Championship permutations: 25-28 Nov 2016

What’s possible

Here are the highest and lowest possible positions that each club can occupy after the forthcoming round of fixtures. I’ve drawn lines under the automatic promotion and play-off spots, mid-table and the last spot above the relegation zone on both “axes” for ease of reference.

These graphics are explained here, but in a nutshell I crunch through every possible combination of results to work out how far it’s mathematically possible for each club to rise and fall.


Both Newcastle and Brighton are stuck where they are for the time being – not that they’re likely to mind – with five and four-point cushions respectively.

The play-off picture can still change a fair bit, with everyone down to 11th-placed Preston capable of ending this weekend in the top six and a few more able to move within touching distance.

Rotherham are still eight points behind 23rd-placed Wigan and are therefore likely to remain immobile for some time, but any two of the six sides immediately above them could occupy the relegation places with them after Monday evening.

What’s likely

The above shows what’s mathematically possible but doesn’t make any allowances for what’s likely to happen, so I’ve come up with a second graphic that uses my E Ratings prediction model (used to simulate the forthcoming round of games thousands of times) to assign some probabilities to all these potential changes.

It’s structured very similarly to the one above: the clubs are still listed in the same order as the current league table down the side and the dividing lines are all in the same place, but now across each row is the percentage chance of them moving to other positions in the table. As above, green indicates a rise, red a drop and grey staying put. The darker the red or green, the higher the probability. If there’s no number in a square, it means that the club didn’t fill that position in any of the thousands of simulations I ran and is therefore very unlikely.


With Reading playing at home this weekend and even a draw probably enough to keep them out of Huddersfield‘s reach thanks to goal difference, they’re quite likely to remain third for now.

With Wigan travelling to face the Terriers, escape from the bottom three doesn’t look all that probable, although the good news for the Latics is that the five teams immediately above them are also all playing away this weekend and therefore shouldn’t disappear into the distance.