UPDATE 21:03 hrs CET
With just 3 games to go in Ekstraliga, all the teams from 2-6 place could be in or out of the playoffs depending on results. But the most likely scenario will see a dogfight between teams from third place and downwards. That is Zielona Góra, Czestochowa, Wroclaw and Lublin who are separated by just four points. Not just the bonus points but even points difference could be what separates the teams by the evening of 14 September.
The three matches
LES v CZE, Sun 13/9, 16:30 hrs
LUB v ZIE, Sun 13/9, 19:15 hrs
RYB v WRO, Sun 14/9, 20:30 hrs
The most likely result is Leszno to win at home. But with their best riders having competed for two days in a row at the Gorzow SGP and the regular season title already in the bag, could there be an upset? A Czestochowa win will almost certainly guarantee them a playoff place.
Even the most loyal Rybnik fan cannot think anything other than that Wroclaw will win on Monday night. The bottom placed team have nothing to play for and the visitors must win and take the bonus point to be in a chance of the playoffs. They come to the match in a commanding position after a 27:63 thrashing of the struggling Rybnik at home.
All this means that the most exciting of the matches, which will have the biggest effect on the table is Sunday night’s game in Lublin. The home team must win and gain the bonus point to be in with a chance of getting through to the playoffs. That is a tall ask as Zielona Gora come into the match with a 52:38 point advantage from their first leg match. If the visitors win, or even just get a bonus point, they will probably qualify for the playoffs.
If Leszno and Wroclaw take the win then Częstochowa and Wroclaw will both have 20 points. Lublin too will join them if they pull of their 3 point win at home.
In the case of two teams having the same points another rule is brought into play – that of who gained the most points when the two teams met (i.e. who gained the bonus point). In the case of more than two teams on the same points an extra “mini-table” is compiled looking at the results between the teams involved.
So, if Lublin fail to gain 20 points, it will go back to the fact that Częstochowa gained the bonus point against Wroclaw due to their convincing win back in Round 3 in June. So they will take third and Wroclaw fourth. If Lublin also score 20 points it will be time to get the calculator out to see which team has the best results against each other from the six matches in the season.
So, it seems likely that the Ekstraliga’s statisticians will be working overtime on Sunday and Monday night to see who goes through to the Round 15 playoffs which start on Sunday 20 September.
For more information on how teams are separated in the case of a draw, see the article (in Polish) below: