Championship Friday – Leeds United v Derby County

Friday night Championship Football returns, and there’s already been some drama between the clubs before the lineups are even settled.

Leeds United, tops in the league table (though not as high in our current Power Rankings), will welcome Derby County (currently 6th in the league) to Elland Road. Leeds is looking to maintain their lead at the top of the table, while Derby County looks to maintain their spot in the playoffs.

But news has broke over the past few days of a Leeds employee nosing around the Derby County training ground, with motives not yet 100% clear. Derby is still considering whether to file a formal complaint, though rumors persist that the FA is going to investigate regardless. Nevertheless, it’s simply silly that a Leeds employee, even without ulterior motives, was spotted near the grounds so close to this important match.

Let’s take a look at the clubs:

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EFL Championship – Week 21 Power Rankings

We are in the middle of a bit of a break at the top of English football, with the clubs taking a break from league play since the New Year’s Day matches last Tuesday (though there was FA Cup action over the weekend).

This week’s rankings saw some big moves over last week, with only seven clubs not moving. The “Festive Fixtures” wreaked some havoc on our rankings, with last week’s new #1 club – West Bromwich Albion – already off the top of the rankings after a loss on New Year’s. Furthermore, our rankings compared to the league table have really diverged over the past couple of weeks, something I expect to correct itself over the next couple of weeks as transfers and loans are sorted out during the January transfer period.

Note: Records presented as W-D-L
Through matches played on 1 January 2019

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Promotion & Relegation Watch – Championship – Midpoint

Championship Promotion & Relegation Watch

We have officially reached the midpoint of the season in the Championship, so I figured it was as good a time as any to update our look at the top and bottom of the league table.

As a reminder, the top two teams automatically qualify for promotion to next year’s Premier League, while the next four clubs compete for one spot in a two-round playoff. Last season, Wolverhampton Wanderers won the Championship, Cardiff City finished second, and Fulham earned promotion through the playoff (after finishing third during the season).

Since the last time we looked at the Championship, not much has changed. The top six clubs remain the same, though the order has been shuffled around a bit. Expanding the look a bit beyond those six clubs, eight of the top ten clubs are the same as well, with Birmingham City and Stoke City finding themselves just outside that last playoff spot.

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(UPDATED) EFL Championship – Week 18 Slate

Championship Week 18 Fixtures/Results We saw a lot of movement in our Power Rankings after a Week 17 that saw a lot of upsets. This week appears to be no different, with a lot of matches between clubs that are within a few spots of each other. Norwich City and Leeds United have really separated themselves from the rest … Read more(UPDATED) EFL Championship – Week 18 Slate

EFL Championship – Week 18 Power Rankings

Week 17 in the Championship is in the books, and the results have led to a lot of changes from last week’s Power Rankings. We have a new club at the top – even though the former #1 didn’t lose – and a new club at the bottom to the rankings as well – even though the former bottom club is still the bottom club in the actual league table.

The action shuffled up the rankings a bit, with only seven clubs staying in the same spot from last week. Per usual, the rankings here try to represent the trends of the clubs from week-to-week, and not give them credit for early season performance that elevated them in the league table (though most clubs have mostly gone to form over the past quarter of the season).

Note: Records presented as W-D-L
Through matches played on 17 December 2018

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Championship Saturday – Sheffield United v Leeds United

As mentioned in both the weekly Power Rankings and a look at the Week 15 slate, Championship clubs are playing twice this week. In the spirit of that, I will be highlighting a “Match of the Day” from three of the days with multiple matches.

Tuesday, we took a look at Preston North End and Middlesbrough, which ended in a 1-1 draw after Middlesbrough evened it up just after half time. So much for my predicted clean sheet. Boro dropped a spot into third place because of Leeds United’s victory over Reading, while Preston North End moved up a spot into 15th.

On Wednesday, it was Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest, which ended in a 5-5 barn burner after being tied 3-3 at the halftime break. Tammy Abraham scored four times for Villa in the match – after I highlighted him in the preview – which nearly doubled his scoring output on the season. It was what I dubbed the battle for 7th place, and Forest actually moved up to 6th after Derby County lost to Stoke City, while Villa maintained its 8th place spot.

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