Championship Analysis: Six Clubs With The Worst Defensive Records

This article looks at those Championship teams with the worst defensive performance so far this season

Championship Analysis: Six Clubs With The Worst Defensive Records

Certainly nothing has been decided in the Championship at this moment, but things are starting to take shape. I have looked at all kinds of things in the league over recent weeks; this time we are looking at the worst defensive records.

Clearly, there isn’t room for much opinion here with the selections. However, I will be offering plenty of insight from different stats and various things like that. The content itself is varied as having a bad defence is not related to being a big or small team.

So, let’s get stuck into it…

1. Bolton (23 Goals Conceded)

It only takes one quick glance at the league table to see the kind of chaos that Bolton are in. The club currently sit bottom of the Championship table – and poor recent form has compounded their problems. Fans will have taken some comfort by the club winning their last match, but that won’t help them much unless they are consistent.

In terms of their defence, the 23 goals conceded is the joint worst record in the league – and means that they are conceding nearly two goals in every game. Looking through various stats on Bolton; it’s interesting that they don’t perform badly in several different defensive areas, which will give fans hope that things will improve.

There are certainly different ways that change can be impacted. It’s often a debate on whether a club should stick with the same manager or not. As much as I’m usually one to give managers the best opportunity; it’s not likely that Bolton will be able to reverse their fortunes under Phil Parkinson. This is why I predicted that he would be one manager that is certain to be sacked in the coming months.

2.  Burton Albion (23 Goals Conceded)

Burton Albion are certainly not the biggest club at this level, but they are one that a lot of people have a soft spot for – and will be hoping they will do well. Certainly, not a lot was expected from them last season – but Burton managed to sustain their place in the Championship.

Their second season promises to be even tougher and it will certainly be interesting to see how they get on for the rest of the season. So far the club have generally struggled – but have also sprung a few surprise results along the way.

The club sit in the relegation zone and have conceded 23 goals – but the fact they have only scored six may prove to be the bigger problem. Again, the defensive stats do not highlight one clear weakness – but the club will need to improve in a variety of different areas. I do think a managerial change here is unlikely though – and Burton are a club that appreciate where they stand in the league.

3. Sunderland (22 Goals Conceded)

It’s clear that when we think about Sunderland this season; that they are a club close to being in chaos. Decline is a word you can use to describe them over recent seasons – and that has not stopped now that they are in in the Championship. Not only do they have a poor defence – but they are also on one of the worst runs of form in the league.

In terms of those defensive stats, Sunderland have conceded 22 goals so far this season. It’s hard to say where the club can go from here, but it seems certain that the decision to appoint Simon Grayson in the summer has backfired on them. I’m not surprised by that though as appointing a mid-table Championship manager was always going to be underwhelming.

I know some people may feel that the club’s expectations for the season should have been modest. However, this Is still a massive football club that should rightly expect to be in the Premier League. Grayson simply hasn’t been able to handle those expectations – and maybe a change in management could lead to the needed defensive improvement.

4. Nottingham Forest (21 Goals Conceded)

Nottingham Forest were one of those teams that only just survived in the Championship last season. So, expectations for them should have been modest for the coming season. Results did change things though as Forest made a stunning start to the new campaign.

There are certainly some good players in this team with Barrie McKay being a contender to be the leading assist maker in the league this season. The club have also seen several other good performers in attacking positions. However, current form has not been good and the fact that they haven’t drawn a game this season tells its own story.

The defence has been really poor as the club have already conceded 21 goals – and that is certainly a big problem. The number of chances that they give away to opposing teams is a particular concern; the 15.8 shots they concede per game is the highest in the league. It’s possible that Forest need to adjust their playing style in the search for more consistency.

5. Hull City (20 Goals Conceded)

Hull City’s season is one of contrasts as they are the highest scoring team in the league – but have the fifth worst defence. Last season, Norwich City and Fulham scored the same number of goals as Newcastle; showing that a strong attack alone doesn’t guarantee success. This is a lesson that Hull may need to learn over the course of this season.

In terms of their attacking play, Kamil Grosicki has been one of the most creative players in the Championship this season so far. Their attacking play is certainly an encouraging thing for Hull fans that may give them hope of turning their season around. One thing they will need to learn though is finding the right balance in their team.

The club have conceded 20 goals so far this season – and that is making getting results extremely difficult. There should also be significant questions about whether they appointed the right manager over the summer. Plenty of people will have their opinion about the perfect manager for the Championship – but things just don’t seem to be right at Hull.

6. Birmingham City (19 Goals Conceded)

Birmingham City are always a tough club to evaluate because they are constantly heading in different directions. For example, at the start of last season Birmingham were pushing hard for a play-off place – but they ended the season in a relegation fight.

Things have already been a struggle for the Blues this season – and a managerial change has occurred at the club already. The team are currently 21st in the league and know they will have to improve their defensive record to secure survival for another season.

The club have the best worst defence in this list so far after conceding 19 goals. One thing we can learn from the defensive stats is Birmingham are not good at getting their tackles in. The 13.7 tackles they manage per game is actually the lowest number in the Championship. This is a positive for the club though as it’s something they can look to address.


This completes the end of the content section of the article we looked at the worst defensive teams in the Championship so far this season. So, did we get it right? Or maybe you feel that we have been overly harsh on the teams mentioned – or the stats don’t tell the whole story.

If you enjoy Championship content like this, then keep an eye on my profile page for all of the latest updates. Next, I will be looking at some of those Championship players that are excelling this season with their passing ability.


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