Supercomputer predicts Championship title chances of Burnley, Sheffield United, Norwich City and QPR
Burnley’s win over Coventry City has pushed Vincent Kompany’s side to within two points of the Championship’s leading trio.
Defeats for Sheffield United and Norwich City, against Stoke City and Preston North End respectively, ensured that QPR’s win at home to Reading was enough to move them level on points (24) with their promotion-chasing rivals at the top of the table.
The Clarets, who scored the only goal of the game against the Sky Blues to claim maximum points at the CBS Arena, are now on 22 points from 13 games, despite conceding late equalisers at the hands of Cardiff City and the Potters in recent outings.
The Royals, who were beaten by a Lyndon Dykes double after taking the lead through Andy Carroll at Loftus Road, also have 22 points, while Swansea City — who go to Turf Moor at the weekend — and Blackburn Rovers have also passed the 20-point mark.
It’s extremely tight at the top end of the division, with just five points separating 16th and sixth, so it’s all to play for with eight games still to play before the World Cup kicks off in Qatar in November.
Burnley are currently on a 10-game unbeaten run, having lost just once all season (against Watford at Vicarage Road in August), but can they maintain that form and stay in contention for a Premier League return?
According to an updated predictions table from FiveThirtyEight, the Clarets will have to endure the lottery of the play-offs if they’re to make it back to the top flight at the first attempt.
The ‘supercomputer’ has them finishing third with 76 points and a +21 goal difference when the campaign comes to a close at home to the Bluebirds on May 6th.
According to statisticians and data experts, Burnley have a 14% chance of emulating their 2015/16 term when they were crowned champions, they hold a 13% chance of finishing second (as they did in 2013/14), a 35% chance of securing a play-off spot (as they did in 2008/09) and a 36% chance of winning promotion by any means.
It is the Canaries who have been predicted to finish at the top of the pile with an expectancy to hit 82 points this season, two more than runners-up Sheffield United, who returned to the Championship after suffering relegation in 2021.
Dean Smith’s side hold a 28% chance of winning the title, a 54% probability of sealing promotion and a 33% chance of finishing in the play-off spots. The Blades, meanwhile, have been given a 22% chance of retaining their place at the top of the tree, a 46% chance of making a Premier League return and a 34% chance of finishing in the top six.
Here is FiveThirtyEight’s predicted Championship table in full:
1. Norwich City (82 pts)
2. Sheffield United (80 pts)
3. BURNLEY (76 pts)
4. Watford (71 pts)
5. Queens Park Rangers (70 pts)
6. Swansea City (67 pts)
7. Preston North End (66 pts)
8. Luton Town (66 pts)
9. West Bromwich Albion (65 pts)
10. Blackburn Rovers (64 pts)
11. Millwall (63 pts)
12. Stoke City (62 pts)
13. Cardiff City (62 pts)
14. Middlesbrough (62 pts)
15. Reading (60 pts)
16. Sunderland (59 pts)
17. Birmingham City (59 pts)
18. Wigan Athletic (57 pts)
19. Bristol City (57 pts)
20. Blackpool (56 pts)
21. Coventry City (54 pts)
22. Huddersfield Town (50 pts)
23. Rotherham United (49 pts)
24. Hull City (49 pts)