Experts predict Championship final table – and how it changes if Derby and Sheffield Wednesday get points deductions


This is no blind prediction, this is how the Championship’s final problem is shaping up based on form, fixtures and mathematical probability.

There are no dead certainties but a series of educated expectations based on the analysis of millions of data points – even in a division which so often confounds supporters, pulls down managers’ pants and leaves pundits with eggs on their faces.

So thanks to InfoGol, the football analysts and xG experts who are sticking out their necks and putting their trust in numbers.

And then adjusting those numbers depending on whether Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday get point deductions relating to penalties from Financial Fair Play investigations.

Their calculations work out – having simulated the final 10 rounds of fixtures – that there is an 85 per cent chance that Stoke City will stay up.

It is Luton Town (94 per cent chance of going down), Barnsley (80) and Charlton (58) who are the most likely to be filling those doomed three places at the bottom.

There are still plenty of variables – particularly with Stoke’s next five games all against teams around them, starting with Hull at home this weekend.

Mark Taylor, the Stoke fan at InfoGol who helped to pioneer xG, said: “Saturday is massive, with games running out actual results against relegation rivals cause really big swings in final season placings. Stoke could be as low as five per cent for the drop with a win or as high as 23 per cent with a loss.

“It takes around four seasons’ worth of games for talent to shine through – in other words, for better teams to finish above less talented ones.

“Stoke are better than the teams below, but 10 games… it is going to be riddled with randomness.”

One of the biggest unknown factors for all the teams down at the wrong end is the potential punishments awaiting Derby and Sheffield Wednesday.

For Stoke, it changes to 86 per cent chance of staying up if both clubs are docked six points – and 92 per cent if they are both docked 12 points.

Derby have less than a one per cent chance of going down as the table stands. That changes to 11 per cent if they are docked six points and a sweat-inducing 56 per cent with 12.

Sheff Wed’s chances of going down are currently next to nothing. With a six-point deduction that changes to four per cent and with a 12-point deduction it becomes 22 per cent – more than a one in five chance that they are goners.

At the other end of the table, the top two seems all but sorted regardless of FFP.

There is a 98 per cent chance that Leeds will be spending 2020/21 in the Premier League. There is an 88 per cent chance they will be joined by West Bromwich Albion.

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Brentford have a seven per cent chance of breaking into the automatic spots, Fulham have five and Nottingham Forest have two.

Brentford, Fulham, Forest and Preston are the teams most likely to be contesting the play-offs… but another five clubs still in with a sniff.

In other words, stay tuned.





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