The race for the playoffs: a guide

The race for the playoffs is going down to the wire. Here’s a handy guide to the teams who still have a realistic shot of making it.

4th) Brighton & Hove Albion

Points: 69
Goal Difference: +23
Remaining Fixtures: Leeds United (a), Wolverhampton Wanderers (h)
Points gained in reverse fixtures: 2
Form: W2 D4 L0 F11 A4

Brighton’s resounding win over Blackpool looks to have all but secured their place in the playoffs. One more win will do it. If Leicester lose at home to Watford on Friday Brighton would all but mathematically secure a top six finish with a point at Elland Road thanks to their exellent goal difference.

5th) Crystal Palace

Points: 67
Goal Difference: +10
Remaining Fixtures: Blackburn Rovers (a), Millwall (a), Peterborough United (h)
Points gained in reverse fixtures: 7
Form: W0 D2 L4 F2 A13

The Eagles need five points from their remaining fixtures to guarantee a playoff spot, but theirs is a fixture list few will envy. All three of the sides Palace have to play might still be desperate for points. Ian Holloway’s men are without a win in seven but will almost certainly have to scratch a win from somewhere to avoid their season ending on 4th May.

6th) Bolton Wanderers

Points: 66
Goal Difference: +8
Remaining Fixtures: Cardiff City (a), Blackpool (h)
Points gained in reverse fixtures: 4
Form: W4 D0 L2 F11 A8

Bolton are peaking at exactly the right time. If they make the playoffs few will fancy their chances against the Trotters. But Dougie Freedman’s men could find themselves outside the top six by the time they head for a tricky looking away trip to Cardiff. If Leicester take at least a point at home to Watford their superior goal difference will send Bolton 7th. A home match against a struggling Blackpool looks a good bet for 3 points, so next weekend will be pivitol to Bolton’s chances of making a swift return to the Premier League.

7th) Leicester City

Points: 65
Goal Difference: +23
Remaining fixtures: Watford (h), Nottingham Forest (a)
Points gained in reverse fixtures: 1
Form: W1 D3 L2 F8 A10

Leicester’s destiny is no longer in their own hands and their fixture list couldn’t be much tougher. Thanks to thier goal difference four points could be enough for Leicester but only if Bolton lose one of their remaining two games, Crystal Palace take just two points from nine, or Brighton lose both of their remaining games. A point at home to Watford will ensure the Foxes have something to play for on the final day. But given their hopeless away record at the City Ground, Leicester could really do with winning their final home match.

8th) Nottingham Forest

Points: 64
Goal Difference: +4
Remaining Fixtures: Millwall (a), Leicester City (h)
Points gained in reverse fixtures: 1
Form: W0 D4 L2 F4 A8

In mid-March the was a four point gap between Forest and 7th, now they’re two points behind Bolton and know that realistically maximum points are required. If Forest fail to win at Millwall and Crystal Palace, Bolton and/or Leicester win next weekend then it’s all over for Billy Davies’ men. That being said, the likelyhood is the final match of the season could just as easily decide if it is to be Forest or Leicester who creep into the playoffs on the last day.

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One Response to The race for the playoffs: a guide

  1. Good post, i have been following your blog for a while now, Leicester born and bread, keep up the stats and the good work

    eric

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