(UPDATED) EFL Championship – Week 21 Slate

Championship Week 21 Fixtures/Results

After matches played on New Year’s Day, the Championship remains a much more competive league than the Premier League. While the top tier of English football has a group of six clubs head and shoulders above the rest of the league, the Championship’s top 13 clubs are within 15 points of each other; Leeds United leads with 51 points and Swansea City and Hull City are tied with 36 points. I would not be terribly shocked if any three of those 13 clubs achieved promotion this season, or if some towards the bottom of that group ended up fighting to avoid relegation.

Per usual, the number in parenthesis before each club is where they fell on our Week 21 Power Rankings. 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.

Friday, 11 January 2019

7:45pm GMT/2:45pm EST
(10) Leeds United 2-0 (3) Derby County  (PREVIEW)

Saturday, 12 January 2019

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

Matches at the Top

Though Leeds United is 10th in our Power Rankings (they’ve lost two in a row after all), they remain at the top of the league table by two points over Norwich City. They host a Derby County club that is currently in position to qualify for the playoffs for the second season in a row, though they have had their own recent struggles (1-3-1 in their last five). A win by Leeds – they won the first matchup between the clubs 4-1 in Derby – would secure their place at the top, while a loss or draw would give Norwich the opportunity it needs to reclaim the top spot.

Our Match of the Week, however, will be in Sheffield, with Sheffield United welcoming Queens Park Rangers to Bramall Lane. When the clubs met previously this season, the Blades came away with a 2-1 victory at Loftus Road, and are hoping for much more of the same in this one. QPR has to be hoping that the #SportMuseCurse is alive and well against the Blades, as our #1 clubs in the weekly Power Rankings have struggled when achieving that spot. Nevertheless, Sheffield United is a strong enough club to survive the jinx, but stranger things have happened on the season.

Bottom Feeders

It’s not shocking that the worst club in the Championship is again playing in our “Game of the Weak,” as their 24th rank tends to inflate the combined ranking. But Ipswich Town is still looking for their third victory on the season, and they are hoping that it can come against another club towards the bottom of the table in Rotherham United.

One of Rotherham’s five victories on the season came in the previous matchup between the clubs, though that match was played in Rotherham, and the Millers are winless (0-4-9) on the road this season. Furthermore, for all their struggles on the season, Ipswich Town has actually been better at home, both scoring more and surrendering less goals than they do on the road. Does that mean that they can come away victorious and inch closer to Reading at the bottom of the table? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Until next time…

Last update: 13 January 2019, 6:30pm EST

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