Fixture difficulty matrix: League 1, 2018/19

As usual, I’ve taken the newly-released EFL fixtures and combined them with an aggregation of leading bookmakers’ odds (from OddsChecker) to visualise where each club’s tough and easy matches appear to be next season. Each row in the matrix below lists a club’s league matches in chronological order, colour-coded based on how difficult they appear to be and the clubs themselves are sorted and numbered by where the odds imply they’ll finish in the table.

I’ve coloured the six strongest-looking clubs (based purely on the odds) in red and the six weakest-looking in blue, but you can use the numbers down the side to identify which fixtures are which.

Sunderland have a tough start to life in League 1 with their three opening games all against a likely promotion rival., and a similar run at the start of 2019.

Portsmouth meanwhile only have one ‘red’ match before November – an opening day fixture against newly-promoted but highly-rated Luton.

The Hatters should finish the season well as they get all but one of their 10 games against fellow ‘red’ sides out of the way by late January.

Burton have a horrible run-in with five of their last seven games looking tough, so if they’re to make the final top six then they’ll need to be sitting pretty comfortably inside it before April.