By Bradley Stead
Back towards the end of January, I wrote an article that predicted where Yorkshire’s Championship teams would end up at the end of the season.
This was all based on data provided by Clubelo, which is a ranking system that determines the strength of a particular club based entirely of their results. It is a similar model to one which is used to rank chess players.
For a more detailed explanation of ELO rankings please refer back to the article I wrote in January which is linked above.
With the 2019/20 season now completed, almost a year after it started, it is time to revisit those predictions to see just how right, or wrong, they were.
Huddersfield Town – ELO rating: 1436 (previously 1455)
Huddersfield were expected to stay up (84.6% likelihood) and stay up they did. An 18th placed finish was two places higher than expected, but 51 points were only 1 more than the expected 50.
With the Cowley Brothers now replaced by Carlos Corberan, Town fans will be hoping that there will be a much higher finish next season.
Leeds United – ELO rating: 1620 (previously 1581)
Leeds were expected to finish 2nd, almost 2 points behind West Brom, but get promoted all the same according to Club ELO back in January. They were predicted to reach 82 points and finish nearly 5 points ahead of third-placed Brentford.
However, in reality, Leeds clinched promotion and the Championship title, finishing on 93 points (11 more than predicted), with a gap of 10 points over West Brom and 12 points over Brentford. A run of 12 wins in their last 15 games saw them pull clear of the rest of the division and into the Premier League for the first time in 16 years.
Sheffield Wednesday – ELO rating: 1435 (previously 1530)
Wednesday were sitting 10th, 4 points from the play-offs when I wrote the previous article, and they were expected to close that gap to around 2 points and move up a place to 9th towards the end of the season.
As you can see, their ELO rating has dropped significantly since then, which indicates the terrible run of form they went on to end up finishing 16th with 56 points (were expected to reach around 69), a mere 14 points from the play-offs.
They were eventually given a 12-point deduction for breaching Profitability & Sustainability rules which will apply to the 2020/21 season.
Hull City – ELO rating: 1373 (previously 1507)
Another big drop in ELO rating indicates just how poor Hull were in the second half of the season, as they dropped like a stone from a potential play-off place to bottom of the division and into League One.
They were expected to reach 64 points and only be a couple short of the play-offs. In reality, they got 45. It’s clear that Clubelo doesn’t take into account losing players such as Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosiki, who will both now play in the Premier League for other clubs.
Barnsley – ELO rating: 1430 (previously 1395)
Barnsley’s increase in rating demonstrates the improved form under manager Gerhard Struber, which eventually saw them to Championship safety, thanks to Wigan’s points deduction for entering administration.
They had a 12.5% chance of staying up after 29 games and were only expected to reach 41 points. However, incredible performances and results against the likes of Nottingham Forest and Brentford towards the end of the season meant Barnsley reached 49 points and a 21st placed finish.
All in all, the Clubelo rankings weren’t too far wrong, apart from Sheffield Wednesday and Hull. Promotion for Leeds United, safety for Huddersfield and a point within Town’s actual points total is reasonably accurate. If it wasn’t for Wigan’s points deduction then it would have been correct about Barnsley too, although given the emotion Struber showed once they beat the drop I’d be reluctant to take it away from them.
The old season is done, and the new season is only a couple weeks away. It is a time where all football fans are optimistic about their clubs’ prospects. New managers and new signings breed excitement and hopefully improved performances and results. It won’t be long before we see how everyone gets on during 2020/21.
If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in an article by KLTV’s Dan Wood, who has predicted the full championship table for 2020/21.