EFL Championship – Week 22 Power Rankings

Another week in the Championship, another week of movement in our weekly Power Rankings. Only four clubs remain in the same spot that they were last week, and one of those clubs is last week’s top club, who managed to avoid the jinx we tend to place on our top club.

This week was also an opportunity to “right size” the rankings a bit; I have no idea how Aston Villa had managed to climb as high as they did in my rankings while struggling to stay in the top 10 of the league table, so that’s been mostly corrected. There are some other clubs that are a long ways off from their table position, but I can easily justify those ones.

Note: Records presented as W-D-L
Through matches played on 12 January 2019

RankTeamRecordLast WeekChangeTable Pos
1Sheffield United15-5-712
2Middlesbrough12-10-542↑5
3Leeds United16-6-5107↑1
4Hull City11-6-1073↑10
5Derby County12-7-832↓6
6Queens Park Rangers11-6-1051↓11
7West Bromwich Albion13-8-681↑4
8Birmingham City9-12-662↓8
9Aston Villa9-11-727↓12
10Bristol City11-8-8111↑7
11Nottingham Forest9-12-692↓9
12Norwich City14-7-6123
13Swansea City10-7-101313
14Blackburn Rovers9-10-8162↑14
15Brentford7-10-10183↑17
16Stoke City8-11-8142↓15
17Sheffield Wednesday8-8-11152↓16
18Millwall7-7-13171↓20
19Wigan Athletic8-5-14223↑19
20Preston North End7-9-112018
21Reading5-8-14232↑22
22Rotherham United5-10-12193↓21
23Ipswich Town3-9-14241↑24
24Bolton Wanderers5-7-15213↓23

Beyond the Rankings

The Hottest Clubs in the Championship

Hull City continues their march up the Power Rankings (and the league table), winning their 6th match in a row on Saturday (as well as extending their unbeaten streak to nine (7-2-0). Before that unbeaten streak started, the Tigers were sitting in the relegation zone after a loss to Nottingham Forest on Matchday 18. Since, they have seemed unbeatable, and have moved to 10th in the league table and to their lofty spot in our Power Rankings.

Joining Hull with a nine-match unbeaten streak (5-4-0) of their own is Bristol City, who are climbing the rankings a little slower for a couple of reasons. First, they’ve only won three matches in a row – against the current 22nd, 16th, and 24th ranked clubs (in our Power Rankings). They also started their streak a little higher in the rankings, so they haven’t had as high to climb, but if they should keep it up, I can easily see them matching the pace of Hull City.

Recent Cool Streaks

A couple of former number one clubs in these power rankings are trying to return to the top and have found it difficult as of late with minor cool streaks over the past few weeks, and the last match in those streaks was a draw with each other.

West Bromwich Albion – who ascended to the top spot two weeks ago – have not won since they were in that spot, a short three-match winless (0-2-1) that has not been ruinous to their league chances, but have nevertheless impacted their place in our rankings. They are still fourth in the league table and remain the highest scoring club in the Championship, but they really need to get back to winning… which should be easy this week with a match against Bolton Wanderers.

The club West Brom replaced at the top – Norwich City – hasn’t won in four matches (0-3-1), and they have a bit of a harder challenge this weekend with a match against Birmingham City. However, the Canaries aren’t that far removed from their own dominant stretch that took them to the top of the table. Their last win was the end of an 11-match unbeaten streak (9-2-0), which started with a six match winning streak. I expect both of these clubs to be in the mix for promotion regardless of recent “struggles,” and both may be able to turn it around as early as this week.

The Coldest of Streaks

After finishing one spot out of the playoff last season, Preston North End has struggled a bit this season, including their current 0-2-3 run that has them down to 18th in the league table. It’s been a season of ups and downs for the Lilywhites; they ended September at the bottom of the league table, only to go on a nine-match unbeaten run (4-5-0) that elevated them to 15th. Since then, they’ve been mired in the bottom third of the table (and our rankings), and they are currently closer to relegation (seven points) than to qualifying for the promotion playoffs (13 points).

Until next time…

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