Writer: Jorge's Jottings
Date:Sunday March 19 2006
The final Relegation Run in
As the season enters the final quarter we look at the teams that could go down.
Tranmere Rovers P 38 PTS 47
Beaten on Friday night but with strikers such as Facey, Greenacre and Zola should have enough for Brian Little and Jason McAteer to steer them clear. Eight games remaining four at home Vale, Forest, Bristol City and last game of the season Doncaster. With away visits to Yeovil, Rotherham and Colchester and MK Dons.
Port Vale P37 PTS 47
Suffered from injuries all season and again returning players should see them survive unless Martin Foyle's inconsistent side implode. Eight games left four at home, Huddersfield, Swansea, Bournemouth, Chesterfield and four away Tranmere, Walsall, Bradford, and Hartlepool on the last day.
Bradford P37 PTS 45
Touching distance from safety, but Saturday's 4-1 home thrashing is making them nervous down the Valley with Todd out chants to be heard in the stands. Take over talk is also a distraction. A lot will depend on the impact of leading scorer Dean Windlass when he returns from his five-match ban. Five remaining at home, Blackpool, Sc**thorpe, Doncaster, Vale, and last game v Forest. Away they travel to Walsall, Brentford, Gillingham, and Barnsley.
Bournemouth P37 PTS 45
A poor run came to an end with a home win against Yeovil, a goal from returning striker Fletcher the difference between the two sides. His return and partnership with James Hayter will be key in picking up the three wins they will need to be certain of safety. Home games against Southend, Huddesfield, Colchester and Brentford (final day) wonít be easy. Whilst away Barnsley Sc**thorpe, Walsall, Vale and Forest give no easy wins. In fact one of the toughest run ins.
Blackpool P37 PTS44
Another 3 wins should also see Blackpool stay up. Their win over Port Vale was massive on Saturday. As will the game at Bradford on Tuesday. Other games away at Oldham, Southend, Brentford and Sc**thorpe will put pressure on there home form where they play, Walsall, Swansea, Barnsley and a final day show down against Gillingham, a lot could be riding on that game. Blackpool is scouring the market for loan players to help their fight.
Hartlepool P37 PTS43
Pool fans have been confident that the return of Porter and Daly would lead them to safety. On Saturday Porterís goal secured a good point at home to Barnsley. They will need to keep this form to pull away from the bottom. They have a mixed run in with 5 away games, Southend, Swindon, Colchester MK Dons and Brentford. Whilst they have four visitors to Victoria Ground, Oldham, Bristol City, Forest, and last day game against Port Vale.
Saddlers P36 PTS42
The lack of goals is our concern, and any loan dealings this week could be key as will our home games with seven out of ten at home, Travelling to Blackpool, Doncaster, and Gillingham could have been worse. Home games against Yeovil, Bradford, Bristol, Bournemouth, Port Vale, need to produce at least 3-4 wins before the final home games against Huddersfield and last day match against Barnsley, to prevent some severe nail biting at Bescot.
Yeovil P37 PTS 42
A lack of goals and the injury to Phil Jeavons as well as the loss of Way to Swansea has seen Yeovil tumble down the table. Without loan market activity this week they could be in real trouble. They go into the first of four away games with a must win game at Walsall, other aways are at local rivals Bristol City, Notts Forest, and Huddersfield. A tough run in is eased by the home games against, Tranmere, Doncaster, Sc**thorpe, Gillingham and final day game against Colchester.
Gillingham P37 PTS41
Dropping faster than Yeovil, Gillingham dropped into the bottom four thanks to our win and there 6-0 drubbing at Bristol City, giving them the leagues worse goal difference -19. They only have five home games remaining tough looking games against Brentford, Swansea and Huddersfield followed by visits from Bradford and finally Walsall. Away they visit MK Dons, Southend, Yeovil, and that last day crunch trip to Blackpool. They need to find four wins out of this list.
Rotherham P38 PTS40
They may have survival of a financial kind on their mind but they have not given up on league one yet. In a strange way the focus been on off field matters seems to have taken some of the pressure of the players. Three away games against Doncaster, Swansea and Colchester wonít be easy. Itís what happens at Field Mill that will decide their fate, in more than one way. Visitors are Bristol City, Tranmere, Brentford, Sc**thorpe and a last day dual against MK Dons. They may need three wins before the MK Dons game to still be in the hunt for survival.
Swindon Town P38 PTS39
Our old mate Iffy must have his prayer mat out. A bright run saw them climb the table only to fall back. They need to start picking up points soon as they have tough last three games. Once again home form is key with five of there last eight games at the County ground. Chesterfield who canít buy a win at the moment are followed by Hartlepool, Mk Dons before two of those last three, Brentford (h) Bristol City (a) and Huddersfield (h). Prior to that away days at Swansea and Sc**thorpe may not yield anything. Four wins will be tough unless they regain form quickly.
MK Dons P36 PTS37
Last seasonís great escape artist have a bigger task this season. They will be hoping goals from Taylor and McLeod will carry them to the 50 to 53 point mark. The run in has a combination of tough games and winner able games. At home Brentford, Gillingham, Hartlepool, Tranmere may need to leave the NHS feeling sick. The need of something of a take away from either Forest, Oldham, Swindon, Chesterfield or the last day show down at Rotherham to ensure they get the points to stay up. I donít think they will finish bottom, but may finish in the bottom four.
In a season when a record points total maybe required to stay up, only about 53 points will insure safety. Mk Dons face a hard battle, Swindon may go close but fail, the other two places are between Rotherham, Gillingham, Yeovil, Walsall and due to the tough run in Bournemouth. My bet would be Gillingham, Yeovil, Swindon and Mk Dons.
What do you think?
Date:Sunday March 19 2006
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