The World has gone mad ! , no not what you are thinking Division 4 is almost as highly rated than Division 3 really!
While only marginally so, the average Division 3 club is only slightly higher rated than the average Division 4 team.
If we take the average survival rating in D3 as around 86.5 this would lead to virtually the whole of D4 being eligible for promotion. So what has happened?
Well the simplest and perhaps crudest answer is the bulge factor in D3. There are 2 seasons worth of teams on the slide and 2 seasons worth of teams from divisions below which is half the league in that division. In addition as stated last time, d3 managers seem to be willing to sacrifice more , while D4 managers maybe are playing the long game.
In addition one has to look at why Dnipro one of the potential best team in D4 are 15th and Cologne the potential worse team top. You can draw your own conclusions from that.
D4 also suffers from the recycle factor of D5 , ie teams can’t exit D5 so teams will get relegated and promoted too and from ,probably the better teams , so the overall rating may be less variable.
Anyway enough conjecture what do the stats say. Torino should take a top 3 spot with little problem once they get their act together, the best attack and keeper should be a unbeatable combination. Chievo should snatch another spot and then there are then a whole bunch of almost identical teams , From Dnipro – Lille ., not even 1/6 of a rating point between them , with deep squads. This will tend to mean the better managers should progress . There is no big tail to this group and realistically , down to Dynamo Moscow could get a play off spot.
It would be cruel to call any team relegation favourites, as probably favourites Cologne are top. They can’t keep it together with such a small squad , can they ?