Now we have had the first few games of the Championship, the key stats are starting to mean something. This is another one of my articles that looks at predicting the top six based on various stats and data.
I have already looked at this type of article on average possession per match, but this one is similar but also different. This time we are looking at passing accuracy, so these teams may or may not have enjoyed the majority of the ball – but they certainly have quality with what they do with it.
Of course, the two stats are related though and some of the most accurate passing teams are also making strides on average possession. So, hopefully, this will be another enjoyable read that will spark debate. Again, the data does the talking here – but I will be mixing it up with my own analysis and opinion.
So, now that’s out of the way, let’s get stuck into it…
1. Fulham (Average Passing Success: 82.7%)
Fulham were certainly one of the teams to watch in the Championship last season – and were unlucky to miss out on promotion in the end. It appears the club have had a bit of a hangover from the play-offs – and started the season slower than they would have liked.
I did predict before the season started for Fulham to be the possession team to watch during this campaign. The club have made a slow start on average possession this season – but they have been slowly climbing that table with 52.6% possession. Of course, that only puts them eighth in the league at present.
However, the distribution stat that they have dominated is passing accuracy with a ratio of 82.7%. Fulham have a strong squad after keeping much of it together this summer – and there is no reason why they can’t make the top six again. However, they may need someone to take on the goalscoring responsibility if they are to have a successful season.
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2. Norwich City (Average Passing Success: 82.5%)
There was a lot expected of Norwich City last season, but the club didn’t even manage to make the top six. However, there has been a lot of change this summer in terms of a new coach and plenty of new players. It’s unclear what the expectations are for this season – but again they will be targeting a top six place.
That’s why I picked them out as a team to sizzle this season. The club have started the season slowly – and will be looking to move up the table in the near future. There have been plenty of positives for the club so far though.
The biggest of them is Norwich’s ability with the ball – and that includes average possession of 55.5% per game. On that particular stat, they are currently second in the Championship. Another area where the Canaries are currently doing well is with the accuracy of their passing with an 82.5% success rate. This data could certainly point to a top six finish for Daniel Farke’s team.
3. Nottingham Forest (Average Passing Success: 82.1%)
Nottingham Forest had a disappointing time of it last season and only narrowly avoided relegation to League One. Therefore, expectations for this season would have been relatively low – but they did make a positive start to the season.
There has been somewhat of a style change at the club this season – and they have been one of the possession teams to watch so far. The fans also seem to be getting behind the club this season as they are currently enjoying one of the highest average attendances in the Championship.
In terms of those passing stats, Forest have had 55.2% of the ball, which ranks them fourth in the league. In terms of this article, the club have enjoyed a passing accuracy of 82.1%. This data is certainly interesting and means the club should be positive about the possibility of being in the top six this season.
4. Reading (Average Passing Success: 81.2%)
Reading were one of the teams to watch last season – and they were unlucky to miss out in the play-offs. Although, promotion to the Premier League was not achieved last season; it’s clear that the club were onto a good thing.
It has certainly been assumed that the club will make further progress this season, but things have started slower for Jaap Stam’s team than would have been expected. However, I’m tipping them to be a Championship side to improve quickly.
What’s clear is that Reading’s style from last season remains as they are currently dominating the average possession table with 57.7% of the ball per game. In terms of this article, they have also enjoyed a passing accuracy ratio of 81.2%. Therefore, fans should certainly be confident that their team will make the top six for the second consecutive season.
5. Middlesbrough (Average Passing Success: 81%)
Middlesbrough are certainly seen to be one of the teams to watch this season. As far as a lot of people are concerned they remain a strong favourite to win the Championship. However, things haven’t started quite as well as Garry Monk would have been hoping.
Nevertheless, they have been improving in recent games and currently find themselves in the top six. Boro have certainly been planning for a good season as well by topping the Championship for spending this summer.
Monk is a manager that I have a lot of time for – and he has always looked to play football in the right way. The club arecurrently fifth in the league for average possession with 53% of the ball per game. In terms of this article, they have a passing success ratio of 81% - and will be confident about being in the mix for automatic promotion.
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6. Wolves (Average Passing Success: 80.8%)
Wolves struggled in the Championship last season – and a season of struggle may have been expected by some this season. However, the club were one higher spending clubs in the league this summer – and they seem to have been benefiting from that so far with the club riding high in the league.
It’s also fair to say that the club have one of the higher valued squads in the Championship, so everything seems to be set up for them to have a good season. Although, it may be too early to see what kind of style the club will play; it seems they are currently doing a decent job in the possession stakes.
In terms of those stats, Wolves are currently enjoying 54.1% of the ball – and a passing success rate of 80.8%. Therefore, there are certainly a lot of positive things going for the club at this early stage. Wolves are also performing well in some key defensive stats such as enjoying the most interceptions per game on average.
This completes the end of the content section for this article as we looked at predicting the Championship’s top six based on passing accuracy. So, did we get it right? Maybe you agree or think that passing accuracy has little bearing on success. Of course, we are fully aware that things may change over the course of the season, which adds another interesting element to this.
If you enjoy Championship content like this, then keep an eye on my profile page for all the latest updates. My future articles will cover a wide range of topics including tackling, average passes, strikers and a look at managers as well.