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How would points per game model see West Brom's season finish?

By Joseph Masi | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

The English Football League are committed to getting back out there and concluding the Championship season.

West Bromwich Albion's Kyle Edwards celebrates

But you could forgive Albion for not wanting the 2019/20 campaign to resume following an announcement from the EFL last week.

Competition chiefs set out plans to use an unweighted points per game model to calculate final standings if football isn’t able to return from the coronavirus pandemic anytime soon.

And that would mean the Baggies finish second in the table – earning them automatic promotion to the Premier League.

That is the model League Two – subject to ratification – has agreed to implement.

It means Swindon leapfrogging Crewe to be crowned champions.

The question is could the Championship follow suit?

The answer, perhaps frustratingly for the Baggies, is that it’s unlikely.

Prior to last weekend’s announcement, it had been expected a weighted points per game system would be used.

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Across the Football League as a whole, teams playing at home have won 46 per cent of the time. Away teams, on average, have won only 26 per cent of the time. And over the last six seasons, the average points per game at home is 1.55, compared to 1.19 away.

Unweighted Championship table

Incredibly, in the Championship, the top and bottom three remain unchanged with a weighted or unweighed system.

Leeds and Albion are automatically promoted as champions and runners-up, while Charlton, Luton and Barnsley are doomed to the third tier.

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Albion, undefeated in their last four games away from The Hawthorns, actually have the best away record in the division and only the eighth best home record.

Nevertheless, they still finish as runners-up in a weighted table.

For other teams, though, things aren’t so straightforward.

An unweighed table may be simple. But so is a weighted one with the data now available. And when the data is there showing how playing at home brings an advantage – you an understand why some teams would think it’s logical to use it.

We have seen seven months of football. A substantial 80.4 per cent of the season has been completed. But what is clear is all clubs in these talks are acting out of self-interest.

You won’t find a Leeds fan saying the season has to be cancelled.

Charlton, meanwhile, are proposing taking the table back to when everyone had played each other once – coincidently preventing them from getting relegated.

Everyone is being served by self-interest and whoever feels they have been hard done by will fight – in court if needs be.

Hopefully Championship teams will be able to play, because as it stands things are very, very, messy.

What is for certain is that – on or off the field – there is still a very long way to go before anything is decided. The points per game table may have Albion up. But fans shouldn’t get overly excited – it seems we are still a long way from knowing what division the Baggies will be in next season.

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

West Bromwich Albion reporter.

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