Championship Week 19 Fixtures/Results
At the conclusion of last week’s slate, we officially reached the half way point of the Championship season. For the most part, the season thus far has gone nearly as well as I predicted before the season, albeit with a couple of huge misses on my part (I thought Ipswich Town would finish in 11th place (oops) and current leader Leeds United to finish right ahead of them (double oops).
Per usual, the number in parenthesis before each club is where they fell on our Week 19 Power Rankings. The clubs all begin second-half action with a full Boxing Day slate, followed by another full day on Saturday. Home clubs are listed first, and will be hosting both matches on the week. We’ll keep this updated throughout the week, with winners indicated in bold, while matches that end in draws will have their clubs italicized.
The match between the club with the lowest combined rankings will be dubbed our “Match of the Week,” while the match with the highest combined rankings is our “Match of the Weak.”
Wednesday, 26 December 2018
3:00pm GMT/10:00am EST
(12) Birmingham City 2-0 (8) Stoke City
(24) Bolton Wanderers 2-1 (18) Rotherham United
(13) Bristol City 1-1 (20) Brentford
(1) Leeds United 3-2 (17) Blackburn Rovers
(5) Middlesbrough 0-1 (16) Sheffield Wednesday
(22) Millwall 1-0 (21) Reading **MATCH OF THE WEAK**
(3) Norwich City 3-3 (11) Nottingham Forest
(15) Preston North End 1-2 (14) Hull City
(9) Queens Park Rangers 3-0 (23) Ipswich Town
(7) Sheffield United 3-1 (4) Derby County
(10) Swansea City 0-1 (6) Aston Villa
(2) West Bromwich Albion 2-0 (19) Wigan Athletic
Saturday, 29 December 2018
3:00pm GMT/10:00am EST
(12) Birmingham City 0-0 (20) Brentford
(24) Bolton Wanderers 0-0 (8) Stoke City
(13) Bristol City 1-0 (18) Rotherham United
(1) Leeds United 0-2 (14) Hull City
(5) Middlesbrough 2-0 (23) Ipswich Town
(22) Millwall 1-0 (11) Nottingham Forest
(3) Norwich City 3-4 (4) Derby County **MATCH OF THE WEEK**
(15) Preston North End 1-1 (6) Aston Villa
(9) Queens Park Rangers 0-0 (21) Reading
(7) Sheffield United 3-0 (17) Blackburn Rovers
(10) Swansea City 2-2 (19) Wigan Athletic
(2) West Bromwich Albion 1-1 (16) Sheffield Wednesday
Match of the Week
We have to wait until Saturday for our official Match of the Week between Norwich City and Derby County (though Sheffield United hosting Derby today will probably be a good one as well.
Norwich City is two weeks removed from a five week run as our top club, and it’s not hard to see why. They are unbeaten in 11 straight matches, and haven’t lost since 6 October. Derby County, on the other hand, has consistently been in our top six, though a rocky stretch in mid-November saw them take a tumble for a few weeks.
When the clubs faced off in Derby earlier this season, the end result was a 1-1 draw, with Derby needing a late goal from Craig Bryson to pull even. Since that match, Norwich was lost once – the aforementioned loss on 6 October – while Derby has lost only twice. Both clubs are solidly in position for at least a playoff berth at this point, though garnering three points would definitely start the second half of right for either club.
Match of the Weak
Our match between bottom-dwellers this week takes us to Millwall, with the Lions hosting Reading. Millwall has fallen back quite a bit so far this season; the club finished three points out of the playoff in 8th last season but have spent most of this year in the relegation zone. Reading, on the other hand, finished last season in 20th, and is currently in… 21st place. Not a great season by any measure for either club.
The Lions fall from playoff contention has yet to cost manager Neil Harris his job yet, a fate that other bottom club managers haven’t escaped on the season (including their opponent in this match). This match is literally a battle to get out of the relegation zone; the clubs are currently tied with 19 points on the season, with Millwall in the dreaded 22nd position due to goal differential. A Millwall victory would be enough to get them out of that dreaded position – unless Bolton Wanderers can find a victory as well – while a draw would leave the clubs in the same position entering Saturday’s much tougher matchups.
Reading is in the midst of a seven match winless streak (0-4-3), and will be debuting new manager José Gomes, who was appointed after their most recent match. The Royals have won only four matches all season, but one of those victories was against this same Millwall side. That match, back in October and in Reading, was a 3-1 victory for the Royals, a repeat performance they hope to match to start off the second half. I’d be skeptical, however, if only because Reading has won only once away from home this season, while Millwall has all four of their victories at home at The Den.
Until next time…
Last update: 29 December 2018, 3:00pm EST