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Sunderland v Crewe Alexandra - Sky Bet League One

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Reader’s Corner: Predicting how the league table might end up... does it reflect well on SAFC?

RR reader Gerard is back with his laptop to check up on his predictions and to see how close he is to the reality when it comes to the race for the League One Play-Offs. Fancy writing? - send us an email!

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

A quick recap to remind you my spreadsheet has us in a three-way fight with Sheff Wed and Wycombe for that sixth spot.

My top six picks two weeks ago were: Wigan Champions with ninety-nine points, Rotherham runners up on eighty-nine, then in the play offs, MK Dons with eighty-eight, Oxford with eighty-three, Plymouth with eighty-two and The Lads with eighty-two.

Let’s see how Saturday’s results fared compared to my spreadsheet.

Saturday April 2nd, and top team Rotherham didn’t play a league game.

Wigan are still sitting in second place - I had Wigan down to get three points and they only managed one against Bolton. Had they won against Bolton they would have gone top... might they have a spectacular collapse? Nah, let’s face it, with eight games left for them they can probably draw their way to promotion now.

MK Dons are sitting in third - the spreadsheet declared three points for a home win against Shrewsbury, and the Dons duly obliged. With only six games left, they still have Sheff Wed home, Oxford, and Plymouth away to play. If they win or at worst draw those games, then that goes a long way to helping our cause.

Sheffield Wednesday v Huddersfield Town - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Plymouth played Oxford, both of whom I think will finish ahead of us, and with Plymouth being the home team, I had Plymouth for all three points and that’s the way this one played out. Plymouth only have five games left and in those five play four of the current top eight. If I’m wrong about results, then these would be a great one to have got wrong and put them out of the playoffs.

Oxford have six left, and should have three winnable out of Morecambe, Fleetwood, and Doncaster, which means they will probably approach the game against us as must not lose, rather than trying to outgun us.

This coming Tuesday, I have them beating Morecambe away, I’ll be watching their result on Tuesday hoping I’m wrong and they fail to get all three points.

The Lads I had as collecting all three points against Gillingham, and despite leaving it until the end and a handful of blood pressure pills, the late goal gave us the three points to keep us on track. With only six games left, I see folks saying things like,

“Beat Oxford and we’re in the playoffs!”

I don’t see that - obviously beating Oxford would be great and definitely go a long way to cementing our place in the playoffs, but the way I see it, Alex Neil has us set up to win at home and not lose away.

Using that, I can see if we win our home games we should make the playoffs.

Sunderland v Oxford United - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Sheffield Wednesday I had down as collecting all three points at home to AFC Wimbledon, and there were no surprises as they collected the points, and “passed go” in the process.

Wednesday with six games left are currently collecting points and have surprised me with their recent surge. Luckily, (fingers crossed) they have four of the last six away from home, and their away form over the season is the same as ours, where approximately in sixty-seven percent of their away games they either draw or lose - that means, and yes I’m banking on it, that they will lose or draw three out their four away.

Wycombe were at home to the lowly Doncaster, and once again the spreadsheet and Wycombe were aligned with the three points going to the home side. Wycombe also have six games left, three away and three at home. Their away form is also nothing to get excited about, and as a result, I only have them picking up the odd point away from home. They are in action on Tuesday 5th away to Cambridge, a big day for us even though we’re not playing a game.

Down in ninth, Ipswich lost at home, I had them as a home win yesterday collecting all three points, and while I’m loathed to call a season around one game or result, I’d never really fancied them to make the playoffs so late in the season - this loss must surely put them out of the equation.

Six games left for us, hopefully turns into nine. This may surprise some of you, but out of the last six games, the spreadsheet has us only needing twelve points - Saturday nearly kyboshed that and almost made that needing fourteen from eighteen, “Phew!”

Win all of our games and as “Captain Obvious” might say, “We’re in the playoffs!” Seems the team to watch is Sheff Wed, they have four out of their last six away from home, that’s where I have them faltering.

Hope I’m right.

Do you still see us top six after Saturday’s almost two points dropped?


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