We’ve reached the midway point in the Championship season, and we’ll be publishing a look at the promotion and relegation races later this week. But before we do that, we wanted to update our weekly Power Rankings after last weekend’s action.
The Championship clubs will be playing twice this week, with the full league kicking off at 3:00pm GMT (10:00am EST) on Boxing Day (December 26th), so it will be a week full of football all across England. We’ll have to see if the double action leads to tired legs and abnormal results with the weekend matches as well.
As always, an individual club’s ranking doesn’t always place them near their league position, as some clubs started the season stronger than their recent play (and vice versa). An extended period of winning or losing will usually be reflected, though I tend to only look at the most recent match or two when deciding on placement.
Note: Records presented as W-D-L
Through matches played on 23 December 2018
|Rank||Team||Record||Last Week||Change||Table Pos|
|2||West Bromwich Albion||12-6-5||3||—||3|
|9||Queens Park Rangers||10-4-9||11||2↑||10|
|15||Preston North End||7-7-9||12||3↓||15|
The Big Movers
With two-thirds of the league moving, there were only a couple of clubs that moved more than a couple of spots. The biggest mover was in the negative direction, with Swansea City falling four spots after losing 3-2 to Hull City. Swansea tends to swing back and forth from losses to wins, and it will be interesting to see if they can overcome that trend going forward now that we’ve reached they second half of the season.
Two clubs moved up three spots this week, and both have had very different seasons. Middlesbrough rejoined the top five after an expected victory over Reading (though it was on the road, so slight bonus points for this one). Boro remains the top defensive club in the Championship, having surrendered only 16 goals (0.70 goals allowed per match). This has helped them maintain their position near the top of the table all season, and should give them a leg up down the backstretch as well.
Our other big positive mover is Sheffield Wednesday, who defeated Preston North End (albeit with Preston a man down from the 26th minute on). It’s been a tough season for Wednesday, especially considering the success of fellow Sheffield club Sheffield United. We could be partially to blame, as we named them a Dark Horse earlier this season. Since that notice, but before Saturday’s match, they were 1-2-7, so it was nice to see them get back to winning.
Break Up the Tractor Boys
I fully expected Ipswich Town to return to their losing ways, especially with a match against Sheffield United on tap. Instead, they went into halftime ahead 1-0, before holding on for a 1-1 draw, much to the delight of the home fans. Despite four points over their past two matches, however, they remain locked in the bottom spot of the league table, though the gap has narrowed significantly. Is this a sign of things to come for the remainder of the season? Or will Ipswich be locked into a relegation position early in the second half?
Until next time…