The results from the Championship this week really scrambled up the rankings, with only seven clubs staying put from last week. We had a lot of lower-ranked teams knock of higher ranked ones. The clubs ranked 12th through 17th all won, while four of the top ten clubs lost, so this week is really just a huge mess all around. Hopefully things will sort themselves out over the next couple of weeks.
We also have a new number one club this week, though it is a return to the top for the club with the lowest average rank this season, with Middlesbrough claiming the mantle for the third time this season. But, knowing our luck with recently anointed top clubs, it will probably be someone completely different next week.
Note: Records presented as W-D-L
Through matches played on 21 January 2019
|Rank||Team||Record||Last Week||Change||Table Pos|
|4||West Bromwich Albion||14-8-6||7||3↑||3|
|12||Queens Park Rangers||11-6-11||6||6↓||14|
|19||Preston North End||8-9-11||20||1↑||18|
Beyond the Rankings
The Hottest Clubs in the Championship
Hull City wasn’t able to continue their six-match winning streak, but they extended their unbeaten streak to 10 (7-3-0) after a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa. I thought that they were going to win outright, and entering the halftime break up 2-0 had me hopeful. Unfortunately for the Tigers, however, the home pitch advantage helped Villa even it up in the second half, but the Tigers still climb up both the rankings and the table (up to 8th) after capturing a point.
Bristol City also extended an unbeaten streak to 10 matches (6-4), picking up the 1-0 victory on the road against Nottingham Forest. For over two-thirds of the match, the clubs remained scoreless, and Forest was set to escape with their league-leading 13th draw and a point. Instead, Famara Diedhiou came through in the 70th minute with the winning goal, allowing Bristol to remain two points back of Derby County for the final playoff berth.
Recent Cool Streaks
Queens Park Rangers lost their second match in a row – and extended their short winless streak to four (0-2-2). They had the largest loss of the weekend, losing by three goals to a disappointing Preston North End club that entered with expectations much higher than their current spot in the table (and our rankings).
QPR got behind by three goals through 82 minutes, and got one back shortly thereafter to close the gap, but Preston was simply the stronger club on the day. QPR now trails the other three clubs with 39 points due to a poor differential, with chances dwindling for a playoff appearance.
The Coldest of Streaks
Our bottom four clubs have truly started to separate themselves from the rest of the league, and the battle to avoid relegation is on. Rotherham United finds themselves trailing Wigan Athletic by four points for real safety from relegation, while seeing only a two point lead over Reading in the first relegation spot. Rotherham has also surrendered the second-most goals so far on the season (behind Ipswich Town), while scoring the third fewest goals. That is exactly the profile of a club that is likely to find relegation at the end of the season, but as long as they can find success against the three clubs behind them, they may be able to pull it our in the end.
Until next time…