Burnley are closing in on a place in the Premier League after cruising to a 3-0 victory over struggling Charlton on Saturday.
With leaders Leicester already on the brink of securing their place in the top-flight, the focus has switched to the fight for the second automatic promotion place and the Clarets look odds-on to secure it.
Sean Dyche's team remain 10 points clear of third placed Derby and fourth placed QPR after goals from Ashley Barnes, Sam Vokes and Michael Kightly saw off relegation-threatened Charlton at The Valley.
Burnley are unbeaten in their last league 15 matches and, with only nine matches left, they will expect to return to the top-flight after a four-year absence.
Even the absence of leading scorer Danny Ings with an ankle injury couldn't upset Burnley thanks to the efforts of his deputy Barnes and Dyche said: "He's getting his chance now and I thought he delivered an all-round good performance.
"He's full of life, he wants to work for the team and he'll get more and more used to how we work."
Leicester inched closer to promotion after a 1-1 draw at Blackburn which put them 15 points ahead of Derby with a game in hand.
The Foxes looked well on their way to a first win at Blackburn since 1997 when Jamie Vardy tapped in, but Matthew Kilgallon's glancing header just before half-time ensured Rovers avoided a third straight home defeat.
"As you get to what people call the business end of the season, we have to see it as a point gained," Leicester assistant manager Craig Shakespeare said.
- Inspired the Rams -
Derby took a step towards securing a play-off place as Craig Bryson's hat-trick inspired the Rams to a thumping 5-0 home win over bitter rivals Nottingham Forest.
Bryson grabbed the opening two goals before Jeff Hendrick sent Derby into half-time 3-0 ahead.
Johnny Russell added a fourth and Bryson completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot on 69 minutes.
"I think this win is for the Derby fans. We collect three points but for me, this is for the fans, they can have a great Saturday night, recover Sunday and probably do it again Sunday night and have a good day at work on Monday!" Derby boss Steve McClaren said.
Reading profited on Forest's latest slip with a 2-1 win at Birmingham to move up to sixth.
Jobi McAnuff's opener was quickly cancelled out by Paul Caddis penalty, but the Royals winger snatched the win eight minutes from the end.
FA Cup holders Wigan are up to fifth place after coming from behind to beat Watford 2-1 at the DW Stadium.
Ipswich, in ninth place, remain in the play-off hunt after a 2-0 win at Brighton.
Bottom-of-the-table Barnsley were beaten by Steve Cook's stoppage-time goal in a 1-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth.
Second bottom Yeovil were also out of luck in a 2-2 draw against Bolton.
Goals from Lukas Jutkiewicz and Zat Knight earned the Trotters a share of the spoils at Huish Park despite the visitors having Alex Baptiste sent off in the second half.
Ishmael Miller and Kevin Dawson were on target for the home side but Miller could not convert the penalty that followed Baptiste's dismissal.
Millwall fill the third relegation berth after a 2-1 defeat at Leeds.
Elsewhere, Doncaster earned a 1-0 victory against Sheffield Wednesday, Blackpool beat Huddersfield 1-0 and QPR were 3-1 winners at Middlesbrough.