How Preston North End's season so far compares to previous Championship campaigns
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But how do the current crop compare with those that came before them? PNE been in the Championship for almost eight seasons now and have so far this season amassed 31 points.
Ryan Lowe’s side are in a good position and sitting level on points with the play-off places come this World Cup break would absolutely have been taken by every single North End fan out there.
There have been many claims this season that the Championship is not as strong as it has been in previous seasons, with results generally all over the place and the unpredictability of the division off the scale.
But how does their return so far compare?
First, a quick breakdown of PNE’s points over the years after 21 games:
2015/16 – 25
2016/17 – 29
2018/19 – 25
2019/20 – 34
2020/21 – 32
2021/22 – 26
2022/23 – 31
On average, PNE’s points after 21 games since their return to the Championship has been 29.5 points.
So they are currently ahead of the pace compared to most season since they won promotion from League One in 2015, there have been three season in the eight that North End have had a better points return at this stage.
PNE were in sixth after 21 games in 19/20 – on 34 points – but their current total would also have them in ninth, as they are now.
32 points in 17/18 and 20/21 positioned them in 10th and 13th respectively – and it is worth noting that in all three of the season with better points totals, they reached 21 games in mid December.
When PNE had 34 points after 21 games they finished ninth, with 32 they went on to finish seventh and 13th, in 2018 and 2021.
So there is no real trend so far as to how the start to the season defines the end, with North End having a history of being near the play-off places but not making it count.
Lowe however will be hoping he is the one to change that, and continue their good start throughout the second half of the season.