Championship – Half term report

What with Christmas and Sky Sports scheduling it’s difficult to keep up with the Championship at the moment, but a quick glance at the table shows 23 games played. The half-way point.

Actually, at time of writing, Forest and Leeds still have an outstanding match in the 23rd round of fixtures. But the postponement of Boro’s game at Blackburn, a casualty of unyielding northern rain, means we won’t get a perfect midpoint anyway. So we’re pretty much at half-way, which is usually a good time to take stock of where things are.

In my half-term report I use my Adjusted Goals rating measure to assess teams’ performance. This isn’t anything too complicated – it simply uses a combination of goals, shots on target and shots to rate each team’s attack and defence. The formula is:

Adjusted goals = 45.0%*Goals + 8.4%*”Shots on target” + 2.8%*Shots, I’ve found this measure predicts future performance better than goals scored or conceded, or points attained (although in the Championship no measure is particularly good at predicting future performance). If you’re interested I’ve explained the rationale for this measure in my blog.

So here’s the report:

Best Attack – Hull City

This is a bit of an odd one, surprisingly Fulham (currently in 18th position) have scored the most goals (36). But Hull have managed the most shots on target at an average of nearly 5 per match. This gives them the highest attack rating of 1.55 adjusted goals per match.

Worst Attack – Preston North End

This one’s shaded by Preston, equal lowest goal scorers with Bolton, but poorest by virtue of fewer shots on target and an attack rating of only 0.99 adjusted goals per match.

Best Defence – Derby County

Just pipping Middlesbrough by conceding just 3 shots on target on average per game.

Worst Defence – Charlton Athletic

Another strange one. Fulham, as well as highest scorers, have also conceded most goals. But Charlton’s shots conceded total makes them worst.

Best Team – Derby County

This is based on Adjusted goal difference. On this measure Derby, Middlesbrough and Hull are way ahead of the rest. And out of these three Derby win out, just.

Worst team – Charlton Athletic

Looking at the League table it’s surprising it’s not Bolton – but on underlying goals and shots Charlton are worst.

The full numbers are as follows (all figures are average per match):

Team Played Adjusted goals for Adjusted goals against Adjusted goals difference
Derby 23 1.52 0.87 0.66
Hull 23 1.55 0.90 0.64
Middlesbrough 22 1.50 0.90 0.60
Reading 23 1.43 1.07 0.36
Brighton 23 1.46 1.14 0.31
Sheffield Weds 23 1.40 1.20 0.20
Blackburn 22 1.20 1.02 0.18
Nott’m Forest 22 1.30 1.19 0.11
Ipswich 23 1.43 1.34 0.09
QPR 23 1.29 1.23 0.06
Burnley 23 1.27 1.24 0.04
Cardiff 23 1.27 1.29 -0.03
Brentford 23 1.47 1.51 -0.04
Preston 23 0.99 1.05 -0.06
Birmingham 23 1.26 1.34 -0.07
Leeds 22 1.11 1.24 -0.13
Huddersfield 23 1.26 1.43 -0.16
Wolves 23 1.30 1.48 -0.17
Fulham 23 1.47 1.70 -0.23
Rotherham 23 1.26 1.57 -0.31
Milton Keynes Dons 23 1.02 1.41 -0.39
Bristol City 23 1.10 1.55 -0.45
Bolton 23 1.06 1.60 -0.54
Charlton 23 1.09 1.72 -0.63

Luckiest team – Brighton and Hove Albion

This one’s a bit tenuous, but I use the adjusted goals measure to work out what points a team would normally get for a given rating. Based on this Brighton have got nearly 7 points more than expected. This might be luck – or just great finishing and defending.

Unluckiest Team – Reading

Based on the same measure Reading would expect nearly 11 more points than they’ve got.

The full numbers are as follows

Team Points per game Over/underperformance from expected using this season’s adjusted goals
1 Brighton 0.3
2 Burnley 0.3
3 Middlesbrough 0.2
4 Ipswich 0.2
5 Derby 0.1
6 Birmingham 0.1
7 Brentford 0.1
8 Cardiff 0.1
9 Leeds 0.1
10 Sheffield Weds 0.0
11 Hull 0.0
12 Wolves 0.0
13 Charlton 0.0
14 Bristol City -0.1
15 Milton Keynes Dons -0.1
16 Fulham -0.1
17 QPR -0.2
18 Nott’m Forest -0.2
19 Huddersfield -0.2
20 Rotherham -0.2
21 Preston -0.2
22 Blackburn -0.2
23 Bolton -0.3
24 Reading -0.4


Team most likely to get promoted – Middlesbrough

For this I use a long-term adjusted goals rating, which takes account of last season’s form too (which is why Boro are ahead). The model carries out 5000 simulation of potential scenarios from the current point in the season. Boro are top but Derby and Hull are close behind.


Team most likely to get relegated – Bolton

Not surprisingly Bolton are the most likely team.


But to show how volatile things can be in the Championship – Ipswich could finish up pretty much anywhere.


Goal Scoring

Halfway through the season goal scoring is low (apart from Fulham matches!) with an average of 2.41 per match, which is lower than all of the past 6 seasons. Home advantage has remained steady at around 0.29 additional goals per game.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s