Note: The plan early in the season is to update these standings about every five weeks or so until much later in the season. We’ll try to highlight the important game that most impact the promotion and relegation zones in these pieces, but also take a look at how teams got to that point in the table.
We are now a little over 10% into the Championship season, so here’s an extremely early look at who would be moving up – and down – if the season were to end today.
In the Championship, the top two teams are automatically promoted to the Premier League, with the third- through sixth-place teams competing for promotion via a playoff. After the 2017-2018 season, Wolverhampton Wanderers (1st), Cardiff City (2nd), and Fulham (playoff winner) earned promotion.
The top of the league table currently looks like this:
Leeds United and Middlesbrough have separated themselves from the rest of the clubs, and are currently a full game ahead of third-place Bolton. However, the meet this weekend in an early match up of two top teams, so the top of the table could look completely different by Monday morning.
A promotion for Leeds United would mean their first trip back to the Premier League since they were relegated after a 19th place finish after the 2003-2004 season. Middlesbrough has been up in the top division more recently, having been relegated after their own 19th place finish in 2016-2017.
In the fight for a playoff spot, Derby County and Sheffield United are currently tied for all intents and purposes, and since they have not yet faced each other, they both technically qualify for the playoff as of right now. This probably won’t be the case in another 10 months, but Sheffield United has had the best form of late, winning their last three matches. Of the teams in the yellow, Sheffield United has the spottiest tenure in the Premier League, with only three overall seasons in the top tier since 1992-1993, the last in 2006-2007.
On the other end of things, the bottom three teams face relegation to League One. Last year, Barnsley, Burton Albion, and Sunderland were the odd clubs out, and while Barnsley and Sunderland have thus far held their own down in League One, Burton Albion is currently in the relegation zone in League One.
The bottom of the Championship table currently looks like this:
QPR picked up their first points of the season last weekend, but they are in the relegation zone primarily due to a 7-1 loss to West Bromwich Albion a couple of weeks ago. They need to continue to pick up points – or win a couple games by lopsided margins – to overcome their four loss streak to start the season. Ipswich Town has lost two matches in a row to fall to the bottom of the league and faces what is nearly a must-win game at home against Norwich City this weekend.
Ipswich hopes to turn things around and avoid relegation, as they have not been in League One since the 1956-1957 season. In fact, they’ve spent more time in the Premier League during that period than the Championship, so supporters would probably be pretty torn should they be unable to turn things around over the next 40 weeks. They’ve averaged about a 10th place finish in their current 16 season run in the Championship, so it’s probably just a matter of time for them to return to the middle of the table.
Until next time…
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