Finals- The equation

There’s so much to play for going into the final round, at both the top and the bottom of the table. The only team who’s position which cannot change is Melbourne Victory, who cannot catch Sydney, nor can they be caught by Adelaide. As for the rest, well read on and see who needs what result to achieve their goals.

 

Firstly here’s a look at the A-League table going into the final round:

The race for the Premiers plate:
Well the race for the plate has been a two horse race for a while now but in truth it should have been won by the Mariners a month ago given the commanding lead they held. Going into the most recent Roar- Mariners clash in early February they held a commanding 11 point lead and had a game in hand to boot. Since that time they’ve collected a meagre 8 points from a possible 21. The Roar in comparison since that game in Gosford have picked up 14 points from a possible 18.  Regardless of who wins the plate these two sides will meet for the 2nd consecutive season in the major semi- final. So who needs what result to win the plate? Well:

 

Central Coast Mariners:

Will win the plate:

–          If they win

–          If they draw/lose and Brisbane fails to beat Gold Coast.

 

Brisbane Roar:
Will win the plate:

–          If Central Coast fails to beat Wellington, and they get the maximum 3 points from their game against Gold Coast

 

The race for finals positions:

The race for the finals is a little more complicated than at the top of the league with two separate battles going on. Wellington and Perth are fighting it out for 3rd while Melbourne Heart, Newcastle and Sydney are fighting for the final two playoff positions.

 

The 1st battle in the lower finals is a straight fight between Perth Glory and Wellington Phoenix, with both sides equal on both points and goal difference. Right now the two are separated on goals scored with Glory 3 goals ahead on that count. It is possible for both sides to win their matches this weekend, but Wellington will need to win by 4 goals more than Perth to finish 3rd. So if Perth beat Victory 2-0 for example, Wellington would have to put 6 past Central Coast- unlikely but not impossible. I have absolutely no idea how the two sides would be split if they ended up on the same points, goal difference and goals scored.

 

Perth Glory:

Will finish 3rd:


– 
They beat Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix doesn’t beat Central Coast by 4 goals more, or Wellington lose/draw vs. Central Coast.

–          They draw with Victory, and Wellington draws with Central Coast

–          They lose to Melbourne and Phoenix loses to the Mariners.

 

Wellington Phoenix:

Will finish 3rd:

–          They beat Central Coast and Perth fails to beat Melbourne V.

–          They beat Central Coast by 4 goals more than Perth beats Victory by

–          They draw with Central Coast and Perth loses to Victory.

 

Now onto the battle for 5th and 6th spot and while it’s not mathematically impossible for Heart to miss the finals, it would require a big goal difference swing to see them miss out on their maiden finals berth. In essence they would need to be pumped by Adelaide and Sydney and Newcastle would have to end in a draw. Again, possible, but extremely unlikely. In reality it’s a matter of if Sydney can beat the Jets at home. If yes they are in, if not they are out, a draw is in all likelihood not going to cut it.

 

Melbourne Heart:
Will finish 5th:

–          If they beat Adelaide

–          If they draw with Adelaide and Sydney-Newcastle ends in a draw.

 

Will finish 6th:

–          If they draw/lose to Adelaide and either Sydney or Newcastle wins

 

Will miss the finals:

–          If they lose to Adelaide by 8 goals and Sydney- Newcastle ends in a draw

 

Newcastle Jets:
Will finish 5th:

–          If they beat Sydney and Heart lose/draw vs. Adelaide

 

Will finish 6th:

–          If they draw with Sydney, and Heart draw/ win vs. Adelaide

 

Will miss the finals:

–          If they lose to Sydney

 

Sydney FC:

Will finish 5th:

–          If they beat Newcastle and Heart lose/draw against Adelaide

 

Will Finish 6th:

– If they beat Newcastle and Heart beat Adelaide

 

Will miss the finals:

–          If they lose/draw against Newcastle

 

The race to avoid the Wooden Spoon:

 Despite all belief that Gold Coast had the Wooden Spoon wrapped up, they have a chance to avoid the unwanted ‘honour’ on the very last day. This is due to the fact that they have a vastly superior goal difference to Adelaide:

 

Adelaide:
Will finish last:

– If they lose to Heart, and Gold Coast beats Brisbane

 

Gold Coast:

Will finish last:

–          If Adelaide win/draw with Melbourne Heart

–          If Adelaide beats Heart, but they lose/draw to Brisbane

 
So there you have it there are the results required to make this weekend interesting in a whole host of ways. Of course all Brisbane eyes will be on the M1 derby and hoping that Phoenix does them a favour in the race for the plate, but the battle for the top 6 will also be extremely fascinating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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