English Championship 19 10 21

The Champions League may dominate the headlines tonight but as usual the English Championship looks like it will produce some much closer games.

Weekend review (How did we do?)

The most likely score in any Championship match in the last 18 months or so (and probably for many years) is usually 1-1 or 1-0, or unsurprisingly 0-1, at least it is when we are trying to predict the most likely exact score.

Our model for instance will often predict more 1-1 draws than anything else in a given week or weekend.

Looking back at the weekend’s fixtures though there was just one 0-0 (Preston and Derby – we had this as 1-0 as the most likely score), two 1-0’s (the first being, Reading v Barnsley – we had this as 1-1, favouring the home side by 2%).

Of those 1-0 home victory’s we got one exact score, West Brom v Birmingham City. There were no 1-1 draws with most games producing at least one team with more than 2 goals.

Across the rest of the matches that took place our model was broadly correct in terms of which team we favoured to win, although it predicted a 1-1 as the most likely score, with one exception – Millwall v Luton, where we had both teams as fairly even, favoring Millwall by around 8% and bookmakers mean odds favoring them 1% higher, Luton actually won 2-0.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Tonight however, it is a similar story to the weekend, for our model, with no teams yet regularly on over two for expected goals.

The closest we get to that is Fulham at home to Cardiff. Our model predicts a 1-0 home win as the most likely score (11.8% as an exact score, 11% for a 2-0 home win).

This feels pretty obvious as Fulham are third in the league but Cardiff have also had an utterly dismal run, losing their last six games (we have Fulham to win at over 60% likely, with bookmakers Mean odds (see table below) very close to that at 63%).

Elsewhere the 1-1 strikes again for a number of games, about half of which we strongly favour the home team (Reading, Sheffield Utd, Preston, Hull), one of these, Preston v Coventry, although we favour Preston at 46.5%, bookmakers actually just about favour Coventry instead by 0.3%).

Then there are the rest where for the most part there is only a maximum of 4-5% points between how heavily our model favours them (for instance, Bristol City, Derby, Stoke). It also looks like our model has under valued West Brom’s odds with bookmakers mean odds favouring them to win at 47.5%