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With around three quarters of the season gone, now is the perfect time to look at the remaining fixtures in detail; if for no other reason than to be able to say that, if we do somehow throw it all away, it will be against all the odds.

I'll only look at the top 3 as I think West Brom would have to win all their games to finish above us; now watch them do that and make me look silly!

The first thing is to look at the current table:

image.png.3c8c1d330c3c613ebd49cdec8afae51e.png

Norwich have a 2 point gap to 2nd and a 4 point gap to 3rd; but as Leeds and Sheff Utd have to play each other we are guaranteed that one or both will drop some points. As a theoretical maximum, the team in third place cannot finish on more than 97 points and Norwich can finish on 102 so we effectively have a 5 point buffer.

Norwich's remaining opponents contain just 3 of the current top half teams: Middlesbrough (5th), Hull (10th) and Villa (11th); and average 15th place in the league. In the reverse fixtures, Norwich achieved 9 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat for 28 points. The stand out fixture is Boro' away: they have the best home record against other top 8 teams in the league, and Norwich have achieved fewer points in away games against top 8 teams than in any other type of fixture and avoiding defeat would be a bonus. While there will likely be points dropped elsewhere, Norwich will be favourites to win all their other games until Villa away where a draw or loss are as likely as a win.

Leeds play 5 top half teams including: Sheff Utd (3rd), Bristol City (6th), Birmingham (8th), Villa (11th) and Preston (12th); the average league position of their remaining opponents is 14th place. In the reverse fixtures Leeds achieved 7 wins, 3 draws and 1 defeat for 24 points. Aside from the obvious '6 pointer' against Sheff Utd, the away games against Bristol City, Birmingham, Preston and even Brentford could be tricky. Leeds will be favourite to win all their other fixtures.

Sheffield Utd play 6 top half teams: Leeds (2nd), Bristol City (6th), Birmingham (8th), Forest (9th), Hull (10th) and Preston (12th); the average league position of their remaining opponents is 13th place. In the reverse fixtures, Sheff Utd achieved 4 wins, 4 draws and 3 defeats for 15 points. While they will be favourites in all their home games, Bristol City or Forest could be tough; Leeds, Preston, Birmingham, Hull, then Stoke away is far from a run of guaranteed wins and Sheffield Utd average under 1.5 points per away game against top and mid table teams.

So, how does this all play out?

It's very difficult to predict individual results so I prefer to look at averages for example: Norwich are likely to win 2, draw 1 and lose 1 of the next 4; any better would be an overachievement; we could lose to Swansea then win the other 3, or draw against Swansea and Boro' and win the other 2 etc. It's this approach that I've used in my predictive algorithm. The final table shows what happens if each team gets the expected average number of points, adjusted for recent form, based on results against teams in similar positions in the table home and away.

Here's my projected table:

image.png.2da0d041b4c4e1e93106b89f455e1703.png

But, the one I like best is from fivethirtyeight.com: apparently we have an 82% chance of being promoted...

image.thumb.png.43b3910e537f22aca01162d6847a11b8.png

Obviously there is a long way to go and they only way anything will be achieved is through a continuation of the hard work the team have been putting in so far. Us fans will have our part to play as well. Around 7% of that 82% figure is by winning the playoffs!

 

 

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All very interesting but the fact is that there are loads of ‘ifs and buts’. 

Part of the beauty of football is that it can be so unpredictable and I think that is especially true in the Championship. Even though we are playing brilliantly when I look at our fixtures I don’t see any as being guaranteed wins. The position will also change as we get nearer to the end of the season. Some teams will be fighting for their lives and others might be ‘on the beach’ (but even some of them will play better than expected as they are under no pressure).

its great to look at these predictions and theories but I’m going to be sticking to the one game at a time approach!

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56 minutes ago, Petriix said:

With around three quarters of the season gone, now is the perfect time to look at the remaining fixtures in detail; if for no other reason than to be able to say that, if we do somehow throw it all away, it will be against all the odds.

I'll only look at the top 3 as I think West Brom would have to win all their games to finish above us; now watch them do that and make me look silly!

The first thing is to look at the current table:

image.png.3c8c1d330c3c613ebd49cdec8afae51e.png

Norwich have a 2 point gap to 2nd and a 4 point gap to 3rd; but as Leeds and Sheff Utd have to play each other we are guaranteed that one or both will drop some points. As a theoretical maximum, the team in third place cannot finish on more than 97 points and Norwich can finish on 102 so we effectively have a 5 point buffer.

Norwich's remaining opponents contain just 3 of the current top half teams: Middlesbrough (5th), Hull (10th) and Villa (11th); and average 15th place in the league. In the reverse fixtures, Norwich achieved 9 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat for 28 points. The stand out fixture is Boro' away: they have the best home record against other top 8 teams in the league, and Norwich have achieved fewer points in away games against top 8 teams than in any other type of fixture and avoiding defeat would be a bonus. While there will likely be points dropped elsewhere, Norwich will be favourites to win all their other games until Villa away where a draw or loss are as likely as a win.

Leeds play 5 top half teams including: Sheff Utd (3rd), Bristol City (6th), Birmingham (8th), Villa (11th) and Preston (12th); the average league position of their remaining opponents is 14th place. In the reverse fixtures Leeds achieved 7 wins, 3 draws and 1 defeat for 24 points. Aside from the obvious '6 pointer' against Sheff Utd, the away games against Bristol City, Birmingham, Preston and even Brentford could be tricky. Leeds will be favourite to win all their other fixtures.

Sheffield Utd play 6 top half teams: Leeds (2nd), Bristol City (6th), Birmingham (8th), Forest (9th), Hull (10th) and Preston (12th); the average league position of their remaining opponents is 13th place. In the reverse fixtures, Sheff Utd achieved 4 wins, 4 draws and 3 defeats for 15 points. While they will be favourites in all their home games, Bristol City or Forest could be tough; Leeds, Preston, Birmingham, Hull, then Stoke away is far from a run of guaranteed wins and Sheffield Utd average under 1.5 points per away game against top and mid table teams.

So, how does this all play out?

It's very difficult to predict individual results so I prefer to look at averages for example: Norwich are likely to win 2, draw 1 and lose 1 of the next 4; any better would be an overachievement; we could lose to Swansea then win the other 3, or draw against Swansea and Boro' and win the other 2 etc. It's this approach that I've used in my predictive algorithm. The final table shows what happens if each team gets the expected average number of points, adjusted for recent form, based on results against teams in similar positions in the table home and away.

Here's my projected table:

image.png.2da0d041b4c4e1e93106b89f455e1703.png

But, the one I like best is from fivethirtyeight.com: apparently we have an 82% chance of being promoted...

image.thumb.png.43b3910e537f22aca01162d6847a11b8.png

Obviously there is a long way to go and they only way anything will be achieved is through a continuation of the hard work the team have been putting in so far. Us fans will have our part to play as well. Around 7% of that 82% figure is by winning the playoffs!

 

 

On the face of it Sheffield United don't have any easy away games left, but some very winnable home games. Talksport have come up with statistics on the average points per game gained by the forthcoming opponents (ie the last 11 games) of all the Championship teams.

As far as the top four are concerned, Sheffield United's opponents have the lowest average, at 1.20 ppg, with WBA's opponents at 1.21, Leeds' at 1.22 and ours at 1.27.

Although we have on that basis the hardest run-in, there is very little in it, and  the reality is now that over those 11 games Sheffield United have to catch us up by a win and a draw, without playing us. WBA have to catch us up by three wins, again without playing us, while Middlesbrough (a ppg average for their opponents of 1.29) have to catch up by four wins, albeit with an extra game, and playing us.

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It will take just one loss from us, with the next three teams winning, to put us back into the mix. Who knows what effect that will have on the squad? Don't want to put a downer on things but the margin of error is paper thin.

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Sheff Utds goal difference worries me. Their point last night was actually a very good one and keeps them well in the mix and only a win and a draw behind us. A lot to play for, far too early to look at run ins. At the moment I think we'll need to get at least a point at Villa on the last day. 

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50 minutes ago, PurpleCanary said:

On the face of it Sheffield United don't have any easy away games left, but some very winnable home games. Talksport have come up with statistics on the average points per game gained by the forthcoming opponents (ie the last 11 games) of all the Championship teams.

As far as the top four are concerned, Sheffield United's opponents have the lowest average, at 1.20 ppg, with WBA's opponents at 1.21, Leeds' at 1.22 and ours at 1.27.

Although we have on that basis the hardest run-in, there is very little in it, and  the reality is now that over those 11 games Sheffield United have to catch us up by a win and a draw, without playing us. WBA have to catch us up by three wins, again without playing us, while Middlesbrough (a ppg average for their opponents of 1.29) have to catch up by four wins, albeit with an extra game, and playing us.

Purple I think your (or rather Talksports) ppg averages are being skewed by a certain team being so far adrift of everyone else that they take the average way down....  Then it is Talksport I suppose.

 

I think more revealing of the difficulty of the remaining fixtures are the league positions of our opponents compared to the others - we have very few games against teams higher up the table, unlike both Leeds and Sheff Utd.  I think Sheff U and Leeds would swap their remaining fixtures for ours in a second !  I'd certainly not want to swap with either of them !

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21 minutes ago, Drazen Muzinic said:

Not trusting this one - it calculates the Binners will reach 30 points.

That will be the wins against Leeds and Sheff Utd in the final two games😀😀😉

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Also thanks to the OP for his useful analysis.  I think an assessment that our chances of promotion are currently 82% and well ahead of the competition is realistic.  Our style of play and quality of players make it very difficult for Championship teams to live with us, we have nearly a fully fit squad, our fixture schedule isn't overly tight at any point, and we have the easiest run-in of any of the top teams. 

 

With 9 wins from the comparable 11 fixtures first time around it would be hard to improve :classic_unsure: but I can easily see us matching that set of results.  A sensible prediction would be 8 wins, 2 draws and a defeat.  That gets us to 95 points and we'd go up as champions baring something exceptional from one of the other teams.

 

Sheff Utd have a tough set of fixtures and didn't win yesterday despite being the better team for most of the game.  I think 85/86 points for them is realistic.

 

For Leeds again they have plenty of tough games and have had mixed form since the start of the year.  My feeling is they'll end up with less than 90 points.

 

Looking at what's needed for promotion, I stand by the target I (and others) came up with of 87 points a few weeks back.  Which is now only 18 points away, or 6 wins.  It would be a big surprise if we don't get to that.

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My supercomputer input this morning had all 3 of us finishing on 94 points and us champions on goal difference 🤔😁😑

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32 minutes ago, Rivvo said:

My supercomputer input this morning had all 3 of us finishing on 94 points and us champions on goal difference 🤔😁😑

LOL given Leeds play the scum on final day don't they, it's hard to believe they'll lose anything on GD :classic_laugh:

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3 hours ago, Rock The Boat said:

It will take just one loss from us, with the next three teams winning, to put us back into the mix. Who knows what effect that will have on the squad? Don't want to put a downer on things but the margin of error is paper thin.

The loss to Preston didn’t have much effect, nor those to Derby and Stoke... Every question asked has been answered so far, bring it on

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It's not based on statistical analysis, but sometimes you can just feel it. Happened under Lambert, happened under Worthy.

Considering the quality of players we have waiting in the wings, especially in midfield, I think it's ours to lose. With players like Klose, Hanley, Leitner, Tettey, Vrancic, Cantwell and Rhodes in reserve and desperate for an opportunity, if anything we're stronger now than at any point this season.

Earlier in the season we were winning most of our games by a single goal – of our last five wins, four have been by more than one goal. We're very good frontrunners, and I'm getting ever more confident that we're going to win this thing.

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My supersonyc computer (see what I did there) says we assure promotion either at home to Sheff Wed or more likely away at Stoke (using another analytical variation...ah hem). I have modelled the results of the top 5 and their results and where the gaps become too much for teams to make up.

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One slight worry I have is that the nature of the football we play is highly technical with little room for error. When a player gets injured his replacement, although just as good technically, tends to take a game or two to knit back in.

I think that may be one reason why Daniel likes to play an unchanged side whenever possible. I think there are signs he's trying to bring subs. on in the later stages of games so as to keep them on the same wavelength, but it's tricky; unless you're really in control an error or two resulting from the switch could cost valuable points.

 

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Form tables are irrelevant. Sheffield Wednesday haven't lost in 7 but Sheffield United are the only decent team they've played in that run. 

I wouldn't swap our run in for any of the others, especially Sheffield United who have a run of tricky looking games coming up. 

We'll know more after the weekend but at the moment I would like to see Leeds beat Sheffield United. 

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51 minutes ago, sonyc said:

My supersonyc computer (see what I did there) says we assure promotion either at home to Sheff Wed or more likely away at Stoke (using another analytical variation...ah hem). I have modelled the results of the top 5 and their results and where the gaps become too much for teams to make up.

Latest odds

City. 1-4 fav for promotion.

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Provided Pukki stays fit I think we're home and hosed for an auto spot 

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Michael Bailey has it spot on when he says 90 points will be enough. Therefore we need 7 wins from our final 11 games (of which only 1 game is against a top half side).

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4 minutes ago, Michael Starr said:

Michael Bailey has it spot on when he says 90 points will be enough. Therefore we need 7 wins from our final 11 games (of which only 1 game is against a top half side).

Agreed. We ARE going up, and probably as Champions. 

 

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