Predicting Sheffield Wednesday’s Championship finish - and why Blackburn Rovers could play a BIG role in the relegation scrap
Sheffield Wednesday need a huge end to the season if they’re going to stay in the Championship – we had a look at how it looks for all of their relegation rivals.
The Owls go up against Swansea City tomorrow evening in the first of three home games on the spin that make up half of their remaining games for the 2020/21 campaign.
It’s been a season to forget for Wednesday amid drama on and off the field, with Darren Moore – who is now back after fighting off COVID-19 – the latest of six managers (including stand-ins) to have taken control of at least one game.
As previously mentioned, their final run-in begins tomorrow at home against Swansea ahead of the visits of Bristol City and Blackburn Rovers before they make the trip up to Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough.
Their last home game of the season is set for May 1st against Nottingham Forest, and then they head to Derby County on May 8th – a game in which they’ll be hoping to still have a chance at beating the drop.
Of those sides, only the Swans (4th currently) and Derby (20th currently) are likely to have anything to play for, with the others all but settled in midtable with no major chance of pushing for the Play-Offs or having to look over their shoulders.
While Blackburn are out of the running for the Play-Offs, and 11 points clear of the relegation zone, they could well have a major role to play in how the league table ends up.
Tony Mowbray’s side play four of the bottom six between now and the end of the season, and their performances could dictate how things all look on May 8th – and of course that means they could well get sucked into it themselves if they aren’t careful.
Here’s how things are looking for all of the others, as well as my predictions for their prospects of survival.
Bournemouth (H), Nottingham Forest (A), Barnsley (H), Blackburn Rovers (A), Coventry City (H), Reading (A).
JC Prediction: Huddersfield are really battling for wins, and their form is one of the things giving Wednesday a bit of hope.
But while they’ve only got two wins since the turn of the year, they’ve only lost once since the start of March.
I can see them pick up a few points between now and the end, but not too many.
Blackburn Rovers (A), Preston North End (A), Birmingham City (H), Swansea City (A), Sheffield Wednesday (H).
JC Prediction: Derby are still very hit and miss at the moment, and they didn’t quite get the new owner bounce following the news of Erik Alonso imminent takeover.
I think they’ll get at least one win between now and the end of the season, and have enough to beat the drop.
I also think, however, that their final game against Wednesday will be crucial for the Owls.
Rotherham United (A), Barnsley (H), Stoke City (A), Preston North End (H), Huddersfield Town (A), Millwall (H).
JC Prediction: Their really battling for form with just three wins in their last 15 games, and the Sky Blues have got a pretty tough run in and are going up against plenty of teams who still have something to play for.
I’m predicting a few draws for them in their final six points, and according to the results that I went with on a predictor, they’ll end up finishing third bottom – that’s reliant on a final day win for Wednesday, though.
Queens Park Rangers (H), Coventry City (H), Birmingham City (H), Middlesbrough (H), Barnsley (A), Brentford (A), Blackburn Rovers (H), Luton Town (A), Cardiff City (A).
JC Prediction: It’s a really big week for them now, with four home games in nine days likely to play a major role in whether they can beat the drop or not.
There are some tough opponents coming up, and most of them still very much have something to play for as things stand – at either end of the Championship table.
I reckon they’ll get a few more points, but it’ll take some real character from them to get the wins they need to stay up. My predictions had them finishing 23rd.
Swansea City (A), Bristol City (H), Cardiff City (A), Bournemouth (H), Middlesbrough (A).
JC Prediction: They’ve put up a valiant fight in the Championship and got some impressive results along the way, but Wycombe are the only side with a bigger mountain to climb than Wednesday at the moment.
They’ve got some tough teams to face in the final run-in, and it’d be a remarkable achievement if they were to survive the drop.
I had a go at predicting the final games of the season for all of the bottom six sides, and worked out where it would see them finish if it played out the way I’d guessed.
For Wednesday, while my predictions see them lose against Swansea, results in the other five games prove to be enough to climb far enough up the table to beat the drop – even with their six-point deduction.
Here’s how my table looked:
Wednesday - 48
Derby - 47
Huddersfield - 47
Coventry - 46
Rotherham - 39
Wycombe - 33
The fact of the matter is that Wednesday are relying on favours from other teams as much as themselves – every match day will be spent trying to get the job done before heading online to see how everyone else around them has done.
Wednesday have an uphill battle, there's no doubt about that, but it’s battle that is not yet over.