Championship GW14 Review
Sheffield United beat Leeds to go top of the Championship, while Wolves were beaten and Cardiff were held. The Second City derby was a bit of a disappointment, and was one of four draws, while there were a huge seven away wins. Infogol’s Analyst will review the action, assessing performances and not just results.
Ipswich picked up their seventh win of the season after coming from behind to beat Burton in GW14, though they were once again very fortunate in victory. They generated just 0.53 xG, with Infogol calculating just a 10% chance that they would score two goals from the chances they created. Add this to the fact that they conceded 1.76 xG, and you get the weekend’s most ‘unfair’ result.
Cardiff were once again impressive in their match against Millwall, and should have really taken all three points after generating a lot of good chances. They generated 2.01 xG, with an 87% chance of getting on the scoresheet, while never looking as though they would lose the game. Neil Warnock will be happy with what he is seeing from his players.
Sunderland’s miserable run of form was added to by Bristol City at the weekend, as they were beaten 2-1 at the Stadium of Light. That result means they are now 12 games without a win, though they were once again unfortunate in this game, as they created the better of the chances but came away with nothing (1.52 – 1.02), with Bristol City winning this game just 27% of the time. Simon Grayson needs his luck to turn, and fast.
Sheffield Wednesday drew 1-1 with Barnsley, as did Fulham and Bolton, in two matches that were very similar in terms of expected goals. Both home teams, Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham, generated 1.97 and 1.91 xG, respectively, while their opponents managed only 0.72 and 0.70 xG. These figures suggest both home teams were unlucky to come away with just a point, though Fulham needed a last-minute equaliser to do just that.
Forest beat Hull 3-2 thanks to Kieran Dowell’s hat-trick, though they only generated 1.20 xG, and one of their goals was a penalty, so scored two goals from 0.43 xG – showing how fortunate they were. QPR got their first win in seven by beating high-flying Wolves 2-1, edging what was a close game. Matt Smith’s late winner secured a much needed three points for Ian Holloway’s team, and it was a similar story at Carrow Road as Sam Winnall struck late to give Derby a 2-1 win over Norwich.
Middlesbrough were full value for their win over a struggling Reading side, generating good chances in a 2-0 win. Brentford and Preston shared five goals at Deepdale, though it was the visitors that were fortunate to earn the three points. Sheffield United now top the table after a deserved 2-1 win over Leeds in which they conceded very few chances (0.40 xG), with the ‘fairest’ result of the weekend being the stalemate at St Andrews between Birmingham and Aston Villa.
GW15 Team to Back – Cardiff
Cardiff’s last six games have yielded just six goals, while their chance creation suggests they should have closer to 10 (9.5 xG). They have been unfortunate in this period not to have picked up more points, as their performances have been to a very good standard. Ipswich, on the other hand, have been fortunate in their recent outings, especially in their last game against Burton, so Cardiff are the GW15 team to back at 4/7.