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Monday, October 24, 2011

Magic Number: Seven Games Left

Following FC Tokyo's 0-0 draw at Tosu yesterday (a Match Report from Tokyo Bairn is on its way), our Magic Number for promotion has been reduced to.................
10 points.

The 'Magic Number' is the number of points we need to earn from the seven remaining games to guarantee promotion as one of the top three in J2. When I started keeping track of it - in my Okayama Preview with ten games left - the number stood at 22, and its dropped by 12 in the three games since, as we've picked up seven points from our two wins and a draw, and most importantly, Sapporo and Tokushima have dropped points.

Here's a breakdown of how it works out at 10 points, and I'll try and make it as unconfusing as possible (and probably fail):
  • FC Tokyo have 64 points;
  • 4th-placed Sapporo have 53 (having lost their last three and slipped from 2nd) and if they win all seven games, they'll reach 74 BUT...
  • They play 3rd-placed Tokushima (55) on Wednesday;
  • A Sapporo win would mean that Tokushima would fall to 4th and could only get to 73;
  • Therefore we need 10 points to get out of reach at 74.
  • (Our massive advantage in goal difference means 73 points would actually be enough, but again, to be 100% safe I've taken GD out of the equation.)
Of course if Tokushima beat Sapporo the number will drop further, and if we beat Oita at Kokuritsu on Wednesday it could fall to as low as five, making it possible that we may be able to seal promotion with a win in the derby! I'm getting ahead of myself/counting chickens of course, but would there be anything sweeter? No, there wouldn't. Nearly nine months later, my hopeful prediction in Nine Months of ....... (written when the fixture list was released) may just come true...

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