English Championship 1 May 2021
The Championship only has 2 games left to play, except for Luton Town and Rotherham (their ‘game in hand’ takes place on Tuesday).
Play-off places are decided, with Reading missing out and now 8 points behind 6th. Norwich have a 5 point lead over Watford so would have to lose both games and Watford win both for the league title to go to Watford.
Our model has Norwich winning 2-0 at home to Reading, with Norwich on more than 2 for expected goals and at 63.6% chance of winning, bookmakers give Norwich a 55% chance. We also have Watford losing away to Brentford, with Brentford having a 46% chance of winning but Watford only 25%. Bookmakers have it closer at 40% to 31%. Either way if one of these results happens the title is Norwich’s.
At the other end of the table though there is still plenty to play for. Huddersfield are pretty much safe at 8 points clear of Rotherham, despite Rotherham having that game in hand. Sheffield Wednesday are on equal points with Rotherham so also have a chance at survival.
The team at the greatest risk of slipping into relegation is Derby but their form is as bad as Rotherham’s.
Derby vs Sheffield Wednesday next weekend though, could prove to be the most important game but only if Wednesday gain at least a point in their next two games and Derby don’t (if Derby win at all then they are going to be safe).
Our model has both Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday drawing their games, with Derby losing 1-0 away to Swansea.
If this happens it really does make things very close for the last day of the season. We give Derby just a 17% chance of winning on Saturday, whereas bookmakers have them on 28.6% to win. Bookmakers more or less agree with our prediction for the Rotherham and Wednesday games though.