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Immediately
End of season
When successor found
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Dr Fishy's Division One Dog Fight

By: Dr Fishy
Date: 02/01/2003

LIKE every other month in the football calendar the next one will be absolutely crucial. For some time fans in this division have determined that it will be any three from five for the drop but the next few weeks might begin to make things clearer.

For instance, Brighton were the clear failures during the start of the season but just recently they swapped places with Sheffield Wednesday after experiencing an upsurge in form under new boss Steve Coppell.

Just under a month ago 10 points separated just three places in the table, signaling a cut-off point between the relegation fodder and those teams whose fans could breathe more easily.

But now a relatively safe Walsall team of two weeks ago are now starting to look over their shoulders as the bottom teams have recently discovered how to win games. Although this won't last forever if the improvement continues other teams will begin to sweat.

Here are the next four fixtures for each of the bottom five teams, and next to them are my predictions just like when playing the Pools. Then there's a rough estimate of what the bottom of the table will look like judging by my estimates.

I suppose it's a bit like the Relegation Calculator although an early basic version in a more simplified format. This of course does not include any of the replays following the postponed games of New Year's Day.

Brighton
11/01/03Coventry (a)Home win
18/01/03Portsmouth (h)Away win
01/02/03Walsall (a)Draw
08/02/03Wolves (h)Draw

Sheff Wed
11/01/03Reading (h)Draw
17/01/03Sheff Utd (a)Home win
01/02/03Wolves (h)Draw
08/02/03Norwich (h)Home win

Stoke
11/01/03Leicester (a)Home win
18/01/03Derby (h)Draw
01/02/03Norwich (a)Home win
08/02/03Grimsby (a)Draw

Grimsby
11/01/03Wimbledon (a)Home win
18/01/03Millwall (h)Home win
01/02/03Portsmouth (a)Home win
08/02/03Stoke (h)Draw

Bradford
11/01/03Crystal Palace (h)Draw
18/01/03Rotherham (a)Home win
01/02/03Ipswich (h)Away win
08/02/03Wimbledon (a)Draw

Projected League Table
Bradford3030
Grimsby3028

Stoke3125
Sheff Wed3125
Brighton3020

My predicted league table doesn't include any other teams who might drop into the relegation battle e.g. Walsall but as things might turn out, there won't be much change amongst the bottom five.

Bradford City, with as many points as games played, are in a safe position but if they were to continue in the same form, a point a game doesn't usually guarantee safety. So will this season be any different?


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