M42Owl Posted October 2, 2022 Share Posted October 2, 2022 Will two points per game be enough to get a top two place at the end of the season? Apologies for the lengthy post. I was jotting down a few thoughts and it turned into an essay. Apologies too for any data/mathematical error that I’m sure someone will spot. Hopefully, any such errors won’t affect the conclusion. Nearly a quarter of the season gone and 5 teams still have 2ppg or more. Can they all keep it up for the season? Looking at the current league table it looks like the top 8 might be starting to break away from the rest. Ok, Accrington are only a point behind Derby in 8th but have played a game more. Accrington, Cambridge, Exeter, Shrewsbury occupy 9th to 12th. You’d expect these teams to fade as squad depth becomes more important. So maybe there is a mini league of 8 that we need to win. The usual view is that you should beat the teams around you: the six pointers, but I often look back at the Burnley team of a few seasons ago. A decent, but not exceptional, team won promotion on the back of beating, home and away, every team in the bottom half (24 wins). Basically, they beat the teams they were expected to beat, no shocks or bad days at the office and that allowed for a few losses in the six pointers. Looking back to last season, it was these types of games, against teams in the bottom half, that cost us promotion: draws at Cheltenham, Wimbledon, etc. So in our mini league of 8, it’s how well we do against the bottom 16 that reduces (or increases) the pressure in the 6 pointers. So how well are we doing against bottom 16 teams? Played 6 won 6. Good start, but it got me to thinking how well are the other teams doing? That led me to produce two different tables: results v bottom 16 and results against top 8. It’s not just Wednesday that are doing well against the bottom teams. There seems to be a gulf between the top 8 and the rest with an average of 2.43 pgg earned. This backs up the argument that the top 8 are a class apart. As you’d expect, the ppg against the top 8 is much lower (both sides can’t win). That said, Plymouth apart, teams are only getting about 1ppg. It’s all pretty even - almost half the games are draws compared to a quarter for the league as a whole. Table versus bottom 16 Team. Played W-D-L-Pts Ply. 5. 3-0-2-6 Ips. 6. 6-0-0-18 Wed. 6. 6-0-0-18 Por. 6. 5-1-0-16 Bar. 7. 5-1-1-16 Bol. 6. 5-1-0-16 Pet. 6. 5-0-1-15 Der. 7. 3-2-2-11 Total. 49. 38-5-6-119 @2.43ppg Table versus top 8 Team. Played W-D-L-Pts Ply. 6. 5-1-0-16 Ips. 5. 1-3-1-6 Wed. 5. 1-2-2-5 Por. 4. 1-2-1-5 Bar. 4. 1-1-2-4 Bol. 4. 1-1-2-4 Pet. 5. 1-0-4-3 Der. 3. 2-0-1-6 Total. 36. 13-10-13-49 @ 1.36ppg (excluding Plymouth it’s 1.1ppg) Note that Plymouth seem to be a bit of an outlier in both tables. Very good against the top sides, but mediocre against the rest, albeit they’ve only played 5 games against lower sides. This seems to adversely impact their season projection. Taking ppg against top 8 and projecting to 14 games, and the ppg v the rest to 32 games gives an end of season table as below: Season Projections based on current ppg. Team. ppg top 8 + ppg bottom 16 = Total points Ips. 16.8. + 96. = 112.8 Wed. 14. +. 96. = 110 Por. 17.5. +. 85.33 = 102.83 Bol. 14. +. 85.33. = 99.33 Pet. 17.5. +. 80. = 97.5 Bar. 14. +. 73.14. = 87.14 Der. 28. +. 50.29. = 78.29 Ply. 37.33 + 38.4. = 75.73 Now I’m not suggesting that Wednesday will finish on 110 points, nor that there will be three teams finishing above 100 points. But what I do think is evident is that there is a significant gap between the top 8 and the rest such that if those top 8 play to their ability, without taking games for granted etc, then they should continue to win the majority of those 32 games. As we saw yesterday, dodgy pitches are a great leveller and as we get into Dec/Jan pitches will only get worse, but this is balanced by the strength of the top 8 squads which can manage the long winter slog much better. So, 92 points, will that to be enough to guarantee automatic promotion? I think not. 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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