Weekly permutations: 18-21 Oct 2019
Now that the league tables have settled down a bit, it’s time for me to switch the weekly permutations graphics back on. I would have done this a bit earlier but I kept finding things wrong with the model and having to re-code League 1 as 23 teams took longer than I thought.
Each graphic shows the current league table on the left, a hollow colour-coded strip showing how far each team is mathematically capable of moving during the next round of fixtures and inside the strip is a little minimalist column chart showing the relative chance of them ending up in each position.
Liverpool are guaranteed to remain at the summit this weekend but seven clubs beneath them are fighting for a place in the top four. Watford are the only team guaranteed to start next week in the relegation zone and there’s very little chance of them being anywhere other than 20th. It’s also possible for Man Utd to drop into the bottom three if everything goes against them.
Any of the current top nine could find themselves at the Championship summit after this weekend’s matches, including Preston who haven’t been top of any division since December 2006: almost 13 years ago and longer than any other team currently in the top four divisions. Nobody is guaranteed to start next week in the bottom three, although it would be a surprise to see either Barnsley or Stoke escape this weekend.
Ipswich are one of three teams in the division who can’t move this weekend: the Tractor Boys are four points clear while Southend are five adrift of Wimbledon but 12 clear of Bolton. This week’s club without a fixture is Blackpool, who could still move up a place if Fleetwood lose heavily and the teams below them aren’t able to take advantage.
Four clubs are capable of dislodging Crewe from the League 2 summit this weekend, while Cheltenham and Swindon have an outside chance of breaking into the top three. Mid-table is an absolute free-for-all with just 4 points separating 8th from 19th, but there’s a small rump of clubs at the bottom scrapping to avoid the solitary relegation place. While Morecambe are only a point adrift at present, their goal difference means that a draw probably won’t be enough to nudge them past Stevenage.