(UPDATED) EFL Championship – Week 16 Slate

Championship Week 16 Fixtures/Results

The results from last week, when each club played twice, didn’t have the impact on the Power Rankings I was expecting, but it was still an exciting week nonetheless. This week doesn’t appear to be much different, with about half of the matches being hosted by a lower-ranked club this week. With the Championship being deemed the best league in England, nearly any team can find success week to week (sorry Ipswich Town supporters).

Per usual, the number in parenthesis before each club is where they fell on our Week 16 Power Rankings. Home clubs are listed first. We’ll keep this updated throughout the weekend, with winning indicated in bold, while matches that end in draws will have their clubs italicized.

Friday, 7 December 2018

8:00pm GMT/3:45pm EST
(3) West Bromwich Albion 2-2 (5) Aston Villa   **MATCH OF THE WEEK**

Saturday, 8 December 2018

3:00pm GMT/10:00am EST
(8) Birmingham City 0-1 (16) Bristol City
(20) Brentford 2-3 (11) Swansea City
(2) Leeds United 2-1 (10) Queens Park Rangers
(6) Middlesbrough 1-1 (15) Blackburn Rovers
(22) Millwall 2-2 (19) Hull City   **MATCH OF THE WEAK**
(1) Norwich City 3-2 (23) Bolton Wanderers
(4) Nottingham Forest 0-1 (14) Preston North End
(18) Sheffield Wednesday 2-2 (17) Rotherham United
(12) Stoke City 2-0 (24) Ipswich Town
(13) Wigan Athletic 0-1 (9) Derby County
5:30pm GMT/12:30pm EST
(21) Reading 0-2 (7) Sheffield United

Match of the Week

The Match of the Week is the one that starts the weekend off for the Championship, with West Bromwich Albion hosting Aston Villa. Villa spent much of the first quarter of the season not quite living up to expectations, which led to the sacking of manager Steve Bruce on 3 October. Dean Smith took over the club on 10 October, and promptly lost two of his first three matches (he did win his first one, so he started out well enough) and hit their lowest spot in the table on the season. But once the calendar turned over to November, Villa hasn’t lost, going 4-1-0. This has moved them back into striking distance of qualifying for the promotion playoffs, which could be followed by a return to the Premier League.

West Brom has been much more consistent on the season, and have not been below 8th in the league since the second match of the season. This has been partly driven by their offensive output all season long; they lead the Championship with 42 goals scored (three ahead of Aston Villa), including the most lopsided victories the entire season. Their performance this season was expected after being relegated from the Premier League, but I don’t anyone expected them to be this consistently successful. They are hoping to continue their strong performance at home this season (6-2-2, with a +13 goal differential) against strong opposition.

Match of the Weak

The opposite of the Match of the Week is the match that has the highest combined ranking between the two clubs. I’ve decided to start calling this the “Match of the Weak,” and the first version will be Millwall hosting Hull City. Hull City made a move up the rankings last week, after a draw against top club Norwich City and a win against Queens Park Rangers last week. But they were also helped by the moderate fall of Millwall, who lost to Birmingham City and drew against Bristol City. Unlike some of the other clubs towards the bottom of the table, the Lions have won relatively recently, even going 3-1-1 for the month of October. It was the stretch of football before then, when the club went 0-1-6, that started them towards the bottom of the table. They finished last season 8th in the league and were hoping for similar results this year. Instead, if the season ended this week, they would be heading down to League One.

Hull City is only two points ahead of Millwall in 19th place, and they weren’t expected to improve much on last season’s 18th place finish (we had them 19th in our Preseason Power Rankings). They had a seven match winless stretch of their own earlier in the season, though they improved slightly on Millwall’s result, going 0-2-5. But they followed that streak with a current run of 3-2-1, which helped move them from 23rd to their current position.

Until next time…

Last update: 9 December 2018, 11:40am EST

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