Championship timelines, 18-20 Nov 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.


The Friday evening game looks to have been relatively quiet, with both sides netting in a first half lacking in quality chances. Aston Villa will probably be the more disappointed with a draw after finishing the game strongly and this was another match in which Brighton’s attack performed sluggishly. The Seagulls’ attacking output has dipped worryingly of late and could make it difficult for them to keep pace in the race for automatic promotion.

Apart from Barnsley’s good early chance there wasn’t much to write home about here either. Neither the Tykes nor Wigan were able to create much overall, although the hosts did enough to win the match and can be justifiably disappointed not to have done so. The visiting Latics were near-anonymous apart from a flicker of promise mid-way through the second half, so will need improvements if they’re to escape the bottom three.

Birmingham started and ended this match well, although Bristol City also finished the game energetically and did enough to get on the scoresheet themselves. However the Robins didn’t really get going until the final half an hour so perhaps paid the price for a slow start.

Blackburn’s attack has been among the division’s quietest this season but has picked up in the last few matches, while Brentford’s defence has looked vulnerable for a while. Still it was surprising to see Rovers edge a five-goal first half, although they look to have deserved the win overall and ultimately created sufficient chances to merit their tally. The visiting Bees were kept pretty quiet until a spirited attempt to draw level in the final quarter of an hour.

Cardiff’s first half was almost a carbon copy of Blackburn’s, although their visitors had to wait a bit longer for their second consolation goal, which came during a much duller second period. The hosts only mustered a single speculative effort after the break, but to their credit they kept Huddersfield mostly contained and saw out a deserved-looking victory.

Rotherham never really got going here as Derby cruised to a straighforward home victory. Tom Ince notably scored a brace despite missing two penalties (the two largest jumps in Derby’s line above), but the Rams were ultimately rewarded for their efforts and the margin of victory doesn’t appear to have flattered them.

A late Fulham recovery earned them a deserved-looking home point here, after conceding early during a slow start. Sheffield Wednesday continued to press their advantage after taking the lead, but appeared to run out of steam – or attacking inclination – after half time. The hosts found another gear with a quarter of an hour left on the clock, more than doubling their cumulative output thereafter, to grab an equaliser.

Forest were perhaps a tad fortunate to find themselves two goals up by half time, but overall they comprehensively out-created Ipswich – whose attack has frequently disappointed this season – to rack up a deserved-looking three points. The hosts never really got going here, mustering a single long-range effort in the first half an hour and getting just two shots on target overall.

This looks to have been a pretty dull encounter, with Wolves only managing one shot in the first 80 minutes of football and Preston not faring much better until relatively late on. A 0-0 draw therefore seems like a fair result.

A red card for Norwich after just two minutes makes it difficult to draw many conclusions from this game. Having missed the resulting penalty, QPR nevertheless made good use of their combined home and numerical advantage to rack up a two-goal lead by half time. The Canaries understandably struggled to get into the game and were perhaps fortunate to claw a goal back.

Two close range goals in the first half continued Reading’s impressive start to the season, although Burton created enough chances to get onto the scoresheet themselves and ran the Royals far closer than the scoreline suggests. The hosts’ third came towards the end of a quieter and more even second period, with the Brewers unable to get many shots away from dangerous positions.


This may sound a bit silly, but apart form Newcastle’s two goals there wasn’t that much in this. The visitors didn’t create much else, but scored from the game’s two stand-out chances (even if one was somewhat gifted to them) and Leeds didn’t carve out much in the way of clear-cut opportunities. The hosts needed 25 minutes to register their first shot but then dominated the remainder of the first half, only to tail off after the interval.