18 March 2006

The maths

I am surprised at myself for even thinking about doing this because I normally live by the mantra that it's not over until the fat lady sings. On this occassion, however, the fat lady may not have sung yet but she has at the very least warmed up her lungs and switched on the microphone. As this is the case, I will indulge in a bit of end of season maths:

-Reading drew at home to Wolves today while Leeds drew away at Coventry.
-This means that Leeds can get a maximum of 95 points by the end of the season. Reading are currently on 91 points.
-This means that Reading need 4 points to guarantee finishing in the top two of the league and therefore be promoted to the Premier League for the first time in the club's 135 year history.

The scenarios for the coming week:
-If Leeds win at Crystal Palace on Tuesday, they will still be on course for a 95 points total.
-If this happens, Reading will be promoted next Saturday if they win at Leicester and Leeds only draw or lose their match that day.

-If Leeds draw at Crystal Palace, they will have a maximum points potential of 93 points.
-A win for Reading at Leicester on Saturday would take us to 94 points and therefore be mathematically uncatchable and we would be promoted.
-Even if Reading lose that game, we can still be promoted if Leeds also lose on that day because they would only have a maximum points total of 90 points.

-If Leeds lose at Crystal Palace they will only have a maximum points target of 92 points.
-In that case, a win for Reading at Leicester next Saturday will secure promotion.
-Even if Reading do lose that game, they will still be promoted if Leeds lose or draw their match that day because they will only be able to get a maximum of 90 or 89 points as a result.

There are so many 'ifs' but it's great that the word 'if' no longer applies to a question of whether or not Reading will be promoted at all. It's used as a means of calculating when it will happen. The only certain thing is that the earliest Reading can be promoted is next Saturday and doing this requires Reading to win that match and have Leeds pick up no more than a win and a draw from their next two matches. It is totally feasible that this will happen.

However, I actually hope it doesn't and this is for the purely selfish reason that my brothers and I have tickets for Reading's home match against Derby on April 1st and I would love it if promotion was only secured on that day so I can witness it with my own eyes.

Whatever happens, I surrender it to God and accept whatever the outcome is. It's great to be in this position.

(Just in case it helps to understand, a win gets you 3 points, a draw gets you 1, a loss gets you 0. The season is 46 matches long. Reading have played 39 matches so far. Leeds have played 38.)


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