Championship and Premier League 23 – 24 February 2021

It’s midweek so there must be English Championship games and this week is no different.

We are almost at that part of the season where if you are a neutral observer then some things are starting to look quite obvious.

Wycombe for instance are now adrift at the bottom of the league with just 20 points and winning only 4 games in 30 matches certainly feels like relegation.

There are teams like Derby who, whilst not safe, feel like they may have enough momentum after a change of manager and owners and are winning more games.

At the other end of the table, are Norwich now putting together the kind of form that wins the league or at least gains promotion?

They are 7 points ahead of both Brentford and Watford.

Both Norwich and Watford have won their last three games.

But this is the Championship and Brentford were the in-form team just three games ago having managed a 21-match unbeaten run. Now that has ended it’s been three defeats in a row and plenty of space for even mid-table teams to get into the promotion positions.

Wycombe v Reading

All the above suggests that Reading then should win against Wycombe but our model doesn’t and that is largely down to Reading’s more recent form (both teams have only 1 win in 5 matches). See table below for our model and bookmaker mean odds.

The teams relative ELO ratings are probably better reflected in the bookmaker odds which give Reading a 48.6% chance to win. Our model put the likely winners at 34.7%/37.5 (home v away). The two teams expected goals give very little clue either to anything other than a draw.

Most likely score: 1-1

Birmingham v Norwich

Birmingham are on the edge of the relegation slots and are against league leaders Norwich. This game gives Norwich a 14% of a 1-0 win, the highest likelihood of any score in the division (the most likely other scores are mainly 1-1 draws. Birmingham won their last match but Norwich have won the last three. We have them (Norwich) at 45% to win with bookmakers on 55%

Most likely score: 0-1

Bournemouth v Cardiff

Cardiff are 7th and have been climbing the table having won their last 5 matches and are away to Bournemouth who have more patchy form and despite leading the league earlier in the system are now 6th. Our model favours Bournemouth by 3% and bookmakers are much clearer in favouring Bournemouth (45% B’mouth -27.5% Cardiff).

There isn’t that much in it though in our model so a draw is the most likely result.

Most likely score: 1-1


There is one Premier League match tonight (Tuesday) so I’ve update the post to include it.

Leeds v Southampton

Leeds are favourites in this match at either 46% in our model or 44% from bookmakers mean odds. The most likely score is a 1-1 draw with both teams showing over 1 for expected goals.

The teams are 12th and 14th respectively but Southampton have been in shocking league form until the 1-1 draw with Chelsea at the weekend.

The last time they won apart from in the FA Cup, was against Liverpool in January. Whilst the most likely score in our model shows a 1-1 there always feels with Leeds there could be a lot more. At either end.

Most likely score: 1-1

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