Super-computer predicts Sheffield Wednesday will finish fourth and make Championship play-offs - but Sheffield United will miss out on League One title and automatic promotion
A super computer has predicted Sheffield Wednesday will make this season's Championship play-offs - but Sheffield United will miss out on the League One title and automatic promotion.
Owls fans can look forward to a nail-biting end of the season if the predictions of a university sports professor come true.
But the same computer has predicted bad news for Sheffield United fans - suggesting the Blades will slip from the top spot they currently hold and will end the season in third, missing out on automatic promotion.
However, it will still be enough for them to comfortably earn a play-off spot, finishing behind Scunthorpe United, who will win the title and Bolton Wanderers, who will secure second spot.
Ian McHale, professor of sports analytics at the University of Salford, has built a super computer and tasked it with predicting the final Championship, League One and League Two tables by guessing the result of every match between now and the end of the season.
And the results are good news for Wednesday fans with the forecast predicting the Hillsborough side will leap from their current placing of sixth up to fourth to comfortably secure a play-off spot with 76 points.
The table suggests the Owls will be tied on 76 with Yorkshire rivals Leeds United with Derby County and Reading seizing the final two spots with 73 points apiece, with Huddersfield Town just missing out on the end of season finale with 71 points.
However, the computer doesn't predict whether Wednesday will taste success in the play-offs.
The computer, dubbed SAM, reckons promotion to the Premier League for Newcastle United and Brighton will be easy, with the pair ending up on 98 and 94 points respectively.
When it came to the League One table, Prof McHale's calculations reckon Scunthorpe will top the pile with 87 points, ahead of Bolton on 86 with Blades claiming third spot on 84.
That will be enough to put them well clear of fourth placed Bradford City on 73 points with the West Yorkshire side, Rochdale and Millwall contesting the play-offs with the Blades.
And it is good news for Doncaster Rovers fans in League Two. The computer predicts Darren Ferguson's side will tighten their grip at the top of the table by the end of the season, finishing as league winners on 94 points ahead of Plymouth in runners-up spot - but current automatic promotion hopefuls Carlisle United will be pipped to the final spot by Portsmouth.
But its doom and gloom for Rotherham United fans - the computer predicts the Millers will suffer relegation and remain in bottom place in the Championship
However, SAM rates the Owls as having the best chance of claiming a place in the play-offs, with a probability of 72%.
SAM predicts that the positions of the top three in the Championship will remain unchanged between now and the end of the season, but that Derby will edge out Huddersfield to finish in the play-offs.
There is plenty of minor movement in mid-table, with only Barnsley and Wolves predicted to finish in their current respective positions of 10th and 16th.