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Time to take out your calculators

It’s almost like déjà vu as we enter the last three rounds of fixtures in the Tusker Premier League. This is because for the last two seasons, and this season, we find more than one team gunning for the title. Even though the two teams at the bottom look almost certain to be relegated; mathematically; nothing is sealed.

I remember, round about this time last season, perennial survivors City Stars were again on the verge of relegation. In every interview their coach Gideon Ochieng would take out his mental calculator and tell us how City Stars would survive. He would tell us who would lose to who and where they would win or draw and eventually who would be relegated. His team survived.

Not so lucky was Congo United Coach Juma Abdulla, who entered into the same mathematical debate as Ochieng but who found his team being relegated at the end of the season.

It was quite amusing during that period having to take out your calculator and start every sentence with “if”.

But alas! We find ourselves there again. At the top of the standings it’s Tusker FC on 54 points, Gor Mahia on 52 points while AFC Leopards find themselves third with 51 points. With three games to go; that’s nine points up for grabs!

The problem is that neither of these teams appears to be slipping, which would naturally put Tusker in prime position to walk away with the title. But the fun continues because Gor Mahia and Tusker face off against each other on Sunday. What more could we all wish for? A clash where one or both teams could drop points; while a third team watches by the wayside.

Speaking to my panelist on SuperSport’s Simba Super Soccer magazine show this week; I asked what result AFC Leopards fans would be wishing for in Sunday’s match. I got two different answers.

One said Leopards would wish for a Gor Mahia win so that the distance to leaders Tusker would be closer. Of course after that they would hope that Gor loses to Muhoroni Youth who they play after that or Thika United who they play on the final day of the season.

But the other analyst said Ingwe fans would hope for a draw. Given that AFC Leopards play relegation-bound side Oserian on Saturday, a match they already see as winning; a draw would see them solidify second position with only Tusker left to chase. Of course they would then hope that Tusker loses to Western Stima after that and draws with City Stars on the final day of the season. There are, however, odds that AFC could lose to Oserian but that isn’t something AFC Leopards fans are seeing happen.

Gor fans meanwhile see themselves winning their three remaining games and pipping Tusker to the title, while Tusker fans see themselves winning their three remaining matches and defending their title. Tusker of course; mathematically; can afford a draw against Gor Mahia if they go on to win their last two matches.

Let’s go to the bottom of the league. Realistically it’s all over for Rangers and Oserian. Rangers are bottom of the league with 20 points; while Oserian are second last with 21 points. The other two teams in danger are Muhoroni Youth on 26 points and City Stars with 27 points. With nine points to play for; mathematically; Rangers and Oserian can both survive. However Oserian play title contenders AFC Leopards this weekend; then face off against Sony Sugar who are having a lackluster performance this term before winding up the season against their fellow bottom side; Rangers. Rangers meanwhile play in form Western Stima, relegation Contenders City Stars before the bottom of the league clash with Oserian.

I have to add a note here to say that I have a very strong feeling; actually it’s pretty obvious; that the clash between Oserian and Rangers on the last day of the season will be a clash of two sides who have already been relegated. Ouch!

The two teams, however, are hoping that Muhoroni Youth lose to Chemelil Sugar, Gor Mahia and Western Stima and that each of them wins all their remaining games. Based on recent form Muhoroni could lose all their matches, but will Oserian and Rangers win all theirs? I doubt it!

Mathematically; every scenario is possible.

The only advice I can give you now is to take out your calculator as you enjoy the rest of the Tusker Premier League 2012 season.

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