Championship 2017-18: How did BBC Sport journalists fare with season's predictions?

Wolves lift the Championship trophy
Wolves finished top of the Championship with 99 points

Remember at the start of the 2017-18 season, when we asked you to have a go at predicting your final Championship table?

A group of 25 BBC Sport journalists who cover Championship football on a regular basis were asked to make their own predictions - and their forecasts were combined to make a final table.

So how did they fare?

Championship 2017-18
TeamFinal positionBBC prediction
Wolves16 (+5)
Cardiff City213 (+11)
Fulham32 (-1)
Aston Villa43 (-1)
Middlesbrough51 (-4)
Derby County65 (-1)
Preston North End717 (+10)
Millwall823 (+15)
Brentford914 (+5)
Sheffield United1016 (+6)
Bristol City1119 (+8)
Ipswich Town1220 (+8)
Leeds United1310 (-3)
Norwich City148 (-6)
Sheffield Wednesday154 (-11)
Queens Park Rangers1618 (+2)
Nottingham Forest1715 (-2)
Hull City189 (-9)
Birmingham City1912 (-7)
Reading207 (-13)
Bolton Wanderers2122 (+1)
Barnsley2221 (-1)
Burton Albion2324 (+1)
Sunderland2411 (-13)

As you may have noticed, not one team's position was predicted correctly. We were close with quite a few, but also way off with others.

Here are the details...

The expected

The order might have been wrong, but our team predicted five of the sides that would finish in the top six.

The only side not to make it were Sheffield Wednesday, who were tipped to reach the play-offs for a third successive year but ended the campaign down in 15th.

With many perhaps cautious about how Wolves' foreign imports would perform in the Championship, only one of our 25 journalists thought Wanderers would win the title and one other person predicted they would finish second.

Burton Albion's Tom Naylor contemplates relegation
Burton's two-year stay in the Championship was ended by defeat at Preston on the final day of the season

At the bottom of the table, it was expected that Bolton, Burton and Barnsley would all struggle and they did so.

Bolton's late comeback victory over Nottingham Forest on the final day of the season kept them up at Burton's expense, while Barnsley's poor end to the season saw them slip just the wrong side of the dreaded dotted line after 46 games.

The surprises (going up)

Cardiff City celebrate promotion to the Premier League
Cardiff City will play in the Premier League next season after a four-year absence from the top flight

Cardiff took most pundits (including ours!) by surprise by finishing in the second automatic promotion place.

Only two of our team had the Welsh club finishing in a play-off spot, while one person even thought they would go down.

Instead, Neil Warnock masterminded an incredible ascension to the Premier League and clocked up his eighth promotion as a manager in the process.

Honourable mentions must go to Preston, Bristol City and Ipswich, who confounded our journalists' pre-season predictions of bottom-half finishes.

And Sheffield United, a team that were predicted to finish safely in mid-table after winning the League One title, were in play-off contention for much of the season and only faded in the final couple of months of the campaign.

But the team taking the prize for making our gaggle of reporters look like complete fools are Millwall.

Millwall's Lee Gregory celebrates a goal
Millwall's final league placing of eighth was their highest since finishing fourth in 2001-02

The Lions had snatched a League One play-off place in the final five minutes of the 2016-17 campaign and then edged past Bradford 1-0 in the final at Wembley.

Surely they would struggle in the second tier?

Our team thought so. Eighteen of our 25 journalists put them down to be relegated, while the highest anyone predicted they would finish was 20th.

That went well.

A 17-match unbeaten run put them on the brink of the play-offs in the closing weeks of the season and, although they eventually missed out on the top six, an eighth-place finish was well above expectations.

To anyone supporting or connected with Millwall - our team are glad you proved them wrong.

The surprises (going down)

Leonid Slutsky
Leonid Slutsky became the first Russian to manage in England, but his tenure at Hull lasted only six months

Predicted finishes from second to 19th were put forward for Hull, who had a new Russian boss in Leonid Slutsky and a much-changed squad following their relegation from the Premier League.

They were something of an unknown quantity and ended up slipping into a relegation battle, only moving clear of the bottom three with a late-season surge under Nigel Adkins.

As mentioned previously, Sheffield Wednesday - dogged by long-term injuries to several key players - were well below our team's expectations.

But the two clubs that performed much worse than predicted were Reading and Sunderland, who both ended 13 spots adrift of their pre-season placing.

Reading manager Paul Clement
Reading won only three league games in 2018 but Paul Clement just about guided the Royals to safety

It was thought that Reading, losing play-off finalists in 2016-17, would be in the play-off reckoning again but it turned out to be a season to forget for the Royals.

They faltered under Jaap Stam, who was replaced by Paul Clement in March, and they only guaranteed Championship survival by drawing their final game at Cardiff.

And nobody in our team predicted Sunderland to be relegated for a second season in a row.

Somewhat alarmingly, one person (who shall remain nameless), even thought the Black Cats would be champions.

Football, eh?

It is all part of the fun. So let's do it all again when the EFL returns in August, shall we?