With another international break at the top of the English Football League, we felt it was time to update our monthly power rankings in the Championship.
All but two clubs – Nottingham Forest and Reading had their Matchday 14 match postponed because of poor field conditions – have played 16 matches on the season, or five more since our October Power Rankings. This is also our fourth straight Power Rankings with a different club at the top, but the league remains as muddled as ever, with 16 clubs over 20 points a third of the way through the season.
These rankings are updated as of matches played through 10 November, with action resuming after the break on 22 November. The change in rankings presented in the table is based only on league action since our October rankings, and we feel the rankings are better reflecting what the clubs will be over the remainder of the season. Nevertheless, a lot can change over the next six months, but I would not be surprised to see a club outside to top six now to find themselves in the playoffs at the end of the season.
We’ll cover a handful of clubs after the rankings, but here’s where we have the league after two months of play:
Note: Records presented as W-D-L
|1||Preston North End||9-4-3||3||7↑||2|
|2||West Bromwich Albion||9-6-1||2||—||1|
|5||Queens Park Rangers||7-3-6||6||1↑||10|
Climbing the Rankings
Our biggest gainer during the month was Reading, who rode a 3-1-0 record to give themselves a little breathing room from the relegation zone. They were heading the opposite direction last month after going 0-1-4 between our September and October rankings, but started off this month with a 1-0 win against Preston North End. The match was a scoreless draw for 98 minutes, only to see American Matthew Miazga notch in the game winner at the end of added time. They were helped a bit by that postponement against Nottingham Forest, as three of their four completed matches were played at Madejski Stadium. As a result, four of their next five matches will be on the road, so expect another wild swing next month.
Leeds United also reversed course from a month ago, with a 3-2-0 record to take their right place near the top of the Power Rankings. The Whites have returned to form, and currently lead the league with only nine goals surrendered through 16 matches. Kiko Casilla leads the league with eight clean sheets (in 15 matches), and a stellar 0.53 goals against average. Leeds should continue their winning ways over the next month as well, with five matches looming against clubs in the bottom half of our rankings, so they could find themselves back at the top of the rankings before too long.
Not Good to Be Number 1
Our top club in October, Nottingham Forest, continued our streak of our top club not repeating month-to-month. They didn’t have a terrible record over the past month, compiling a 2-0-2 record. The two losses – at Wigan Athletic and at home against Hull City – were to clubs in the bottom half of the rankings, proving how tenuous their perch at the top really was. They did recover to win their last two matches before the break, and they still could be in the mix for a playoff spot when all is said and done, but this month was a little rough for Forest.
Joining Forest with a five-spot tumble was Derby County, who are far removed from their appearance in the EFL Championship Final after last season. Though there is still a lot of matches left to play, time is running out for the Rams to turn things around and compete for a playoff spot yet again. Maybe the looming arrival of Wayne Rooney after the new year and the late pre-season departure of manager Frank Lampard for Chelsea have affected them early this season, but the Rams have yet to find any consistency thus far this season. They have alternated wins and losses over their past six matches, and have not yet won two consecutive matches on the year. Maybe they are counting on a late season push behind Rooney, but they likely need to find themselves on a winning path before too long for his addition to have any impact.
Until next time…