Championship permutations: 13-15 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.

The top two can trade places once again and there’s also an ongoing struggle to claim the final play-off place, with Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham vying for success. The bottom three are cast adrift at the moment but a buffer of just four points suggests that the four clubs who can start next week in 21st will be desperate to avoid doing so.

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.

Newcastle are two points behind Brighton so even with the Seagulls playing away this weekend there’s only around a one-in-three chance of the Magpies overtaking them (the combined probability of them winning and Brighton failing to). Fulham need the same combination of results to break into the top six as they’re away at Norwich while Sheffield Wednesday play Cardiff at home.