EFL Championship Pro/Rel Mid-Season Predictions

Most teams in the EFL Championship (England Division 2) are now at the half way point in their seasons, or 1 game away from it.  Here are my way too early predictions for promotion and relegation with a small explanation on each.

The 3 Clubs Being Promoted To The English Premier League

1) Norwich City (14-5-4) 47 points

Norwich is top of the championship at the moment by 4 points over 2nd placed Swansea (also played 23 games).  In the Premier League just last season, they know what it takes to get back up there and the level at which they need to play to hopefully stay up should they make it back up there.  Currently 5th in the league in goals scored and tied for 5th in goals allowed, Norwich is well rounded enough to maintain their #1 spot and gain automatic promotion.

2) Brentford (11-8-3) 41 points

Brentford currently sit 2 points back of 2nd place Swansea with a game in hand.  Last season, it seemed a sure thing they would be promoted, but West Bromwich Albion outplayed them at the end of the season to secure auto promotion spot #2.  They would go on to lose to Fulham 2-1 in the promotion playoff final.  One of the higher scoring offenses in the Championship (36 goals), they don’t seem to be letting up any time soon.  Brentford have won 4 of their last 5 league games, and the 5th was a 1-1 draw with Watford on 12/15.  They seem to have all the pieces in place needed for promotion, and I think this is the season they execute on it and end up in the Premier League.

3) Watford (10-7-5) 37 points

Watford had an uncharacteristically dismal start to the season last year.  They ended up turning it around towards the end though, even handing Liverpool their 1st loss of the season (3-0 at Vicarage during week 28).  Unfortunately, it was too little too late, and Watford finished 2nd from the bottom and were relegated.  They’re one point ahead of Middlesbrough for the last promotion playoff spot at the moment.  They will have to gain promotion through the playoffs, but ultimately, Watford pulls it off and gets back to Premier League next season.

The Falling Three

1) Derby County (4-7-11) 19 points

Being a Rams fan, this one hurts me to type.  A revolving door of coaches (5 since March 2017) and the lowest scoring offense in the league (14 goals) are not doing Derby any favors.  In a season that started out very poorly, they have managed to put themselves in a position in which they are tied on points with Sheffield Wednesday for the “last team safe” spot, but are below them in 22nd place.  I think Derby County will make it an interesting second half of the year depending on who they make permanent head coach and sign to bolster the offense.  Ultimately, they will fall just short of the line and end up relegated to League One.

2) Wycombe Wanderers (3-6-14) 15 points

This is a club that I genuinely wanted to see do well. It is the Wanderers first season ever in the championship, and they have not been treated very well so far. They have allowed more goals than any other team in the league and seem overwhelmed in some of their games. Is Wycombe a bad club? No, absolutely not. I just think this isn’t their year. My prediction is they go back down to league one and we will see them come back to the championship in a year to 3 years and give the league a real run for its money.

3) Rotherham United (4-4-12) 16 points

Dating back 2 months to 11/7, Rotherham has 2 wins and 1 draw. 7 points in 2 months isn’t enough to get you out of the relegation zone in almost any league. They have won only 1 of their last 5 contests and next play Everton in FA Cup 3rd round on 1/9. This will not help build their confidence to where it needs to be to stay above the line. Unless something changes, and soon, Rotherham head right back down to league one next year.

Five Promising Outward Transfers For Revolution Players

Revolution Players That Create A Profit And Can Grow

As it stands currently, a few of the European and South American transfer windows are open. The Revolution have a few players of value and skill that would produce a transfer fee in leaving. Here’s five of them that I believe would produce the most ideal fee. As well as producing the most fee, these are the players that are most likely to grow from it. To be clear, I don’t mean that I’d be ok with these players leaving.

Carles Gil
Carles Gil, Transfer, maybe?
Credit: Revolution Communications

Gil is the most talented and creative of the five selected. Since joining the Revolution, Carles has shown his prowess on the ball. In 2019, he was in the top 5 in both, shot creating actions and goal creating actions. In 2020, Gil obviously was a huge part of the playoffs contention. He was injured for a good portion of the regular season in 2020, which I think would lower his profit, but definitely beats out most others on the team for value growth. Carles is such a versatile player, I think he would command a 4-5 million dollar transfer fee if he leaves.

Transfermarkt Market Value: 4.40 million dollars

Tajon Buchanan

Buchanan has grown by leaps and bounds since joining the team in 2019 from the 9th spot in the MLS Superdraft. In 2019, Tajon appeared in 10 games and started four. In 2020, he appeared in 23 and started in 11. Buchanan’s dribbling ability and vision of the game has created dangerous opportunities for the Revolution. He scored two goals and created two goals with assists this year for New England. Just recently in December, the Canadian national team called him up for their January training camp. For that reason, along with Bruce Arena finding a starting place for Tajon in his team, I find Tajon to be the player with the most value, beyond their formulated value. He might be valued at 2.20 million dollars, but I could see him leaving the team for 3-4 million sooner rather than later. His gamesmanship in the playoff games only created a higher value. He is only providing the team with profit and if he goes to a better league, he could grow exponentially.

Transfermarkt Market Value: 2.20 million dollars

Matt Turner

Turner has been a name in the mouth of MLS fans everywhere and statisticians love him. Matt has had two amazing years in 2019 and 2020, only cementing his position as the starting goalkeeper. He was nominated for the Goalkeeper of the Year in MLS again this year, for the second year in a row. He ended up getting beat out by Andre Blake this year. Comparing Blake to Turner, Turner was forced to make more saves than Blake this year and did it well. Matt’s shot stopping ability when a goal was for sure by normal standards was amazing. He topped the league in PSxG-GA (Post Shot expected goals minus goals against) at 8.2 goals saved that should have been definite goals. Beyond that, it’s expected that Turner will get a call up for the USMNT again soon after enjoying a training camp stay in 2019. His value may be 1.10 million, but if Zack Steffen can go to Man City for 7 million, then Turner can leave the MLS for 2-3 million as it stands. With USMNT 22nd in the National Team rankings, if he can get a game in and do well, his value will skyrocket for that reason.

Transfermarkt Market Value: 1.10 million dollars

Adam Buksa

Buksa had a year for the Revolution, scoring six goals and assisting one on a selfless pass. He had 23 shots on target, which he placed in 5th in the leaderboard for all of MLS. It didn’t quite follow up the years that he had at Pogoń Sczcezin before he came to the Revolution. For this reason, Adam’s value might be still hot but I think he’d be less of a commodity after the showing this year. He was however a huge part of the playoff wins which gives him a big boost. His ability to score on his own exists but he excels with a great playmaker. Europe would love to have him back at his consistent rate of scoring goals. His transfer value would allow him to go back to Europe for around 5 million as it stands. I think his chance to go to the Poland National team would have improved that transfer fee immensely if he got it.

Transfermarkt Market Value: 4.95 million dollars

Henry Kessler

Kessler had a great year for the Revs. He was third out of the entire league in successful pressures, completing 44 percent of his pushes against an attacker. He also was fifth in clearances making 124 in all matches in MLS. Henry’s defensive contributions helped the team while pressuring and making tackles. Kessler made successful tackles 35 times out of 44, making sure that backline was safe. He definitely deserves a look at for the USMNT but it won’t come as it stands. He will have to show out this year again and prove he deserves the call up. His 1 million dollar valuation is pretty simply it, he would get a million or two to an EFL League One, Championship team.

Transfermarkt Market Value: 1.10 million dollars