The Angry Budgie Live

Monday, 7 March 2011

EPL Title run in.....Part 1!

So we are now into the final two months of the regular season and things are hotting up nicely. This is a post I have been mulling over for a while, written and re-written, hopefully it all makes sense! I wanted to have a look at the run in for all teams more or less in contention for the EPL title. That's the Phoenix/Flames/Bison/Jets and Lightning. Lets have a look at each run in and ponder what may/may not happen!

Phoenix remaining games:
12th Mar @ Swindon
13th Mar v Basingstoke
17th Mar v Slough
19th Mar @ MK
26th Mar @ Peterborough
27th Mar v Swindon

6 games left, 3 home 3 away.

Series split against title contenders:
v Guildford, won 2 lost 4
v Basingstoke, won 3 lost 2*
v Slough, won 3 lost 2*
v Milton Keynes, won 4 lost 1**

*one game left to play in Altrincham
**one game left to play in Milton Keynes

The Phoenix hold a 6 point lead at the top of the table heading into the final half dozen games before the end of the regular season. A tough win of the Steeldogs saw one potential banana skin avoided, the Phoenix now face a run in where they could potentially win all games remaining. Personally, I see the away game at MK and the home game versus Slough as the most likely to cause an upset. I know you cannot take the Phantoms or Swindon lightly but, at this stage of th season, and with whats at stake, I would expect the Phoenix to win those games! Looking at the games remaining, I would be happy with 8 points from the Swindon x2, Basingstoke x1 and Peterborough x1 games. Then a total of 2 points from the Slough/MK games. This would give the Phoenix a final tally of 90 points for the season. I see the Phoenix having at least another weekend to build up points, before a potentially title deciding pair of games on the 17th and 19th March.

Guildford remaining games:
12th Mar @ Basingstoke
13th Mar v Milton Keynes
19th Mar @ Bracknell
20th Mar v Swindon
26th Mar v Telford
27th Mar @ Telford

6 games left, 3 home 3 away.

With the disappointing loss to the Jet's in the EPL Cup semi final the Flames, like the Phoenix, will not have to worry about fitting in a two legged final into their game schedule before the end of the season. The Flames have a big roster and many talented players, to take the title they will need to win all of their remaining games and hope the Phoenix slip up on at least 3 occasions. Unlike the Phoenix who, I think have another weekend to go before their big pair of games. Guildford face their big test this weekend coming, with a tough trip to Basingstoke before welcoming the MK Lightning to the Spectrum. Both the Bison and Lightning are capable of upsetting the Flames, however the Flames can roll over both of them. Alot depends on what mood Hala is in! The other tricky weekend I see for the Flames is the home/away set against the Tigers. I know most of you would say, nah, easy 4 pointer there. But many teams are finding recently, Phoenix included, that the Tigers are damn hard to beat! Plus, in a post im working on at the minute for the Race fo 8th, The Tigers are slowly creeping back in to contention, so will have a vested interest in getting as many points as possible from their remaining games! Like the Phoenix, I see the Flames getting at least 8 points possibly 10 from their remaining games. This would give the Flames 82 or 84 points for a second place finish.

Slough remaining games:
12th Mar v Bracknell
13th Mar @ Swindon
17th Mar @ Phoenix
19th Mar v Peterborough
20th Mar @ Telford
27th Mar @ Milton Keynes

6 games left, 2 home 4 away.
Plus 1 EPL Cup game v Guildford

Slough have been an improved side since Emersic left and Calder came in. In fact I think you would be hard pressed to find a Jet's fan who doesn't think they improved on that position. Emersic who? Slough have qualified for the end of season playoff's but are in a strange position really. If they wanted to, they could really push Guildford for that 2nd spot and face Swindon rather than Peterborough. Or, they have to be looking over their shoulder at the Bison, but more likely the MK Lightning, as either side can catch them for 3rd. Looking at their remaining games, I see the Jet's securing at least 4 more win's, against the Bees/Cats/Phantoms and Tigers. However of those four teams at least two are still battling for the 8th and final playoff spot. I cant see the Bees taking it, but I can see the Tigers getting it if Sheffield slip up. Those 8 points could see the Jet's into 2nd of the Flames fall apart but, more likely, those points will secure their 3rd place finish. The Jets won the playoff weekend last season, and in Calder have the firepower to do so again. Like the Bison, the Jets concentration on the league will be distracted by the EPL Cup final games against the Bison. The Jet's are a strange team, wealthy owner, small crowds, success but also disappointment. I can see the Jet's winning the EPL Cup, and I can see them winning the playoffs, but, and a big but, I can see them not winning anything! Despite the addition of Calder, they can be shut down, the Phoenix did so on Calder's first visit to Altrincham. After those ramblings, back to the point of the post, I think the Jet's will stay in 3rd, while they can be caught, I think they will pick up enough points on the way to stay 3rd.

Right, that's it for now, part 2 to follow!

No comments:

Post a Comment