Take a deep breath, its play off time. I personally think play offs are a bit unfair. You play well all season only to suffer some injuries which mean you are not automatically promoted, then lose in a knock out competition. I would feel gutted at this.
One thing you may have noticed about the play off is that teams that finish in the top position in the league, in respect to the play off teams, don’t necessarily get promoted. It’s long been the frustration of many a manager or team that this happens. But there are key factors as to why this happens.
It’s quite simple really, “Form” is the answer. When you look at play off success over the years then form stands out as the key determinate. Form teams traditionally do well in the play offs on average and teams that are on the slide at the end of the season tend to fluff it at this stage. My picks are nearly always based around the recent form of all the teams. It’s a pattern that repeats year after year and it explains the oddity of teams how do not finish third but go on to get promoted. Goal difference seems important as well, look at the teams who topped the goal difference tables over ten games in prior season play offs. Swansea, Blackppol, Burnley, Hull. You will always get exceptions to the rule of course, but form is obviously important.
It’s a bit tricker this year in the Championship, as there is no stand out form team. If you look at West Ham, Cardiff, Blackpool and Birmingham none of them have lost their last six games. However, West Ham do top these short term form tables and obviously finished third, so they would have to be your preference. Cardiff are not far behind though. Having failed at this stage so often, you do wonder if they will let themselves be perennial premiership bridesmaids. This set ups a really interesting clash this evening though when West Ham travel to Cardiff. If they win then you would have to fancy them to go all the way. MK Dons and Sheffield United are the form teams in league one.
Good luck if your team is going through the lottery of the play offs this season, rather you than me!
Category: Football / Soccer