Championship timelines, 28-30 Oct 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.

Individual matches

You can check how the E Ratings model predicted each match would pan out here. There are only 10 matches in here for now – I’ll add in the last few televised games in a bit later on.


Brentford started more slowly here but took control after 20 minutes and look to have been deservedly ahead by half time. QPR were unable to carve out any chances of genuine menace and the game was put beyond their reach by a late second from the Bees that secured a convincing away win.2016-10-29-barnsley-bristol-c

This game looks to have been incredibly close, with Barnsley’s saved penalty shortly before half time perhaps the defining moment. Bristol City’s own spot kick was converted shortly before the hour mark to draw them level and each team struck once more to produce both a result and a scoreline that seemed a fair reflection of the contest.

The model had Brighton as heavy favourites here, which surprised me even though I’m aware of how dominant their recent performances have been compared to Norwich’s. However they duly delivered here as worthy winners, although the huge margin owes far more to clinical finishing in the last half an hour than a compelling array of chances.

Wigan look to have recorded a “smash and grab” win here, with Cardiff having heavily out-created them in both quantity and quality terms. The visitors’ late winner came from their most promising attack of the game but they could easily have been behind by the time they carved it out.

This was only the second league match this season in which Derby have scored more than once, so perhaps Steve McClaren is already making a difference at Pride Park. However they look fortunate not to have conceded as many as they scored here, with Sheffield Wednesday providing an early scare and out-creating them overall.2016-10-29-fulham-huddersfield

Huddersfield have definitely been overachieving relative to my model’s assessment of them, but this was a rather rude way for the universe to course-correct. Fulham’s swashbuckling attack is no secret but it’s usually accompanied by a vulnerable defence, yet the Terriers were unable to trouble the home side much here. The hosts comfortably out-created their high-flying visitors, even if the scoreline flattered them a bit.

While this looks to have been an even game and therefore a fair result, the timing of Ipswich’s late equaliser will surely have hurt Rotherham, who badly need points to scrabble away from the relegation trapdoor. The hosts have one of the division’s lowest-rated attacks, which might explain the breathing space afforded to the Millers, but Mick McCarthy also presides over a strong defence, so there are positives for the visitors to take along with their point.2016-10-29-leeds-burton

Leeds would probably have been happy with a share of the points as the final 10 minutes of this game rolled around with the scores still level. Burton had matched them in a quiet first half and had had the better of the second before the hosts’ late penalty broke the deadlock. The E Ratings clearly show the positive impact that Garry Monk is having at Elland Road, but this was far from a convincing win and the Brewers can feel justifiably hard done by.2016-10-29-preston-newcastle

Newcastle have been enjoying a dominant season but this match saw them struggle to get going. After a sluggish first half they managed to convert one of a succession of speculative efforts in the second before finally making a breakthrough to put the game beyond doubt. Even then, Preston’s late resurgence – rewarded with a deserved-looking consolation goal – set up a nervy finish.2016-10-29-reading-nottm-forest

Reading scored with their first shot of both halves here – an even first and an otherwise one-sided second in which their visitors did most of the attacking. Forest presented the more consistent threat – although most of their shots were from relatively poor positions – and they’ll be disappointed not to have taken something here. The Royals continue to overachieve relative to some very modest underlying performances and I’m beginning to suspect Jaap Stam of the same sorcery that Gary Rowett regularly deploys to keep Birmingham in similar defiance of my model.


The Saturday evening game looks to have been an even contest. Wolves’ goal threat was compressed into a narrow burst in each half, the second of which yielded their goal, but the travelling fans had to endure several long spells without a shot to cheer. Blackburn had netted with their first shot of the match and seemed to fade as the game drew to a close.


The Sunday afternoon game saw Aston Villa take the lead in an underwhelming first half before Birmingham gradually began to assert themselves after half time. The second half was almost entirely one-way traffic and an equaliser looks to have been the least the hosts deserved.