Often Partisan

Twenty Four Goals: The Playoff Picture

It might have been a fourth draw in succession for Blues, but the 1-1 draw against Brighton all but mathematically assures Blues a place in the playoffs in May. For a team that was in fifteenth place in November and that will be playing it’s 60th game of a marathon season next weekend, it’s an achievement.

By virtue of Boro’s defeat of Southampton, Blues’ final opponents of the league season Reading will come to St Andrews as Champions and Boro will still be in with a shout of making the playoffs although they need results to go their way. If Boro win and Cardiff lose then Tony Mowbray’s men will be in the playoffs at the expense of the Welshmen. Otherwise – well, the lack of goals and positive goal difference means that Boro need to beat Watford by eleven goals away to pip Cardiff to a place if the Welshmen draw; otherwise it would take a massive twenty-four goal swing between their win and Reading beating Blues to knock us out. Before someone corrects my maths and points out that the difference between Boro and our GD is 23 (and for that matter Cardiff and Boro’s GD is 10) even if Boro scored 23 (or 10 goals) they’d lose out on goals scored due to having a vastly inferior goals scored tally – they have 51 in comparison to Blues’ 76 and Cardiff’s 64.

Thus we can in reality assume Blues are going to make the playoffs. Currently Blues lie fifth and with the right combination of results could finish fourth; alternatively, they could feasibly end up 6th. The playoff dates are thus:

1st Leg 6 v 3 – Thursday 3rd May 2012, kick-off 7.45pm
1st Leg 5 v 4 – Friday 4th May 2012, kick-off 7.45pm

2nd Leg 3 v 6 – Monday 7th May 2012, kick-off 4.30pm
2nd Leg 4 v 5 – Wednesday 9th May 2012, kick-off 7.45pm

so the advantage to finishing fourth is that a) we’d play the games later and thus have a little more time for our players to recuperate and b) that we’d get to play the second leg of the playoff at home – something I’d much prefer personally. As far as I’m aware the away goals rule is not applicable in the playoffs.

I’ve not seen any news with regards to how tickets for the playoffs are going to be sold; if there is going to be any allocation based on matches attended during the season after seats being sold to season ticket holders. As soon as this information becomes available I will post it up on the site so people are aware.

We won’t know who we are facing until the end of the final round of matches; 3rd place is likely to be West Ham but they can feasibly pip Southampton to 2nd if they win their remaining games and Southampton slip up at the final hurdle. 4th place can go to Blackpool, Blues or Cardiff; 5th to Blackpool, Cardiff, Blues (although an absolutely bizarre set of results would see Boro 5th) and 6th can go to Blackpool, Cardiff, Blues or Boro.

I’m looking forwards to it; I won’t deny that failure in the playoffs will leave me heartbroken as it did back in the times of Trevor Francis but I think we should all be proud of what Blues have achieved this season.

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22 Responses to “Twenty Four Goals: The Playoff Picture”

  • bluenoseneil says:

    I think it’s clear we need to beat the Championship winners next weekend to not only cap off a fine seasons home form, but also to send out a clear message to whoever we face in the playoffs that we are strong contenders.

    Having said all this I won’t be totally crestfallen if we don’t get over the line in the playoffs as there are arguments aplenty to say we wouldn’t immediately benefit from the Premier League return we all want. My head says what the hell but my heart says we could be staring at the business end of Wolves-like status next year if we did go up, due to lack of squad depth and funds to extend it properly. We wouldn’t be doing a Norwich or Swansea given the circumstances.

    In summary I want to go up as a Bluenose but if I allow common sense to prevail, I will be happy staying where we are whilst the club rebuild continues.


  • Richard Cooke (The Grumpy Old Git) says:

    Bluenoseneil, agree entirely with what you say and it’s nice to know I’m not the only Blues fan reading Almajirs’ comments at 6 in the a,m, on a Sunday morning!!


  • bluenose08 says:

    “Whatever will be will be this season will live long in my memory” I think when we play reading ch will rest a lot of the players. If we go up we dont have to go mad spending money as i believe ch can find the players to keep us up as swansea and norwich havent spent a lot.
    Is the play-off final on a saturday or sunday?

  • andy says:

    Blues competed very well in Europe, took Chelsea to a replay in the 5th round of the FA Cup and have now qualified to compete in the end of season play-offs. Its a tremendous season from CH and his team and cannot be underestimated. The play-offs are a competition like any other cup competition and though we cannot expect to win them, we have as good a chance as anybody.

  • EveshamBlue says:

    I cant but help but feel that our injury list (which has hampered us all season) will be our undoing in the playoffs. Ideally we need all our key positions firing to have a chance. It would be a major boost if say Spector and Fahey could somehow make an appearance. Caldwell getting injured didnt help either.

    Who knows I have written off our chances on a number of occasions and CH has always come good. Do we still have one last monumental effort left in us after 60 games?

    I am convinced that without the upheaval of last year with all the comings and goings and cup run distractions – we can hit the ground running next year if we dont go up. Which is not a bad thing.

  • Bluehobba says:

    We will take one game at a time as we have done all season. Win lose or draw, promotion or not, we’re Bluenoses and we will be supporting them next season wherever we are. CH has unfinished business in the Prem so he will be doing what ever it takes to get back there. We fear no one who comes to Stans so it is important we make use of the home advantage we have. For what the club and fans have been through, promotion will be the icing on the cake and deserved.. KRO

    • Daddyblue says:

      Well said Hobba. My head says we would be better staying in the chumpionship but my heart would be broken like OP’s. I would love to see C,H with 10 mill to spend in the prem plus the likes of Butland, Redmond and Much a year older. Imo Murphy,Davies, N’Daw,Burke and king also maybe Ziggy are prem quilty. Long may C.H reign Kro4ever

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Remarkable effort – Phoenix from the Ashes..
    We can now dare to dream the impossible..& I think we would do rather well with CH in the PL.

    As an aside – How many times this season have Blues scored first ?
    & what is their record in those matches W D L – GF & GA – Pts.

    Also if Porstmouth went bust today & all their points were expunged , what difference would that make to the promotion & relegation issues ?

  • Blue Steve says:

    Great achievement from CH and the lads. I like you Almajir think making 4th with the home leg 2nd and avoiding either West Ham or Southampton is worth attaining. Blackpool have Milwall away who are in good form and Reading now have nothing to play for with the Championship secured. I would however be tempted to rest a few so they are fresh for the 1st leg. KRO..

  • AR says:

    Not going up would probably mean Burke & Davies will want to go plus the fact that we wouldn’t have the huge amount of extra cash from the Premiership. The young players we have coming through who would be good enough to put us up near the play-offs are few & far between; Mutch, Redmond, Butland perhaps. Would the manager stay with probably less money to spend? No, for me winning the play-offs would be far better, if only for the money which might help us to survive in a better shape.

  • DoctorD says:

    Let’s face it, the chances of going up are — all things being equal — one in four so I think we should realistically expect not to be promoted.

    Assuming the four who go into the playoffs are Blues, Blackpool, Cardiff and West Ham, here are their various head-to-head results this year:

    Blues 1-1 West Ham
    West Ham 3-3 Blues

    Blues 3-0 Blackpool
    Blackpool 2-2 Blues

    Blues 1-1 Cardiff
    Cardiff 1-0 Blues

    Blackpool 1-4 West Ham
    West Ham 4-0 Blackpool

    Blackpool 1-1 Cardiff
    Cardiff 1-3 Blackpool

    Cardiff 0-2 West Ham
    West Ham 0-1 Cardiff

    So according to that West Ham have the best record (won 3, drawn 2 and lost 1), Cardiff are second with 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats, followed by Blues who have won 1, drawn 4 and lost 1, and Blackpool are worst with 1 win, 2 draws and 3 defeats. Make of that what you will…

  • Bluehobba says:

    Question – Which players are we expecting to recover from those injuries they have now to make the play off squads?

  • Chris says:

    In light of one of the comments above, regarding Portsmouth and their points being expunged, whilst this is HIGHLY unlikely, I found it quite intriguing. Unfortunately, for promotion, it doesn’t change the picture too much.

    Bare in mind that this would then become a 44 game season, and with all points and goals scored/conceded gained from Portsmouth being cancelled, the current top 10 in the Championship would look like this:

    1 Reading 43 30 86
    2 Southampton 43 35 83
    3 West Ham 42 29 74
    4 Blackpool 43 21 73
    5 Birmingham 43 27 70
    6 Cardiff 43 11 68
    7 Middlesbrough 43 0 66
    8 Hull 43 5 65
    9 Leicester 42 11 61
    10 Brighton 43 -3 59

    The only differences would be that Southampton and Reading still have a title to decide, West Ham would be planning on playoffs and Hull could potentially gatecrash the playoffs with a large victory + heavy defeat for Cardiff.

    In terms of relegation I looked at the bottom 6. Forest’s season would now be over, with them having to play Portsmouth next week, so only their goal difference would change. Also, I am assuming that as Portsmouth are bust, only 2 would go down. Sadly, this also has little effect:

    18 Nottm Forest 44 -14 47
    19 Peterborough 43 -8 46
    20 Bristol City 43 -24 46
    21 Barnsley 43 -25 44
    22 Coventry 43 -21 37
    23 Doncaster 43 -33 36

    So all that would change is Forest leapfrogging Peterborough and Bristol, yet Cov and Donny are still too far adrift.

    So to answer your question, as a Bluenose, or even a Midlander, the effect it would have would be very little and of very little care to me!

  • blue says:

    i hope we get west ham over two legs.as i don’t fancy them in a final,especially with a depleted squad. over two legs we’re capable of seeing off the biggest threat.

    whoever we get though,it’s been a brilliant season.


  • Chris says:

    If we’re promoted or not, I just hope we get to the finals for yet another great day out!!!KRO

  • Paulo says:

    Looking at the table as it stands now, I think it’s still a race and all teams want to win! I reckon the table will still change and MIllwall will want to thrash Blackpool because it’s their last game at home, and thats what it going to be like.
    Realistically, Reading will want to give us a kicking, just for their away fans, and our massive injury list will mean it’s in their favour.
    If we get number 6, we will get West Ham. If we get 5th, we wont. Thats pretty much it. What I cant see is us getting 4th so we can get our 2nd leg at home ..and that is down to NOT winning 3 points at Ipswich and Brighton for each match. If we were hungry enough, we would have done it.
    Let’s see what happens on Saturday, as all 12 matches kick off at 12.30, so my guess is a lot of networks will go down!!! ..shame we wont get plenty of drinking time really.

    BCFC ..all the way!

  • Chris says:

    Paulo get a life mate, Blues didn’t win at Ipswich or Brighton because the side is depleted & the players are probably cream crackered & starting to feel the effects of playing 60 odd games so far this season, I can’t believe you’re accusing them of not being hungry after what they have achieved so far this season. Maybe you’d have been better off following AMc to his bunch of loooooosers at vile park. KRO

    • DoctorD says:

      Calm down mate – bit of an over-reaction to Paulo? All he said was we weren’t hungry enough in those two matches. Not that they weren’t hungry – just not enough. That doesn’t turn him into a viler fan.

      Anyway it’s gonna be interesting – you never know, maybe Southampton drop into the playoffs (it could happen) and Boro might push past Cardiff. The latter have a habit of messing it up at the final hurdle. The pressure’s off Boro after all.

  • nicko says:

    the best season for years i thought we would struggle if we dont go up
    i think we could next season no europe less games if you look at the last
    10 games towards the end especialy away from home we are getting caught
    the lads are tired but fair play to them they have never moaned. in the play offs
    i think west ham could bottle it with the pressure gold and sullivan will put on
    there manager birmingham cardiff final were your tin hats kro c/h desered a medal
    nicko blue through and through

  • BCFCnic says:

    @doctorD…dont forget even if we do draw, that away goals count, and tbf it can be assumed blues will get an away goal

  • NooBloo says:

    Do you know what really struck me as what would have been a great achievement for Chris Hughton. Not only to see his team make the play off’s but also to have seen his son’s name on the team sheet on the bench. He was probably a very proud man at the weekend

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