Championship, Good Friday, 2 April 2021

Championship football returns this weekend and so do our forecasts.

With only eight or nine games left for most teams, things are really narrowing for either winning the league, getting into the playoff places or avoiding relegation.

Title challengers

It looks like there is only one team that could realistically stop Norwich now and that is Watford.

The last time league leaders Norwich lost was back in February, away to Swansea but they did drop a couple of points in their last match against Blackburn.

We have Norwich winning 1-0 away to Preston. Norwich are 46% likely to get a win with Preston at only 27%. Bookmakers actually favour Norwich more than us at 56%.

Watford on the other hand have won their last 5 games but before that run lost to Bournemouth.

They are heavily favoured against Sheffield Wednesday at 70% as winners in our model, with a 2-0 win predicted (this exact score is showing at 12.5% likely in the Home wins section of our model) as the most likely score. Watford are also the only team in the league this week with more than 2 for expected goals.

Playoff places

In the playoff places, Barnsley play Reading in the early evening game today.

Our model favours Barnsley at just under 50% with Reading on only 25% for a win. Bookmakers have slightly better odds for Reading but not much. Our model predicts a 1-1 draw as the most likely result. For the other two teams in the top six, Swansea and Brentford, we have both these teams winning 1-0 in their respective matches.

Relegation spots

At the other end of the table, there doesn’t look like much joy for the bottom six teams.

Only Derby in 19th and Wycombe (who are adrift at the very bottom of the league) are predicted to get draws.

The other four teams we have losing. Our model favours Derby by about 5% (38.1-33.3%) against Luton whereas bookmakers have Derby on 45% to win.

Whilst a Derby win would pull them away from 22nd placed Rotherham its worth noting that Rotherham have only played 34 games compared to everyone else having played 37 or 38.