Every Championship club’s run-in assessed: bad news for Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday, can Stoke City finish job?


Which clubs have run-ins that could really shake up the table when the Championship returns later this month?

There have been plenty of scenarios painted over the past three months about how the standings could be calculated if teams could not finish the season, from average points per game to weighted averages and throwing the table back to Christmas when everyone had played each other once.

But it’s playing each other twice over the course of the campaign which is the real test – and as this table shows, some clubs have got considerably tastier fixtures remaining than others.

Gary Rowett’s Millwall are currently in eighth and just two points outside the play-off places – and their remaining nine opponents have the lowest average position (16.67) compared to anyone else in the division.

They do not have to take on anyone inside the top nine – and are still to face five of the bottom seven.

Compare that with Derby County, whose opponents have an average position of 7.22. They take on five of the current top six, seven of the top nine.

Or Sheffield Wednesday (9.33), a particular worry considering their spectacular nose dive in form since their Boxing Day defeat at Stoke City, when they had arrived in third with genuine hopes they could challenge for automatic promotion.

By Christmas they had 39 points from 23 games. By the March shutdown they had 48 from 37 and had slipped to 15th, only nine points above the drop zone… even if that is still almost enough to be guaranteed of safety.

Form – after more than a three-month lay-off – will be interesting.

Third-placed Fulham (9.44) have to take on everyone else in top five as they try to either close the gap on Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion – or look over their shoulder to see if they’re slipping out of the top six.

In Stoke’s case, the opponents have an average position of 12.22 – mid-table in every respect – as Michael O’Neill tries to finish the job he started and secure survival.

Then there are additional factors.

Players have had chance to recover from minor knocks and most clubs will have more players available than at any time since last summer.

But then there is the issue with players’ contracts – and whether those players will carry on to play this season. For example, Lyle Taylor, Charlton’s talisman, decided not.

How it all affects everyone in a particularly unpredictable league will become clear sooner rather than later.





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