Who Has The Easiest Run-In? February 2018
As the season enters the final furlong, this is an opportune moment to take a look at the remaining fixtures in League Two and try to establish which teams have the easiest run-in.
You know the method by now: take each team in turn and add up the current league position of every side they have still to play this season, divided by the number of games played. This calculation produces the average league position of each opponent, home and away.
For example, if you have to play the teams in 6th and 10th at home, you have an average home opponent score of 8.00.
The lower the average score, the harder your fixtures look on paper. Therefore the teams at the top of the following three tables have the easiest fixtures in theory, those at the bottom the hardest.
• If your team is near the bottom of both the League Two table and the OVERALL table below, start worrying - it means you are struggling and have a relatively tough set of fixtures remaining. Chesterfield, Morecambe and particularly Yeovil look to have a very hard run-in.
• Conversely, if your team is near the top of both tables, a good end to the season may well be in the offing because you have done well and have a relatively easy set of fixtures remaining. Falling into this category would be Wycombe, Exeter, Swindon, Lincoln and Luton.
• However, if you are high in the League Two table but low in these three tables, you may have a tougher end to the season because your fixtures look comparatively hard. Falling into this category are Accrington, Colchester, Notts County, Coventry and Mansfield.
• And the opposite could be true: if you are in the lower reaches of League Two but high in these tables, you could be in a good position to stay up. Barnet appear to have a great set of fixtures, although they have a wide points gap to close.
There is one caveat: is playing the sides at the foot of the table during the closing weeks necessarily a good thing?
Let's split the numbers between home and away fixtures now.
Again, the clubs at the top have the easiest fixtures remaining.
• Lincoln are relatively low down in the home table due to games against Wycombe and Exeter, but surely better to be playing the better teams at home, rather than away?
• Of the teams challenging at the top, Notts County have a tough set of home fixtures remaining with three of the top 4 still to go to Meadow Lane.
• Of the teams struggling at the bottom, Chesterfield have a horrific set of home fixtures, having to play five of the top 7.
• Yeovil are in a similar position, with three of the top 4 still to visit Huish Park.
And now for the AWAYS; remember the teams at the top have the easiest fixtures:
• So the Imps have the ninth-easiest set of away fixtures on paper, but other than games at Accrington, Mansfield and Coventry, they still have to visit relegation-threatened Morecambe and Chesterfield too.
• Accrington have a tough set of aways to add to a challenging set of homes: they have still to visit the other three teams in the top 4.
• Coventry have to visit three of the top 5.
• Yeovil have the second most difficult set of aways to add to the third most difficult home schedule. Incredibly, they have to play twelve of the top 13 sides. They may well be glad of the current eleven-point gap come the beginning of May.
• Chesterfield appear to have an easy set of away games on paper, but they have to play five of the other teams in the bottom 7 away from home. Those five games will determine which league they are in next season.
• Notts County have still to go to Chesterfield, Forest Green and Grimsby.
None of this may actually amount to very much of course, because form often goes out of the window in March and April. Injuries and suspensions will inevitably come into play, and who knows how nerves and fighting spirit will affect teams at the top and bottom?
You can discuss this on 100% Imps HERE!