Where Burnley, Blackpool, Preston North End and Wigan Athletic are expected to finish in the Championship after season pauses for Qatar World Cup
With the pause button activated for the Premier League and Championship campaigns — as the start of the World Cup in Qatar looms — data experts have taken this opportunity to take a look at how they see England’s top two divisions unfolding.
Aside from a handful of teams, such as Millwall, Coventry City, Sunderland, West Brom and bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield Town, we’re now just two games away from hitting the halfway point in the second tier.
Burnley went into the break in top spot after demolishing East Lancashire derby rivals Blackburn Rovers at Turf Moor on Remembrance Sunday thanks to goals from Ashley Barnes (x2) and Anass Zaroury.
Vincent Kompany’s Clarets are averaging just short of two points per game at present having collected 41 from 21 fixtures, which has enabled the league leaders to open up a three-point gap over Sheffield United.
Elsewhere, Blackpool and Wigan Athletic met at the DW Stadium and it was the hosts who came from behind to claim a vital three points and pile the pressure on Tangerines’ boss Michael Appleton.
The visitors had taken the lead through Gary Madine, despite going down to 10-men following the early dismissal of defender Marvin Ekpiteta, but they were pegged back shortly after the interval.
James McClean equalised for the Latics before Curtis Tilt scored the winner in the 88th minute. Blackpool dropped into the bottom three as a result and were leapfrogged by their opponents, who recently parted company with boss Leam Richardson.
Finally, Preston North End dropped a couple of places after suffering a 4-2 loss at the hands of Millwall at Deepdale. The Lilywhites were heading into the international break in the play-off places when Andrew Hughes and Ched Evans restored parity before half-time.
However, Zian Flemming completed his hat-trick in the 64th minute to put the Lions back in front while Charlie Cresswell wrapped up the points with just less than 20 minutes remaining. It leaves Ryan Lowe’s side level on points with three of their rivals and outside the top six by virtue of goal difference.
Here is FiveThirtyEight’s predicted Championship table in full: