It was a relatively tame week in the Championship this week, at least when it comes to the schedule. Only two teams played twice, though this week, we’ll have nearly everyone doing so. But it doesn’t mean there wasn’t action and movement up and down our Power Rankings, with only five clubs staying in the same spot from last week.
Most teams will be playing twice next week – Millwall and Swansea City will be playing in the FA Cup quarterfinals – in advance of another break in the schedule the following week. This could result in further separation at the top… or could continue to muck up the middle of the table. Technically, only Ipswich Town is officially eliminated from the playoff race, though other clubs would have to have a total catastrophe happen to other clubs while winning everything in front of them to get that high in the table. (Note: We’ll explore a lot of the scenarios next week in lieu of these power rankings).
Note: Records presented as W-D-L
Through matches played on 10 March 2019
|Rank||Team||Record||Last Week||Change||Table Pos|
|5||West Bromwich Albion||17-10-9||5||—||4|
|7||Preston North End||13-12-11||8||1↑||10|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||12-7-17||19||—||18|
Beyond the Rankings
News from Off the Pitch
We had an interesting development regarding club finances, and it wasn’t a bottom dwelling club on the verge of relegation. West Bromwich Albion shockingly sacked manager Darren Moore after Saturday’s draw against Ipswich Town. Yeah, I guess that the fourth place club shouldn’t be drawing against the last place one, but it still seemed mighty fishy. It was later reported that West Brom is having cash flow issues and really needs to get promoted to fix it (despite having a billionaire owner).
So, while the draw was good enough to keep them in the playoff hunt, the owner (again, a billionaire who seemingly refuses to invest in his club) really wants the automatic promotion as to not leave things at the whim of the playoff. If only there was somebody with money in the owner’s box that could have perchance invested in some better players. Darn. (West Brom players are fine. I just think that this is a stupid reason to fire a perfectly capable manager).
Let’s Stay in the Stands, Mmm-kay?
Sunday night’s match between Aston Villa and Birmingham City was marred when a Birmingham fan ran on to the pitch to punch Aston Villa player Jack Grealish. I understand that it was a rivalry match, but that doesn’t mean a person can just go around and punch the other team’s players. Birmingham City apologized for the incident – while also banning the “fan” for life at the stadium – but Grealish got revenge by scoring the winning goal later in the match.
Aston Villa has been struggling to stay in the playoff race all season, and maybe this incident will give them a bit of an extra push towards at least the playoffs. The win moved them ahead of Birmingham City and only four points out of the final playoff spot. With matches this week against Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough, both of which are above Villa in the standings, they can really help themselves this week if they can secure four point, if not all six.
Until next time…