London - West Brom stretched their lead at the top of the Championship to seven points after a routine 2-0 win over Preston at the Hawthorns on Tuesday.
First-half goals from Hal Robson-Kanu and captain Jake Livermore put the Baggies in a commanding position to return to the Premier League as Preston's playoff hopes suffered a setback.
Slaven Bilic's men moved further clear of second-placed Leeds, who travel to Middlesbrough on Wednesday, while their advantage over Nottingham Forest in third is 10 points.
Forest closed the gap on Leeds in the battle for the two automatic promotion places by getting back to winning ways with a 1-0 win at Cardiff.
Tiago Silva scored the only goal three minutes into the second half to end a three-game winless run for Sabri Lamouchi's men.
However, Brentford's challenge for the top two faltered again as they lost 2-1 at Luton.
The Hatters had been humbled 7-0 by Brentford in their last meeting in November, but breathed new life into their battle against the drop thanks to two goals in the first 18 minutes as Shandon Baptiste turned into his own net before Harry Cornick added a second.
Ollie Watkins scored a late consolation for the Bees, who remain fifth but still six points adrift of Leeds.
Bristol City's playoff push is also floundering as they slipped to a third straight defeat, 2-1 at Huddersfield.
QPR were also 2-1 winners over Derby in a mid-table clash thanks to an error from Wayne Rooney.
The former England captain's attempted diagonal pass was intercepted by Eberechi Eze, who set up Ilias Chair for the 75th-minute winner.