Championship permutations: 4-5 Apr 2017

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.

There aren’t any massive changes possible in this round of fixtures, with the top two nine points clear and only Sheffield Wednesday able to force their way into the top six.

The bottom of the table is similarly dull, with Nottingham Forest, Bristol City and Blackburn scrapping to avoid occupying the final relegation place.

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 Sheffield Wednesday‘s goal difference far worse than Fulham‘s they’d realistically need a win at Rotherham and for Derby to take some points off the Cottagers if they’re to retake sixth place, and hence there’s only around a one in three chance of that happening.

Blackburn have similar prospects of moving out of the relegation zone during this round of games, with a win at Reading required on top of a home defeat for either Nottingham Forest or Bristol City.