People have suggested that the quality of league is down - because many teams are unable to find consistent form. Personally I would argue the opposite; that so many teams are making great strides that just about everyone has the players capable of winning a game, it is a more even league rather than a poorer one.
What is undeniable is that it's exciting, with twelfth-place Watford in with almost as good a chance at promotion as sixth-place Brighton. But who has the upper hand? Who has the easier fixtures, the better squad available - who will prevail?
The Seagulls are clearly a side on the up but may be about to experience another dramatic choke. They arguably don’t score enough goals, relying heavily on Leonardo Ulloa, and have won only twice in their last nine games.
I don’t fancy them for either of their remaining games; they travel to Forest on the last day of the season in a game where anything could happen but The Garibaldi will be slight favourites, but Yeovil could shock them before that – The Glovers will be fighting for their lives and we’ve seen at first hand how awkward they are – I also think their physical style could give Brighton problems.
Boffin's Brighton Verdict: 11th Both their games will be close and could go either way. A win against Yeovil will put them in the mix on goal-difference, but I can see a surprise here.
It is no coincidence that The Reds have pulled off two victories since the return of David Vaughan, and it’s possible other players will return, boosting them further. With Gary Brazil finally teasing that bit more enthusiasm and organisation out of Forest, they look likely to finish strongly – two wins will do it!
They face what are effectively two play-off eliminators, both of which will be tight games. I can see a draw against Bournemouth, who are strong at home and in good form, but one advantage is that they have to win, while Forest possibly don’t.
We could do with the injured players being back for the Bournemouth game – with even Henri Lansbury in there instead of Peltier I would predict The Reds booking a play-off date against Derby.
Boffin's Forest Verdict: 7th Denied on goal difference again? A tale of what should have been.
I predicted in August that Mick McCarthy would have Ipswich up in the play-offs this season – he’s not quite managed that yet but The Tractor Boys have done well to be in there, especially having lost some key players.
David McGoldrick was knocking in goals for fun, Ipswich looked set to drop away after both his injury and the loss of Ryan Tunnicliffe to Wigan, but McCarthy toggled their system slightly and has eked out the best from his squad.
To stand a chance of the play-offs though, they must travel to Burnley and avoid losing – but Sean Dyche’s men are strong at home, well suited to dealing with Ipswich’s direct style, and will be having a promotion party.
Boffin's Ipswich Verdict: 9th A great effort by the best manager in the division, but in reality they probably need two wins.
The Royals are having a strange season and probably epitomise the unpredictable nature of The Championship. They only have three wins in the last twelve games, but their squad is littered with excellent players for this level. However, key man Danny Guthrie could miss the rest of the season, and they have been over twice as likely to lose in his absence (being defeated on 46.7% of occasions where he has not played 45 minutes, compared with a 21.4% loss-rate with him).
But it is all in Reading’s hands, and they will most likely only have to collect five more points from three games – two of which are at home against teams with nothing left to play for.
Boffin's Reading Verdict: 6th They will probably scrape through on goal difference - but if they slip up, Forest can pounce.
It perhaps shows the volatile nature of The Championship that Rovers are still in with a shout; they are probably the poorest side for quality, their promotion bid being sustained by good organisation and work-rate.
They have been keeping things simple, relying on their two very effective strikers, Rudy Gestede and Jordan Rhodes, and as unlikely as it sounds they probably have the best chance of all to grab sixth place – travelling to an awful Charlton side before facing Wigan in a local derby, where anything could happen.
You would think Blackburn would beat Charlton – they are good away, Charlton have the worst home record in the league. It may all rest upon how badly Wigan, who have nothing to play for themselves, want to wreck the hopes of their rivals.
Boffin's Blackburn Verdict: 8th. Close this one – Don’t be surprised to see Blackburn coast into 6th, but I can’t see them winning both games. If Blackburn get into sixth in front of Forest, some serious questions need to be asked, as The Reds are a far superior side - even with the injuries.
The Cherries looked to be the form team and, with all around them losing their heads, set to gatecrash the promotion party. But when finally in the mix they too seem to have crumbled slightly under the pressure, having not won in three games.
They welcome Forest in a hugely important game – but as they are that bit further behind Bournemouth probably need to win. This, coupled with their attacking nature, could leave them vulnerable when coming forward against a Forest side who appear to have mastered getting in behind teams with pace on the break.
They also travel to Millwall, who will be fighting for their lives. Eddie Howe's side are capable of winning, or losing, both games.
Boffin's Cherries Verdict: 12th. A great effort by Eddie Howe will probably fizzle out into respectable mid-table.
The Hornets could provide a late sting in the promotion hunt, but will probably have to win all three games. However, they have a lot of quality in their side, and this is another team who I wouldn’t be surprised to see finish 6th.
It may all rest on their game away at Derby; The Rams have nothing to play for, but are excellent at home. If Watford win this game, they are my favourites to finish 6th, because of their superior goal difference.
It may be a simple matter after the Derby game, since they travel to Charlton – who are terrible (and worse than terrible at home), and play Huddersfield at Vicarage Road. Watford have some big-game players and will be hot favourites for both these fixtures.
Boffin's Watford Verdict: 10th. This is going to be close though.
This last play-off position could go to any of the seven teams – games will be won on very tight margins and it could all come down to a single error, piece of skill or refereeing decision.
I can see a scenario where up to four teams are tied on 69 points – or I can see another scenario with probably the worst side, Blackburn, sneaking in; they have two very winnable games and can end on 70 points.
I think the two teams with a game in hand will both win them, and this could prove decisive – especially for Reading as this will put them in the driving seat, but this will go down to whether any of the seven rivals can get through to the end of the (scheduled) season without dropping any points – I don’t think any will, but if they do they will probably be alone in doing so, and will finish 6th.
As for Forest - I think personally that their available first 11s' - even the one stated above, without the injection of returning 'stars' like Lansbury, Reid and Wilson, is as good as any of the other likely teams mentioned. I also think that they have an advantage in that they play two of their rivals, and have the opportunity to effectively eliminate them.
Am I wrong to discount Brighton? They are in 6th place currently after all - however I think they are up against it - even if they beat Yeovil (I've a serious doubt they will), I still think that, in the chaos of the last day, Forest could beat them heavily if it is necessary; don't forget each goal would count double as far as goal difference between the two sides is concerned. A three goal difference would probably be enough, assuming Forest don't lose to Bournemouth.
Thanks for reading; although a stab in the dark. my final verdict is that Reading, Forest, Blackburn and Watford are the most likely play-off candidates - I can't see the winner of this race coming from either Bournemouth, Brighton, or Ipswich - but what do you think? Let me know below, enjoy the climax of the season, and COYR!