Monday, May 9, 2011

League Championship Weekend Wrapup

The Championship finished their regular season on Saturday and congratulations to Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City who earned automatic promotions to the Premier League.  QPR finished first with 88 points, 4 points ahead of the Canaries.  QPR was awaiting word from the Football Association which was ruling on irregularities concerning the economic rights of player Alejandro Faurlin.  There was the possibility of a points deduction which could have cost them the title.  However, the FA fined QPR instead so the Rangers get to bring home the trophy. 

Rangers return to the Premier for the first time since relegation following the 1996 season.  For Norwich they last played in the top flight in 2005.  Since then they struggled and were actually relegated into League One, one level below the Championship, after the 2009 season.  They bounced back and won the League one title in 2010 and then earned a second consecutive promotion this season.

The playoffs are all set.  Swansea City will face Nottingham Forest while Cardiff City takes on Reading.  Playoffs schedule can be found here.  Swansea managed to get third place, finishing ahead of their Welsh rivals Cardiff based on goal differential.  Nottingham's win over Crystal Palace gave them the points they needed to stay ahead of Leeds United who beat QPR on Saturday.

The Championship bids farewell to the three relegated teams, Preston North End, Sheffield United and Scunthorpe United.  Preston had the longest current tenure at this level of any team in the league, having been here for 11 consecutive seasons.  Scunthorpe's stay was brief, just one season as they return back to League One after earning promotion from there last year.  Sheffield United ends a four-season run after relegation from the Premier League and will also be returning dropping to League One.  Moving up from that level will be champions Brighton & Hove Albion and runner-up Southampton.  The third spot will be filled by the winner of the League One playoffs.

After the jump I will review the results of my weekend predictions.
Predicted ScoreActual ScorePoints
Norwich City2Coventry City1Norwich City2Coventry City2-10
Reading2Derby County1Reading2Derby County1 30
Leicester City2Ipswich Town1Leicester City4Ipswich Town2 10
Queens Park Rangers2Leeds United1Queens Park Rangers1Leeds United2-10
Burnley1Cardiff City1Burnley2Cardiff City2 20
Bristol City1Hull City2Bristol City3Hull City0-10
Crystal Palace1Nottingham Forest1Crystal Palace0Nottingham Forest3-10
Scunthorpe United1Portsmouth2Scunthorpe United1Portsmouth1-10
Swansea City2Sheffield United0Swansea City4Sheffield United0 10
Preston North End1Watford2Preston North End3Watford1-10
Middlesbrough2Doncaster Rovers1Middlesbrough3Doncaster Rovers0 10
Total 10

I basically broke even in my final week of predictions.  Guessed 5 of 12 outcomes correctly and one score exactly.  Later this week I will post my predictions for the playoffs.

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