, Leeds and Sheffield United.
The next five games in particular will be telling, because Forest need to put together a run of wins soon and the last time they even won two on the bounce was in September. But they have home games against Hull, Aston Villa and Swansea who have all been hugely inconsistent in recent times and away games at Ipswich and Rotherham, who are both fighting relegation, coming up next.
Hull's promotion chances are slim, entirely unexpected but a long, long way from impossible.
Its been remarkable, in truth. To be bottom of the Championship in the middle of October yet only be four points adrift of the play-offs in early March demonstrates just what a revival its been under Nigel Adkins.
Tough but with opportunities to make up ground. City face away games at Nottingham Forest, Norwich, Middlesbrough and West Brom, while theres also home games against Sheffield United and Bristol City.
Im going to lean towards Leeds United and Norwich City for the top two and then Sheffield United in the play-offs. All three of those have been consistently very good this season.
Villa's play-off and promotion chances are slim. So much so that Dean Smith has banned himself from talking about the top six because he is wary of more false dawns.
Classic Villa. There's been hope. There's been despair. There's been some absolute dross and some absolute class. Gatecrashing the play-offs against the odds would be great, but the key objective is to build some optimism and give Dean Smith the breathing space to implement his ideas and build for next season.
Tricky. Villa must still play fierce rivals Birmingham City, promotion-chasing Leeds and Norwich and play-off wannabes Boro and Bristol City. Villa just need to generate some positive momentum and see where that takes them rather than fretting too much about the top six.
It's hard to look beyond the current top three to go up - but I'm not sure in what order!
They are an outside bet for sure, a nine-game unbeaten run in 2019 the reason they are in the hunt.
Probably best described as frustrating as the Lilywhites looked to build on seventh last season. A poor start saw them bottom of the table at the start of October before a recovery was halted by a mammoth injury list. But with players coming back and some new arrivals, Alex Neil's side have shown how good they can be since the turn of the year.
A real mixed bag. They face Middlesbrough, Leeds, Sheffield United and West Brom who are in the thick of the promotion race but also come up against sides fighting for their Championship lives. PNE have something of a free hit
Top two - Norwich, Leeds. Play-offs - Middlesbrough