With the Division 5 title coming down to the final day and three teams in a battle for the third automatic promotion spot, Division 5 could be the place to be on Thursday night. In addition to that excitement there are also 5 teams in a fight for the playoff spots and three teams who will be going all out to avoid the sack finishing in 18th place.
We will start at the top end of the table and look firstly at current first placed Bordeaux (Ash L). Bordeaux couldn’t have wished for a better final fixture hosting struggling bottom of the league Independiente (Gianluca Ghio). With a two point lead over second placed West Ham (Joao Rocha) and a +6 better goal difference Bordeaux will secure the title with a win on Thursday. The televised game in Div 5 is unsurprisingly Sampdoria (Sir Stephen Beddows) versus West Ham. This tie matches third against second respectively and Sampdoria would secure the third automatic promotion spot with a victory due to being a point ahead of West Ham. Sampdoria boss Sir Stephen Beddows is expected to go full tilt for the victory in this game and no slow ball tactics should be on show by either side in this match up. Victory for West Ham could see West Ham win the title if Bordeaux lose to Independiente. West Ham could still win the title if they win and Bordeaux draw but there is a six point goal difference swing needed so West Ham would need a high scoring victory. Expect an attacking line-up from West Ham boss Joao Rocha.
Leicester City (Doug Earle) who were relegated in Season 14 also have aspirations for automatic promotion in the final third placed spot but will need West Ham to get a result against Sampdoria due to being one point behind Sampdoria in fourth. Due to a +8 favourable goal difference Leicester could leap frog Sampdoria with just a draw if Sampdoria lose. Leicester play away at 17th placed Athletic Club (Andy Evans) but this will by no means be an easy game as Athletic Club are one of the three teams fighting to the death to avoid 18th place and the sack. This is another massive game which is worth keeping an eye on the live scores feature.
5th placed Stuttgart (Mark Scott) are in a crazy position where their night could end in glory or disaster on Thursday as they could sneak into the third place automatic spot with a win if Sampdoria and Leicester both lose. On the other extreme they could also fall out of the playoffs if they lose and other results go against them. Stuttgart would have hoped for a much easier fixture for this one but play 7th placed Torino (DouDou) who can secure a play off place with a victory due to their healthy +11 goal difference. This is another fixture to keep a close eye on.
6th placed Lyon (andy vh) can secure a play off position with a victory against mid table Sunderland (Josh McMillan) (12th). After a very bad run of recent form Lyon have recovered and won their last two games and have their destiny in their own hands in this home fixture. Sunderland could improve their final position by a place or two with a victory.
8th placed Montpellier (Franci Legend)who were relegated in season 14 have a chance of immediate redemption via the playoffs if they can beat 11th placed Malaga (Prince William Michael)away and other results go their way. Malaga are too far away from a playoff place but could go finish top half with a win.
Sao Paulo (Scott Mckenzie) now managed by Top 100 legend Scott Mckenzie have somehow clawed their way into a chance of a playoff spot after three back to back league victories. Many had written off Scott’s campaign this season in the mid table mediocrity category but could Scott win away at Inter (Sir Steven Gerrard)and achieve what looked like a very unlikely playoff position a few weeks ago? Could they then go all the way and win the playoffs and silence their critics monumentally? Inter though will be fighting hard in this game and a win would mean Sir Steven Gerrard would retire from Inter with some positivity having avoided a bottom three place .
Our next game sees Olympiacos (Nicu Balan) who are in the dreaded 18th position currently host mid table placed AZ Alkmar (Mac The Hat) (10th) who are just too far away to sneak into the playoffs being 5 points below 7th place. Olympiacos need points from this game if they are to have a chance of avoiding the sack. A loss would see boss Nicu Balan clearing out his desk on Thursday night which would be a big shock after Olympiacos were expected to be in a title battle this season.
Boca Juniors (Marcos Vitorino) (15th) host AS Saint Etienne (Geoffrey R) (13th) and neither team have much to play for other than pride and boosting their stats for Regan’s new and very awesome average points tables. Will they rotate or try and claim the final points on offer this season?
Our final game pitches 14th placed Spartak Moscow (Lee Adams) against already due for the chop FC Twente (Marco G)(19th). A strong title challenge was predicted for Spartak this season which unfortunately did not materialise but I expect Spartak to go for the victory here and improve their final position as much as possible.
So much to play for in Division 5 on Thursday night in a season that has flipped the predictions scripts. Lets get it on!
Games to watch
Bordeaux vs Independiente
Sampdoria vs West Ham
Athletic Club vs Leicester
Torino vs Stuttgart
Inter vs Sao Paulo