Championship previews, 17-18 Mar 2017

Below are the individual preview graphics for each game in the forthcoming round of fixtures. These smash together minimalist versions of two visualisations: each club’s E Ratings and their relative positions on the attack and defence scatter graphics.

I’ve explained them fully here, but in summary they’re intended as a simple pre-match comparison of two teams using high-level performance data. The graphic has three sections:

  1. The current ratings (with ranks) of the two teams and how these have changed over the past 30 league matches;
  2. A probability forecast for the match based on the ratings;
  3. Scatter graphics showing the teams’ attacking and defensive performance this season.

Before we launch into them, here’s each match is listed in descending order of how likely a home win is. It probably doesn’t need to be said, but this is NOT betting advice – there’s loads of relevant stuff that the model doesn’t factor in (e.g. injuries and suspensions) that will surely have an impact.

Sheffield Wednesday are heavily fancied to win by the model this weekend with Norwich and Cardiff also fancied to record home wins (it doesn’t factor in things like managerial changes).

Despite being the away side, Newcastle look likely to win thanks to the huge gulf between their rating and Birmingham’s.

Incidentally the match between Wigan and Aston Villa has the biggest draw probability I’ve seen for ages.

Most pivotal match

I’m trialling the reintroduction of a graphic I used last season to pinpoint matches that have a lot riding on them according to the model. This week the most pivotal game looks to be the top six clash between Sheffield Wednesday and Reading:

If the Owls win then their prospects of securing a play-off place will rise close to a comfortable 90%, while simultaneously slashing their visitors’ to well below 50%. However if the Royals can cause an upset then they’d edge ahead of their hosts in the battle for a top six spot.

Individual matches

Here are the graphics for each game in a gallery format.