Championship permutations: 21-24 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.

Leeds are able to re-enter the top six this weekend at the expense of either Sheffield Wednesday or Fulham. There’s also movement possible in the relegation battle where Blackburn can send either Birmingham or Nottingham Forest into the bottom three with a good result.

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.

Leeds’ chances of returning to the top six this weekend are around 40% – they’re away at Burton (who will be pressing hard to avoid relegation), although Fulham’s tough trip to Huddersfield means that a draw could be enough.

Blackburn are away at Wolves and therefore don’t have a great chance of escaping the bottom three this time, especially considering that Forest are playing at home.