Which EFL clubs have the toughest-run-in?
Following on from the Premier League version I produced last week, I thought it was as good a time as any to work out how tough each EFL club’s run-in is. I’ve produced similar graphics before and they work in a pretty straightforward way.
The left-hand side is just the left-hand side of the current league table, with the clubs ordered and numbered 1-24. I’ve then split the clubs into four colour-coded groups of similar toughness, based on an average of leading bookmakers’ odds. This is always the trickiest bit to do, as it’s hard to come up with a clean set of categories that everyone will agree with, but I’ve tried to pick the biggest “jumps” between odds.
I’ve then built a grid with each club’s remaining fixtures listed in order from left to right. Each is denoted by a number (the opponent’s league position, which allows you to identify them), plus their group’s colourand whether it’s at home or away.
Fulham look like a good shout for promotion given that they only have three matches left against top half teams and none against their fellow front-runners. Bristol City‘s play-off hopes are still very much alive as they are the only promotion challenger to have already played all of the top five twice. If Burton are to escape the drop this season then they will need to emerge from a tough run of games relatively unscathed: between now and early April they have five matches in a row against promotion hopefuls, including back-to-back trips to the current top two.
This grid is much messier than the one above due to the impact of postponements, which have affected Rochdale and Wigan most of all due to their cup exploits. Rotherham could be about to surge into the automatic promotion reckoning as they face three relegation strugglers back-to-back. Oldham have a pretty favourable run-in, with a trip to Wigan their only really tough remaining game.
Again we have some postponement-related mess, with a couple of games yet to be rescheduled (under TBA on the right). Accrington‘s promotion prospects will depend on them navigating a tough run-in, in which they still have to play every other member of the current top six. At the other end of the table, if Barnet can dig in until the end of March without drifting too far from safety, then a late dash for survival looks possible with their last seven games all looking winnable.