Norwich are top but have not hit full tilt and Neil Warnock is targeting a remarkable ninth promotion with Middlesbrough

Things could soon get snug at the summit but, for now, leaders Norwich have a four-point advantage over Swansea, where Steve Cooper continues to work minor miracles. For Daniel Farke the good news is that in 11 of the past 12 seasons, the team top at Christmas have clinched promotion. The bad news? For their rivals, it is that they are not yet at full tilt. Norwich have the same manager and almost an identical team to the one that secured this crown two years ago – the Tottenham loanee Oliver Skipp has slotted into midfield – but it is largely a tried and trusted formula; Tim Krul in goal, Max Aarons marauding into the box, Emi Buendía pulling off preposterous passes, and Teemu Pukki putting the ball in the net.

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