With a draw on Monday night, Week 15 of the Championship came to a close, with all the clubs playing twice. As I anticipated last week, the double-barrelled action had a dramatic impact on the Power Rankings, with only four clubs staying put from last week.
Most clubs this week also had split results; only four clubs either won twice or lost twice, and no club drew twice. As always, these rankings are an attempt to get a pulse on the current state of each club, and don’t always match the club’s position in the league table.
Note: Records presented as W-D-L
Through matches played on 3 December 2018
|Rank||Team||Record||Last Week||Change||Table Pos|
|3||West Bromwich Albion||10-5-5||3||—||3|
|10||Queens Park Rangers||8-4-8||10||—||11|
|14||Preston North End||5-7-8||13||1↓||18|
Beyond the Rankings
There were three clubs that shared the big move up this week, with Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic, and Hull City moving up three spots after positive results this week.
Birmingham City was one of two clubs – Leeds United was the other – to win both their matches this week. Midweek, they defeated Millwall, a club that has been towards the bottom of the rankings and league table for quite some time. They also defeated Preston North End in pretty dominating fashion, snapping Preston’s nine match unbeaten streak.
Wigan Athletic won midweek against the Blackburn Rovers, and followed up with a draw over the weekend against Bolton Wanderers. The victory over Blackburn snapped a five match winless streak for Wigan, and was over a club that entered the meeting ranked higher than them in the Power Rankings.
But perhaps the most impressive results were from Hull City. They started the week off with a scoreless draw against league leader Norwich City, and followed that up with a 3-2 victory over Queens Park Rangers on the road. The results allowed Hull City to climb out of the relegation zone for the first time since the beginning of October.
Moving On Down
Three clubs moved down four spots after poor or unexpected results. Middlesbrough dropped four spots after draw and a loss, and it was mostly a result of the other clubs below them having stronger results – though losing 3-0 to Aston Villa at home didn’t do them any favors.
The aforementioned Blackburn Rovers actually won over the weekend, but still fell four spots due to the results against Wigan. Blackburn is trying to stay up in the Championship after being promoted last season from League One, and they have positioned themselves well at the 20 match mark.
But the club that made the biggest move down this week was Brentford, who lost midweek to Sheffield United at home. Like Middlesbrough, it was more a result of the clubs around them finding success when they didn’t, which caused them to tumble a bit further than would usually happen in any other week for a cub with similar results. Nevertheless, they have still only won once since 15 September – when they reached a peak of 2nd in the league table – and have since stumbled to 17th place.
Until next time…