League One predictions computer forecasts how promotion battle will unfold for Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley FC, Ipswich Town, Derby County and Bolton Wanderers

DATA boffins are predicting success for both Sheffield Wednesday and South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley in the League One stakes come May, following the latest analysis of league results.

For their part, Wednesday - despite being in the top three all season - are suffering a bit of a winter dip, although fortunately top-two rivals Plymouth Argyle and Ipswich Town are not having it all their own way either.

The Owls' weekend draw with visiting Oxford United, which would have ended in defeat had keeper Cameron Dawson not saved a late penalty, extended their winless league streak to three matches.

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That said, Wednesday still boast an impressive unbeaten sequence. They have not seen their colours lowered in their last ten League One matches. Their last defeat was at Plymouth in early October.

Rival managers Michael Duff and Darren Moore.Rival managers Michael Duff and Darren Moore.
Rival managers Michael Duff and Darren Moore.

On Boxing Day, Wednesday make the trip to Fleetwood ahead of a Hillsborough game against Port Vale on December 29. They start 2023 at home to Cambridge on January 2.

Barnsley, meanwhile, are running hot and are the form team in the entire division heading into the Christmas season.

Saturday's routine 2-0 home win over Burton was their fifth on the spin at league level.

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Michael Duff's side have not conceded a second-half league goal since October 8.

The Reds will be backed by a big away contingent in their Boxing Day encounter against Accrington, with their other two holiday games being on home soil, against Fleetwood and Bolton respectively.

The number crunchers at FiveThirtyEight have predicted how the final Championship table will look. Using their ratings for each team, they simulate seasons thousands of times to produce their prediction for each side’s final points tally and league position.

Predicted table

Team Predicted points
Sheffield Wednesday 88
Ipswich Town 87
Plymouth Argyle 86
Barnsley 81
Derby County 80
Bolton Wanderers 72
Wycombe Wanderers 69
Peterborough United 69
Portsmouth 68
Oxford United 63
Shrewsbury Town 63
Bristol Rovers 62
Lincoln City 62
Port Vale 60
Charlton Athletic 58
Fleetwood Town 58
Exeter City 56
Cheltenham Town 54
MK Dons 52
Accrington Stanley 48
Cambridge United 46
Burton Albion 42
Forest Green Rovers 41
Morecambe 39