Championship permutations: 7-8 Apr 2017
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 many dramatic movements possible this weekend but Fulham can force their way back into the top six at Sheffield Wednesday’s expense. At the bottom Blackburn can move out of the relegation zone if results go against either Nottingham Forest or Bristol City.
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.
It looks like Fulham have around a four in ten chance of leapfrogging Sheffield Wednesday, with the Cottagers at home to Ipswich while the Owls have to deal with leaders Newcastle. However if things go the other way then there’s a very slim chance that Preston can edge past Fulham on goal difference, but it would require a pretty big swing.