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Southampton Shrimper

Team Eggheads
Mar 23, 2005
East Hampshire
The League One table appears to be splitting into seven distinct groups at the moment. These are:

1. Likely champions - Leicester City 10 points ahead of the rest

2. Promotion chasers - MK Dons and our next opponents Scunthorpe

3. Three likely play-off contenders

4. The play-off chasing pack - from Leeds to Colchester

5. The top of the second half of the table pack - this is where we are right now

6. Three relegation-threatened teams

7. Three likely relegation candidates

Of course, things can change pretty quickly, but it certainly looks at the moment that the best we can hope for this season is to stay at the top of the second half of the table pack (which is actually 12th place). This is actually the largest and tightest of the 7 groups, so because results within the group generally went our way after our win yesterday enabling us to leap from 17th to 13th, defeat against Scunthorpe could send us back down to 18th place if other results went against us. There are seven teams separated by just three points in this group.

Obviously, teams can move between these groups with a particularly good or bad run - the two most recent movers being Yeovil, whose win at Roots Hall was the first of three consecutive victories to lift them away from the relegation contenders, and our next opponents Scunthorpe, whose four wins in their last five league games has seen them move from play-off contenders to serious challengers for the second automatic promotion slot.

Comparing the table with this time last season, the leaders at that time were also ten points ahead of the rest and went on to win the title (also by 10 points). Three of the bottom four at that time ended up getting relegated and the fourth relegated team, Gillingham, were only one point above the drop zone at the start of February. The only team from the play-off chasing pack to make into the play-offs was us. The team in 13th place at the start of February ended up in 8th place.

I'd take that right now.