Data experts give Leeds United '92 per cent' chance of promotion to the Premier League
With all domestic football put on hold by the outbreak of coronavirus, data experts have crunched the numbers to rate Leeds United's promotion chances if the season gets back underway.
The Whites are currently top of the Championship table and were riding a five-game winning streak, without conceding a goal, when the season was suspended by the game’s authorities.
As it stands the table shows Leeds a point clear of West Brom and seven clear of third-placed Fulham with nine games remaining in the season.
All EFL games are scheduled to resume on April 30, although it is largely expected that date will be pushed back further, with the nation currently on lockdown to help combat the spread of the disease.
The FA, EFL and Premier League have committed to exploring ways of completing the current campaign, including extending it beyond the present limit, into the summer.
UEFA have postponed the Euro 2020 Championships in order to help facilitate the completion of domestic league programmes and cup competitions.
Leeds United sent their players home from the Thorp Arch training complex and gave them all exercise bikes and gym equipment so they can stay in shape, but club captain Liam Cooper has admitted that as hard as they work from home, they will still lose the fitness that comes from the intensity of daily training under Marcelo Bielsa.
So even if the leagues can resume before the summer, a mini pre-season would appear necessary to get players back up to full fitness.
There is some support within the game for suggestions to declare the season null and void and scrap promotion and relegation – a scenario that would likely lead to a raft of legal action – but clubs like Leeds are, obviously, keen to see the remainder of the fixtures played.
And if they get their wish, data experts have backed them to go on and finish the job they started.
With 75 per cent of the season completed, the Euro Club Index have provided the Yorkshire Evening Post with a scientific predication of how the Championship season will finish.
The Euro Club Index takes into account each teams’ relative strength and runs through 100,000 simulations of the remainder of the season to determine a final league placing and the percentage chances of a team winning the league, gaining promotion or suffering relegation.
It is predicted that Leeds will be a Premier League club again for the next campaign, with their chances of automatic promotion rated at 92.95 per cent.
West Brom – given a 92.06 per cent chance of going up – are expected to join the Whites in the top flight next season.
The Whites are also expected to be promoted as champions, with their title chances standing at 49.99 per cent to West Brom’s 47.41 per cent.
The data makes for less encouraging reading for Leeds’ Championship neighbours, Barnsley, who are seven points adrift of safety and are given a 90 per cent likelihood of being relegated to League One.
The relegation equation makes better reading for fans of Hull City, Huddersfield Town and Middlesbrough with each club given much slimmer chances of going down.
It is only 20 per cent likely that Hull will be relegated, despite being just two points above the bottom-three places, while Middlesbrough who are also on 41 points, are given a 13 per cent likelihood of dropping down a division.
The Terriers won two of their last three outings before the suspension of the campaign - losing the other 2-0 at Elland Road - relegation prospects stand at just 13 per cent.
Sheffield Wednesday, meanwhile, are given less than a one per cent chance of being relegated or finishing in the Championship play-offs.
The Euro Club Index provides a ranking of all European clubs based on competition results over a four year-period. It is a collaboration between Gracenote Sports and Hypercube Business Innovation.
The Euro Club Index ratings are used to calculate the potential results for all remaining matches in a competition and these are then run through 100,000 simulations of the remainder of the season to produce the most likely final standings and the percentage chance of finishing in different positions.