Season 8 - Week 9

Crunchtime, one week to go and we are no closer to knowing the ups and downs in all leagues, but what we do know for sure is that you can make no more mistakes, there are no more chances to make up for poor picks.  I will mostly be discussing the promotion and relegation candidates, and for this I will assume that if you are within £2 of a promotion or relegation spot you have a good chance of going up or down - anything from £2+ is an outside chance, £3+ is unlikely.

On that basis Nik Simms looks a good bet for the overall title, but a sensational season for Paul Shakespeare has given him an outside chance of the title, to have two people above £10 going into the last week is a testament to the high quality picking.  To put it into perspective Stapleton, Hughes and Kelly would have won the overall league in most seasons with their totals and they are all £6+ off the pace (not to say their £8+ totals are not worthy of both mention and congratulation).

At the other end Gurd went safe to avoid the humiliation of 9 consecutive losses, but still looks set for bottom spot, although Lloyd and Lewis need to find winners to avoid the indignity of rock bottom.

The Pele League

The top two are an incredible £7 clear of the rest of the field and although Kelly has only an outside chance of catching Shakespeare, the fact that Shakespeare will need a big pick for the overall title may work in his favour.  Congratulations to both though on a fantastic season.

Clare, Cornwall, Noyce and Lines (T) are miles from promotion or relegation and will be picking only for pride and their place in the all-time league.

At the bottom it has been 3 from 4 for some time now and in all likelihood it is probably only Rosser and Ingham who will make the final safety spot, Lewis and Gurd are c£3 adrift of safety and need one of their patented miracle picks to escape.

The Maradona League

Smith and Gibbons (M) have been picking for promotion for some time now and another week of solid picking has seen Smith safe for promotion.  Gibbons still has some work to do with 4th within shooting range.  Gould tried for a safe pick to get in a similar position, but Villa slipped up against Wigan and he is now only 93p clear of Britcliffe whose pick of Fulham to beat Birmingham has given him every chance of promotion to the top flight.  Drury also has an outside chance, but will need odds of at least 1.15 and for results to go his way elsewhere.

In the bottom 5 only Gibbons (T) managed to find a winner and has correspondingly dragged himself into 6th, but with Southworth only £1 shy of his total he is far from safe.  Another win please Trevor, to maintain the family honour.  Chadbourne is in a similar situation and must pick a winner next week, or else rely on results elsewhere.

As we head further down the situation becomes ever more bleak, as Southworth must pick a winner (full stop) and hope that Gibbons and Chadbourne either slip up or pick a much short priced winner.  Pilkington and Lloyd need huge winners and smug and smugger look doomed.

The Gary Lineker League

Sensible picking from Lines (N) and Bailey looks to have assured them promotion, bar a slip up in Week 10.  Jake Jones chose the wrong week to slip up and drops out of the promotion zone at a crucial time.  But with just £1.10 separating Rogers, Jones, Lowe, Finch and Virdi the last promotion spot is far from assured.

The added danger for the promotion hopefuls is that even Rodgers in 3rd is only £2.53 clear of Dunk in the relegation zone and a preoccupation with the promotion battle may well see them relegated.  Both Dunk and Kinsella will hold out hope that this may provide them a lifeline to escape relegation.... and dare I say an unlikely promotion?

Holland looks doomed and needs to find a long-shot.

The Paul Dickov League

A remarkable season for Stapleton continues unabated and he can now afford the luxury of shooting for the overall title with an long-shot in week 10.  Booth looks equally clear in second and can now think about his Lineker league strategy.

Behind them..... well I think most are autopicking (and will be deleted in the summer if they haven't logged in recently).  Given the autopicking nature, Malone in 9th should be a) disappointed with his form but also b) hopeful of escaping relegation with some good maths and (more importantly) a good pick.

The Jason Lee League

The pressure has finally told in this high quality league and Ross Jones was first to blink, the failure of Donny to be Cheltenham has left him adrift of the top 3 at this crucial stage.  Hughes (finally picking another winner), Callan and Roberts are now over £2 clear at the top and (deservingly given they are all £6+) look set for promotion.  Spare a thought for Ross and Andrew Jones both having good seasons but look to be thwarted by the quality elsewhere.

At the bottom the high quality nature is continued, and someone may well be relegated in positive figures.  Rick Jones wouldn't be in the relegation zone in 3 other leagues but in this league is bottom, but only £2.31 from safety.  It's 3 from 4 with nerves of steel required.

The Ali Dia League

Nik Simms is a predicting God and will end the season with at least £13.55 - a big new record - will he go for broke in week 10 or settle for a 1.45 pick to end on £15+?

Behind him Curphey is in a strong position, but with Ono and Tustin x 2 withing range he needs to find one more winner....

Martins and Nikuradze look gone at the bottom but Daniel Lewis could still catch Hickey (and maybe Bradley) and escape further relegation.


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