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The Championship relegation battle: Who has the toughest run in?

With the Sky Bet Championship season now entering its final third, we are getting down to the nitty-gritty and the relegation dogfight is well underway.

There are six teams who are realistically fighting the drop this season, with Rotherham joined by Bolton, Charlton, Bristol City, MK Dons and Fulham in the battle to avoid playing League One football in August.

It's that time where each side's supporters start studying their rivals' fixture list to see who plays who well and who they might be relying on a favour from.

So, with 15 games to go, ignoring the unpredictable nature of the Championship and the potential for the opposition to buckle under their own pressure, who has got the toughest run-in?

Well, it's bad news Millers fans, we are afraid. Based on the amount of teams at the top end of the table still to play, Rotherham's finale is the least enviable.

Neil Warnock's men have five games against teams currently positioned in the top six, with just two in the bottom six - both on the road.

The average league position of their opposition for the 15 games is 10.33 - based on their opponents' current position in the table before this weekend's games.

To make matters even worse, out of the bottom six clubs nobody has a worse league record in 2016, with just five points accrued from their seven games.

The Millers can take one positive, though, as based on the Championship form guide for the last six games the average league position of their opposition for the run-in rises to 12.73.

However, the fact that the Millers have picked up just seven points from eight games against those current bottom six teams will be a key reason to their relegation should Warnock not lead them to safety.

On paper Bristol City, who have taken 10 points from their last seven games, have the easiest end to the season as the average league position of their opponents is 12.86, though interestingly that rises to 10.8 if you go from the form guide, while they have four of the bottom six to play.

MK Dons and Fulham play three teams currently in the top six and four in the bottom six while Charlton play five of the top six and have three games against the bottom six.

Here's a club-by-club guide.

Top six opposition: 5 (Burnley A, Sheff Wed A, Middlesbrough H, Derby H, Hull A)
Bottom six opposition: 2 (Bristol City A, MK Dons A)
Average position of last 15 opponents: 10.33 (12.73*)

Top six opposition: 4 (Burnley H, Derby A, Middlesbrough H, Hull H)
Bottom six opposition: 3 (Bristol City A, Charlton H, Fulham A)
Average position of last 15 opponents: 11.22 (13.4*)

Top six opposition: 5 (Middlesbrough H, Sheff Wed A, Derby H, Brighton H, Burnley H)
Bottom six opposition: 3 (Fulham A, MK Dons H, Bolton A)
Average position of last 15 opponents: 11.13 (12.66*)

Bristol City
Top six opposition: 4 (Brighton H, Hull A, Sheff Wed H, Derby H)
Bottom six opposition: 4 (MK Dons A, Fulham A, Bolton H, Rotherham H)
Average position of last 15 opponents: 12.86 (10.8*)

MK Dons
Top six opposition: 3 (Hull A, Brighton H, Sheff Wed A)
Bottom six opposition: 4 (Bristol City H, Charlton A, Fulham A, Rotherham H)
Average position of last 15 opponents: 11.93 (11.7*)

Top six opposition: 3 (Middlesbrough H, Burnley H, Brighton A)
Bottom six opposition: 4 (Charlton H, Bristol City H, MK Dons H, Fulham H)
Average position of last 15 opponents: 12.4 (12*)

You wouldn't have been surprised if Warnock had run a mile when he saw the Millers' fixture list, but he is ambivalent about their run-in.

"We have got 15 games, I am not really sure whether it worries me that we are playing top teams now because they are under pressure to win," he said.

"I think you are going to see some really strange results between now and the end of the season."

You can't help but feel Millers are going to need something X-Files worthy strange to happen if they are to beat the drop.

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