Championship timelines, 27-28 Sep 2016

A quick explanation

You can skip this if you’ve seen these before.

As usual, here are timeline graphics for the latest round of matches. There’s a full explanation of these here, but in a nutshell they track how each club’s expected goals tally (the number of goals that the average team would have scored from the chances that they created) increased over the course of the match.

This allows us to get a better sense of how each game played out than from just watching the highlights. Every jump in a line is a shot, with bigger jumps corresponding to more promising chances (at least as far as I can tell from the limited data available at this level).

There are two numbers next to each club’s name: the first is how many goals they scored and the second (in brackets) is how many goals the average club would have scored from their shots. The latter number is what the lines track, with dots on the lines denoting the goals they actually scored.

You can browse previous timelines by selecting “VISUALISATIONS > TIMELINES” from the menu.

Side-by-side comparison

First of all, here are all of the match timelines side-by-side and using the same vertical scale, which makes it easier to pick out which games saw the most (and least) goalmouth action. I always sort matches by date and then alphabetically by the home team’s name in these posts to make it easier to find a specific one:


It looks like the Championship saved the best for last, with Newcastle’s thrilling comeback at home to Norwich the standout attacking performance. Huddersfield recorded a solid win at home to struggling Rotherham while Wigan look to have ridden their luck to take a secure three points against Wolves.

Individual matches

You can also see how the E Ratings predicted each of these games would turn out here.


A dull but relatively even first hour ended with Villa netting the opener from their best attack of the match and, with the match nearly over, looked to be heading for a first league away win in 23 attempts. Barnsley had offered little after half time but a late surge saw them grab a fortunate-looking point from one of their quieter performances this season.


Preston barely threatened after taking the lead for the second time here, which suggests that either they were content to protect their advantage or were pinned back by their hosts. Birmingham look to have earned their equaliser after a dominant second half showing that saw them out-create their visitors overall.


This doesn’t look like it was a classic, with nobody having a shot for the first 20 minutes and very little to get excited about until Wednesday went close late on. Blackburn are having a poor season and their inability to fire off a single effort at goal in the entire second half – even against a relatively tough opponent – is a definite red flag.


This match burst into life after a sluggish start, with Brentford living up to their billing as the most clinical finishers in the division. Reading needed a penalty to break their hosts down, although they can consider themselves unfortunate to have lost by such a large margin.


Apart from Bristol City’s strong finish to the first half this game was pretty even throughout, although the hosts’ superior attacking output made them perhaps the more deserving winners. Neither side created much overall and both Leeds and the Robins regularly went 10-15 minutes without getting a shot away.


A good chance for QPR was one of few first half highlights here but it was the quieter away side who eventually broke the deadlock. Burton netted from what looks like their only good chance but their visitors created the better chances overall and probably deserved their equaliser.


This wasn’t a classic Derby performance but I’m sure their fans won’t mind. Their second goal came from the penalty spot after their hosts had been reduced to ten men, but at least it added some drama to a match that doesn’t appear to have offered much of a spectacle. The Rams fared better than hosts Cardiff overall, even without their second goal, although it’s too early to tell whether Chris Powell will rejuvenate their attack.


Huddersfield eased to a comfortable win here – perhaps more so than the scoreline suggests. Both teams scored as a result of their first shot, although for Rotherham this happened around half an hour later than for their hosts and they barely troubled the home defence again until the closing 20 minutes.


Brighton look to have gone missing for a big chunk of this game which, given Ipswich’s ongoing struggles in attack, was a big opportunity to record an away win. While their hosts endured another frustrating spell in front of goal, their highly-rated visitors barely mustered a shot for the first hour and created depressingly little overall.


Fulham edged an end-to-end encounter here, performance-wise, but had to settle for a share of the points. Neither side’s defence has looked reliable so far, so a score draw wasn’t the most surprising resultm but Forest can be the more disappointed given that they were the home side here.


Wigan look to have been somewhat fortunate here, securing a precious three points that hauls them out of the relegation zone despite being heavily out-created. Wolves were the far more regular threat and restricted their hosts to a handful of mostly speculative efforts, but allowed the best two of the bunch to find their net.


Norwich were barely in this match until their equalising penalty at the end of the first half. Some incredibly fortuitous finishing gave them a shock 3-1 lead in an otherwise quiet second half before Newcastle rallied to close the gap and then win the game late on. The Magpies’ fourth goal dot is sitting on top of the third, with both coming in added time.