Championship Football Predictions for 2014/15

Season’s over. Time to compare my Championship predictions with what actually happened in the real world.

At the beginning of the season I listed out the Championship teams in a rough order of where I expected them to finish the season. Nailing at definite order proved too tricky, but I at least grouped the teams into a groups of four.

Here we go:

1-4
Nottm Forest, Norwich, Derby, Cardiff

5-8
Blackburn, Wigan, Fulham, Leeds

9-12
Watford, M’boro, Brighton, Bolton

13-16
Bournemouth, Wolves, Ipswich, Reading

17-20
Sheff Wed, Charlton, Huddersfield, Birmingham

21-24
Millwall, Brentford, Rotherham, Blackpool

The order was based on my judgement of each club’s respective squads and the perceived wealth of the at club, which, I reasoned, might translate into some kind of buying power in the transfer windows.

And here’s the final table (annotated with performance against my prediction)

Pos Team Performance
1 Bournemouth +3
2 Watford +2
3 Norwich par
4 Middlesbrough +2
5 Brentford +4
6 Ipswich +2
7 Wolves +2
8 Derby -1
9 Blackburn -1
10 Birmingham +2
11 Cardiff -2
12 Charlton +2
13 Sheff Wed par
14 Nottm Forest -3
15 Leeds -2
16 Huddersfield +1
17 Fulham -3
18 Bolton -2
19 Reading -1
20 Brighton -2
21 Rotherham par
22 Millwall par
23 Wigan -4
24 Blackpool par

So, based on my judgements we have the following awards:

Biggest over achiever: Brentford (notable mention for Bournemouth)

Biggest under-achiever: Wigan Athletic (with notable mentions for Fuham and Forest)

Wigan actually win the under-achiever prize by quite a margin. Looking at their squad there’s no way they should have been relegated. They finished the season with James Perch, Marc-Antoine Fortune, Jermaine Pennant, Emerson Boyce, Scott Carson & James McClean in their team. On paper, they have a team that should be sniffing around for a play-off space. I was still of the belief that they had enough to scrape clear of relegation right up upto the point that their racist manager, Malky Mackay, was sacked. I guess the volume of change at the club this season was just too much to absorb.

Brentford confounded expectations throughout the season. Whilever I was convinced that Fulham and Wigan would rise up the table after bad starts, so I was of the conviction that Brentford would fall away. Seeing them dismantle my team Huddersfield Town at Griffin Park was a humbling experience. Jota, Pritchard, Toumani Diagouraga and Andre Gray have all had impressive seasons.

In terms of expected Vs actual performance, the ranking might look like this:

Pos Team Performance
5 Brentford +4
1 Bournemouth +3
6 Ipswich +2
7 Wolves +2
12 Charlton +2
10 Birmingham +2
2 Watford +2
4 Middlesbrough +2
16 Huddersfield +1
3 Norwich par
13 Sheff Wed par
21 Rotherham par
22 Millwall par
24 Blackpool par
8 Derby -1
9 Blackburn -1
19 Reading -1
18 Bolton -2
15 Leeds -2
20 Brighton -2
11 Cardiff -2
17 Fulham -3
14 Nottm Forest -3
23 Wigan -4

So fans of Millwall & Blackpool don’t despair! You were only as poor as I expected you to be.  That’s probably not much comfort I suppose. League 1 is actually quite a lot of fun though, so enjoy it.

Not sure what conclusions I can draw from this exercise particularly. It seems I was more successful picking the losers than picking the winners!

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