The battle for automatic promotion from the Championship this season is a three-horse race, according to veteran boss Neil Warnock and ex-Premier League star Ray Parlour.

Leicester City top the table on goal difference ahead of Ipswich Town after the season's first 16 games.

READ MORE: Alex Jones on Town's promotion chances

Leeds United, who have won six of their last seven games, sit third, eight points behind the top two.

And both Warnock and Parlour believe that it's a case of two from those three sides in terms of automatic promotion.

Ipswich Star: Kieran McKenna's Blues are second only on goal difference to table-toppers Leicester CityKieran McKenna's Blues are second only on goal difference to table-toppers Leicester City (Image: PA)
Parlour said: "For me, unless anything goes drastically wrong, I believe Leicester City will get promoted back to the Premier League.

"They have a nice gap to third place, so it’s theirs to lose now. They also have a deep squad which is a big bonus in a league as competitive as the Championship.

"For the other promoted place, I think it’s between Leeds United and Ipswich Town.

"Ipswich have been brilliant so far this season, particularly going forward, so let’s see if they can keep it up and finally force their way back into the Premier League.

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"Leeds had a slow start to their season, just like Middlesbrough, but they’ve got experience with earning promotion and will certainly look to chase down the other two.

"There are still a lot of games, but I personally can’t see Boro getting automatic promotion.

"Top six would be a good season for them again – Michael Carrick is definitely the right man at the club and I’m sure if he sticks at it he can get them promoted back to the Premier League.”

Ipswich Star: Neil Warnock thinks Town will go up automaticallyNeil Warnock thinks Town will go up automatically (Image: PA Wire)

Meanwhile old warhorse Warnock, who until recently was managing Huddersfield in the second tier, thinks the top two will remain the same.

He told talkSPORT: "I think those two teams might just edge Leeds.

"Although Daniel (Farke) has really got them firing now.”