Saturday, 26 April 2014

The race for sixth place: Update

Since my last look at the battle for the last remaining play-off spot, there have been just three games in The Championship, but they could all prove crucial.

Each of the results went against Forest; on Tuesday night Reading beat Middlesbrough, as we expected. This was their game in hand, and they leap-frogged Forest in the process. Leicester's victory against Bolton on the same evening could also prove costly, as it won them the title; a loss would have spurred Burnley on, who we need to carry on picking up points as they face two of our rivals.

Matters took a further turn for the worst last night, with Brighton beating Yeovil 2-0. I had a sneaking suspicion that Yeovil would get a result against The Royals, but it was not to be. So Forest's two main rivals for sixth place have both struck significant blows,  leaving very little room for error.

With both Reading and Brighton winning, it would seem that Forest too must win today against Bournemouth - although a draw may not necessarily prove fatal - at the very least, to stay in the hunt, Forest must match whatever Reading do against Doncaster.

However, such a result would possibly let in Ipswich or Blackburn, a win for either would put them above The Reds in the even of a draw, and in any case Forest would then be relying on Reading failing to win on the final day; Forest in reality need to win today.

Our opponents have been all but eliminated by the two results earlier this week - it is mathematically possible for The Cherries to get 6th place, but they would need all the teams above them to lose their remaining games, as well as improving their goal difference by a dozen or so goals. How this will effect them is yet to be seen, but with Eddie Howe's side having nothing to play for, you would like to think Forest had a good chance today.

Whatever happens, I expect today to be a volatile game (as in the score-line, not that it will be a physical battle) with quite a few goals. I think if Forest win both remaining games they will go into the play-offs, but it's looking like a very close finish if I'm honest, I can see Forest being one of three teams on 69 points, and losing out on goal difference.

Thanks for reading, good luck Forest!

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