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The Championship: 5 Fantastic Football Arenas

The Championship is getting better and better by the year and there are a handful of clubs in direct competition for automatic promotion to England's top flight.

The Premier League may be the holy grail in terms of competitive football and finance but England's second tier is improving and a number of fantastic venues have played host to Championship fixtures over the last seven months. Here are our five favourite football arena in the division.

Cardiff City Stadium (Cardiff City)

Neil Warnock has had a fantastic impact in terms of on-field performances since taking over as manager, but Cardiff still struggle to fill their ground on a weekly basis. This is a shame as the Cardiff City Stadium ranks as one of the nicest in the Championship.

With a maximum capacity of 33,000, Cardiff have a stadium suitable for the top flight and fans will flock back to the club if the Bluebirds produce a late charge for promotion. It may be a stretch too far this campaign but a surge to the Premier League could be on the cards next season.

Cardiff City Stadium
Cardiff City Stadium

Elland Road (Leeds United)

You only need to look back at Leeds United's history to realise just how important this venue is to the fans. Elland Road has been their home since the club's foundation in 1919 and Premier League clubs will be wary of a potentially difficult fixture in west Yorkshire next season.

As of March 24th, Leeds are 4/1 with Sportsbet to secure promotion back to the top flight this campaign; Elland Road will be electric if Garry Monk's men achieve their ultimate goal.

Amex Stadium (Brighton & Hove Albion)

Currently second in the table, Brighton are on the rise. The Seagulls narrowly missed out on promotion to the top flight last season, but Chris Hughton's men are well placed to get over that disappointment this time around.

The Amex is one of the newer stadiums in the league and it might be the best of all in terms of facilities. It isn't the largest by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a modern establishment worthy of gracing the Premier League.

Amex Stadium
Amex Stadium

Villa Park (Aston Villa)

Another old ground, football fans have fond memories of Villa Park. Neutrals loved visiting this iconic stadium for the FA Cup semi-finals before they moved to Wembley and too many forget that Villa once won the European Cup.

Villa Park is dated in appearance but it is one of England's great stadiums and Steve Bruce's men must push for a return to the Premier League – it deserves so much more than Championship action, and so do the fans.

St James' Park (Newcastle United)

We've saved the best until last. St James' Park is one of England's biggest and most daunting arenas and Newcastle are on the verge of securing promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking after suffering relegation last season.

With over 50,000 passionate Geordies behind their side, St James' is a cauldron of noise and visiting supporters are right in amongst the action. In terms of football on the pitch, the Magpies are playing some fantastic stuff right now and Newcastle fans will expect Rafa Benitez's men to win the title from here.

St James' Park
St James' Park

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