Championship GW7 Review
Another eventful Championship game week came to an end on Wednesday, so it’s time for the Infogol Analyst to review the action. Due to Barnsley and Derby playing in the Carabao Cup, there were only 10 matches in midweek. Using expeced goals, the Analyst will aim to assess performances and not just results to paint a clearer picture of the week’s matches, including selecting a Team to Back next time.
Sunderland lost for the fourth game running, going down 1-0 to Nottingham Forest, though they were very unfortunate to lose in what was the most ‘unfair’ result of the game week. Simon Grayson’s men conceded very few chances to their opponents (0.41 xG), but were punished late on, meaning they exited the field to a chorus of boos. Their process has been good, and they have a positive expected goal difference (xGD), meaning that if they maintain this, the results will come.
Middlesbrough holding Aston Villa to a goalless draw on Tuesday was the second most ‘unfair’ result of the game week, with the home team unable to take their chances. Boro played for nearly 90 minutes with 10-men after Adama Traore’s very early sending off, meaning it was backs against the wall from then on. Villa created a lot of good chances (2.76 xG), but failed to take any of them, and they weren’t helping themselves, with Scott Hogan unable to get out of the way of Conor Hourihane’s goal-bound effort. From their chances, Infogol calculates that Aston Villa had just a 6.3% chance of failing to score – an unfortunate missed opportunity for Steve Bruce’s team.
Wolves and Bristol City were involved in the most entertaining game of the week, a 3-3 thriller at Molineux in which both teams created a host of chances. Wolves’ 4.86 xG is the highest generated in a single match by any Championship team so far this season, and suggests that they were unfortunate not have scored more than the three they did. Bristol City continue to be an entertaining team to watch, conceding and creating plenty of chances. Wolves look to have been unfortunate not to win this game.
Preston ended Cardiff’s unbeaten start to the season in some fashion, beating them 3-0 at Deepdale. They were slightly fortunate to score three, but deserved to get the three points. Leeds replaced Cardiff at the top of the Championship table after a 2-0 home win over Birmingham – who continue to struggle. Leeds once again impressing in their performance and process.
Norwich were held to a goalless draw by Burton, while QPR drew with Millwall 2-2 at Loftus Road. Both home teams were unfortunate not to get all three points having created the better quality chances.
Both Sheffield teams, Wednesday and United, once again registered wins, beating Brentford and Bolton respectively. Wednesday created a lot of good scoring opportunities, while United’s success came thanks to conceding very few quality chances. Fulham got a deserved three points on Wednesday, beating Hull, as they look to have recaptured a similar process to last season.
GW8 Team to Back – Fulham
Fulham’s process has improved the more games they have played, maybe due to new players settling in, but they finally look to be close to where they were in the second half of last season. They travel to Burton in GW8, with the Brewers struggling so far this season, and Fulham look a good price at 5/6 to get another win.