The EFL season gets underway on Friday night, so we simulated the entire Championship campaign to see which clubs could do well and which one may struggle
Championship fixtures: Day one, boxing day and final day
As the season opener between AFC Bournemouth and West Brom edges closer, the excitement is building for many fans all over the country who believe their team could be promoted to the Premier League come the end of the season.
There have been many changes in the dugouts across many clubs, including both Bournemouth and West Brom who play the first game of the new season on Friday evening, with Scott Parker and Valerien Ismael in the respective dugouts.
There have also been a host of high-profile transfers including Harry Wilson to Fulham, Alex Mowatt to West Brom, Emiliano Marcondes to Bournemouth, Ryan Woods to Birmingham City and Sam Surridge to Stoke City.
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So, what could happen in the upcoming Championship season in 2021/22? Who would survive relegation and who would get promoted into the Premier League? Let’s find out…
Entire 2021/22 Championship season predicted by simulation
To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2021 editor to update the teams involved in the Championship, with each club having their updated transfers added into the database.
Analysing the final Championship 2021/22 league table, Fulham were the highest-scoring team with a tally of 80 goals in 46 games, whilst the lowest-scoring side was newly promoted Peterborough with 33 goals.
In terms of the best defensive record in the league, Blackburn conceded the least amount of goals in the 2021/22 season with just 34 goals, whilst Coventry had the leakiest defence, conceding 67 goals in 46 games.
Whilst Fulham had the best goal difference in the league with 80, their home record was beaten by an impressive Preston side who only conceded 14 goals, winning 16 of their 23 home fixtures as they turned Deepdale Stadium into somewhat of a fortress.
Despite having the best defensive record in the league, Blackburn did have the worst disciplinary record, picking up seven red cards and 81 yellow cards throughout the season, making a total of 677 fouls in just 46 league matches.
Blackburn’s Lewis Travis matched the Championship record for the most red cards in a season, being sent off three times whilst only making 32 appearances in the league.
Meanwhile, Rovers’ goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski kept 21 clean sheets in Blackburn’s 46 league games, just four clean sheets off of Paddy Kenny’s record of 25 clean sheets in a Championship season.
Stoke City finished the 2021/22 season with the best disciplinary record, receiving just 29 yellow cards and a one red card in their 46 league matches, whilst also making the least number of fouls with 440.
Swansea’s Jamal Lowe won the golden boot as the 27-year-old scored 24 goals in 46 games for the Welsh side, whilst Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic and Cardiff ’s Kieffer Moore both scored 19 goals.
The top provider in the league was Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook registering an impressive 20 assists, with George Honeyman providing the second-most with 13 assists for mid-table Hull.
Derby’s Jason Knight recorded the most key passes in the 2021/22 season with 100 key passes, seven more than top assister Lewis Cook despite registering 11 fewer assists than the Bournemouth midfielder.
Bristol City’s Taylor Moore put in an impressive defensive performance throughout the season, making the most clearances with 254 as well as blocking the most shots with 60, whilst his defensive partner Nathan Baker registered the most key headers with 49.
Sky Bet Championship 2021/22 league table reviewed
Here is what the final Championship 2021/22 league table looked like at the end of the simulation in May 2022.
Fulham and Bournemouth earned automatic promotion to the Premier League, with the Cottagers going up as champions after finishing three points ahead of former manager Scott Parker’s Cherries side.
Bournemouth were top of the league with five games to go but lost four of their last five and fell behind Fulham who went on to lift the title.
Nottingham Forrest sealed promotion after a historic season, beating Preston on penalties in the play-off final at Wembley after progressing past Sheffield United.
At the other end of the table, it was Coventry, Barnsley and Peterborough who were relegated down into League One, with Blackpool surviving by eight points.
The surprise story at the bottom end of the league was Derby surviving relegation, despite not signing any new players, finishing 14 points clear of the drop with the best goal difference out of the bottom seven clubs.
Football Manager 2021 predicts that Fulham will be the only relegated Premier League club to return to the top-flight at the first attempt, joined by Bournemouth and Nottingham Forrest who return to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years.
Meanwhile, Coventry, Barnsley and Peterborough would be relegated down into League One after a poor season, finishing eight points adrift of safety, as Blackpool survived another season in the Championship.
What do you make of our 2021/22 Championship season simulation? Let us know in the comments!
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