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Rams key games to play


plymouthram
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Looking at the current league table with 15 or in Derby's case 16 games to play. I think the top 2 is decided barring a massive drop in form by Newcastle and Brighton, they should take the automatic promotion spots. I do believe the other place can only go to any team in the top 9 places, unless any one lower went on a 15 match unbeaten run. So I looked at the 7 teams more likely to secure a play off spot and possibly go to Wembley and secure promotion the squeaky bum way. I looked at their remaining fixtures against any of the top 9 teams. The interesting fact is Derby only have 4 fixtures against the top 9 teams. That being Brighton (a), Fulham (h), Huddersfield (h) and Sheff W (a).

Other rivals as follows, Huddersfield= Reading (h), Newcastle (h), Norwich (h), Derby (a) and Fulham (h).  

Reading= Huddersfield (a), Brighton (a), Newcastle (h), Sheff W (a), Leeds (h) and Norwich (a).

Leeds= Sheff W (h), Fulham (a), Brighton (a), Reading (a), Newcastle (a) and Norwich (h)

Sheff W= Leeds (a), Norwich (h), Reading (h), Newcastle (h) and Derby (h).

Norwich= Newcastle (h), Sheff W (a), Huddersfield (a), Reading (h),Fulham (h),Brighton (h) and Leeds (a)

Fulham= Leeds (h), Newcastle (a), Derby (a), Norwich (a) and Huddersfield (a).

I know we and the other rivals could drop points against other sides especially against teams fighting off relegation. But I do think these games are possibly going to be 6 pointers. The other fact is our 4 remaining fixtures of the mentioned teams we have to play is barring Huddersfield late, late goal the other 3 have not beat us this season.                                                     

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At this stage, every game is key.

Playing so few games against other top 10 teams could be a blessing if we put away the teams we are supposed to beat and build up momentum, which almost always comes to a grinding halt when we play a 6 pointer.

On the other hand, it could be a curse. The more games you have against the teams around you, the greater the psychological blow you can deliver by winning the 6 pointers and the more direct an influence you have over how your rivals perform in the run-in. This beats relying on other teams to give you a hand.

On the whole though, I'd say we should take it one game at a time. We can't afford to look past anyone. We were probably a bit guilty of that on Saturday. We need to apply ourselves and play to our maximum in each game and see where it takes us.

 

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You can look at it lots of different ways, but if you lose to a team around you it is a massive blow(being a 6 pointer), but losing to a team not in the promotion race is not as bad. Put it this way, Norwich only have 15 matches to play and half of them are against the top 9 teams. Glad Derby haven't got their fixtures left to play. Leeds isn't much better with 6 of their remaining games against the top 9 teams (they have already lost 11 league games). And once all the league games are complete and you finish in the play offs, what experience does your squad have in playing in these games. Only Sheffield Weds(last season), Norwich recently and Derby also last season  have. If you look at the odds for the teams going to win the play offs for this season the bookies do have them 3 teams as favourites over the other 4.

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If anyone outside the current top 6 get into the top 6 I imagine it will take a run of huge proportions, like the one we did when we didnt concede for 8 games and won 7 in a row.

Call it down to 9th if you want. Most years the team which sneaks up to get into the top 2, or the one which breaks into the playoffs from far back, is the team which didnt lose any game to any of its competitors and beat just about everyone else.

Think of Burnley last season, or Watford and Norwich the year before that.

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but all irrelevant when you draw at home to Wigan and Bristol City et al...we should be pasting these teams..

i cannot see us breaking in the top 6 - i think we will be up to the matching of the higher teams  - but our all round form won't take us there - we haven't a settled team

i also don't want to crawl into the playoffs and whimper out...

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1 hour ago, irobinson said:

but all irrelevant when you draw at home to Wigan and Bristol City et al...we should be pasting these teams..

i cannot see us breaking in the top 6 - i think we will be up to the matching of the higher teams  - but our all round form won't take us there - we haven't a settled team

i also don't want to crawl into the playoffs and whimper out...

Makes absolutely no difference where the points come from. Chelsea will still win the title despite drawing with Burnley.

Everybody knows what roughly the points target is to get in the play offs.

Having been so far behind at the end of September there is no way we will 'crawl into the play offs'.

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5 hours ago, jagerbob said:

If anyone outside the current top 6 get into the top 6 I imagine it will take a run of huge proportions, like the one we did when we didnt concede for 8 games and won 7 in a row.

Call it down to 9th if you want. Most years the team which sneaks up to get into the top 2, or the one which breaks into the playoffs from far back, is the team which didnt lose any game to any of its competitors and beat just about everyone else.

Think of Burnley last season, or Watford and Norwich the year before that.

That isn't actually true. The year Wayford went up they had a very poor record against the other top 8 teams. I believe we had the best record against the other teams in the top 8 and finished 8th. We took 4 points off Watford, Bournemouth, and Ipswich. 3 off Wolves. 2 off Norwich and 1 off Brentford. The only team we didnt take anything off was Boro.

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Looks like it'll take 80 points to make the play offs this year - a higher mark than usual.

So we'll need to go something like W11 L5 or W10 D3 L3.

@G STAR RAM is correct, it makes no difference where the points come from - if we finish on 80 points and miss out on the play offs then such is life. If we finish on 80 points we'd have gone at exactly 2 points per game for the 37 games post-Pearson which is more than we could have even dreamed of when we were watching that early season guff being churned out,

To even be targeting the playoffs after the abysmal start is a bonus anyway - not that some of our more entitled "supporters" think like that, we should just relax and enjoy the ride.

 

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It's all irrelevant we need to pick up as many points as possible and see where we are with three games to go, the odds are against us but we can muck up a few other teams fourtunes 

if all the teams contesting are honest they need to worry about Norwich as they haven't even started playing well until very recently and would be favourites in the play offs if they make it.

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75 points to more or less ensure a play off place, 16 games to go.

28 points needed minimum.

7 wins & 7 draws would do it.

We can still grab 5th or 6th place, 3rd/4th now out of reach I reckon.

Considering the bad start that would be a great achievement.

Most crucial thing is surely to make sure that the most important players are contracted to the end of NEXT season whichever league we're in so that if we don't go up we still have the nucleus of the squad rather than possibly seeing it broken up.  The best of this squad plus Thorne & Martin coming back would be a force in either league I reckon.

COYR!!!

LR2

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11 hours ago, jagerbob said:

If anyone outside the current top 6 get into the top 6 I imagine it will take a run of huge proportions, like the one we did when we didnt concede for 8 games and won 7 in a row.

Call it down to 9th if you want. Most years the team which sneaks up to get into the top 2, or the one which breaks into the playoffs from far back, is the team which didnt lose any game to any of its competitors and beat just about everyone else.

Think of Burnley last season, or Watford and Norwich the year before that.

I wouldn't say a run of huge proportions. Norwich are only 2 points behind Wednesday and they still have to play each other. OK Wednesday have the advantage with a game in hand and their match against Norwich being at home but, if they slip up and only draw their game in hand (quite possible in this league) and then lose to Norwich (again, quite possible) then it's advantage Norwich. 

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1 hour ago, LondonRam2 said:

75 points to more or less ensure a play off place, 16 games to go.

28 points needed minimum.

7 wins & 7 draws would do it.

We can still grab 5th or 6th place, 3rd/4th now out of reach I reckon.

Considering the bad start that would be a great achievement.

Most crucial thing is surely to make sure that the most important players are contracted to the end of NEXT season whichever league we're in so that if we don't go up we still have the nucleus of the squad rather than possibly seeing it broken up.  The best of this squad plus Thorne & Martin coming back would be a force in either league I reckon.

COYR!!!

LR2

I think this year will be a record for points needed for play offs. 1 or 2 teams are gonna miss out with plenty enough points any other season. Not saying 75 won't be enough but if it is, I would imagine it's only just enough 

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3 hours ago, LondonRam2 said:

 

Considering the bad start that would be a great achievement.

 

yep I thought that but I have just had a look at the table when Macca came back and we haven't made any real impact with the teams above us apart from surprisingly Norwich who did have a torrid time at the end of the year,  Bit surprising so perhaps some statto could check my cursory overview

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21 minutes ago, Spanish said:

yep I thought that but I have just had a look at the table when Macca came back and we haven't made any real impact with the teams above us apart from surprisingly Norwich...

Nope don't get what you mean there, you can't be saying we've made no impact on the teams above us as then we were near the bottom and now we're closer to the top?

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I think that pressure is a key factor here. If we win tonight then we firmly throw our hat in the mix. That puts a little more pressure on those teams above us. The logic is that on current form(pecking order) Cardiff are better than Leeds. We beat Cardiff, then the Rams are very much better than Leeds. Has the Leeds dressing room got the character to bounce back? If they fail to win the next match then those pressures will rise and rise. I don't think Reading or Sheffield Wednesday face the same sort of pressure as Leeds. 

Of course we still have to win our matches..but my gut feeling is that Leeds will blow it. Perhaps our result vs BCFC and Leeds vs Cardiff is evidence that we are just entering a high pressure time for the top half of the table. Next 4 games will define which current top six teams are solidly top six, and which are the ones who have to worry about not making it into the playoffs. Teams will beat other teams. Unfancied teams will spring the odd result here and there. Fear of relegation is a big motivator...in some cases a bigger motivation than promotion. 

So pressure does funny things. Is Mac a good general when the pressure builds  up?

I think we are about to find out?!!

 

 

 

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Looking at the teams above (and still not including Newcastle or Brighton who should cross the line with out worrying about play offs). HUDDERSFIELD; Most games won by the odd goal, regularly concede goals, not had any major injuries with small squad. Could still have a bad run in from now till the end of the season.

READING; Jaap Stam got them playing lovely passing football but like Huddersfield, win by the odd goal and also have a small squad (quite a few players on loan from other teams).

LEEDS; Had a bad start in August recovered, seem to have very few draws already lost 11 games and rely on Chris Woods as their main goal getter. Could struggle if he got loss of form or long term injury.

SHEFFIELD WEDS; Not as good as last season. Major stat this season so far is they have only won 4 matches against the current top 10 teams.

NORWICH; This is the team in form currently. But have not beaten many of the teams currently chasing a play off places. Found their form beating Derby, could always be due another bad spell with half their fixtures remaining against the top 10 teams.

FULHAM; Did not win a game in September. Very good at home, but with Newcastle, Derby, Norwich and Huddersfield still to play away from home could see them tail off in the play off race.

DERBY; The team with the least games left against the current top 9 teams. With Brighton and Sheff W away, Huddersfield and Fulham(minus Chris Martin) at home to play.  

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