With schedules lighter around the world on Mondays, Noob starts your workweek with a bunch o’ matches featuring clubs about to get Relegated.
Let’s get to know them before they are dropped into oblivion!
First, a few matches of happier import.
Portugal vs. Italy – UEFA Nations League
Please scroll down to the most recent Midweek Edition for more details on this event.
At #21, Noob understands this is the lowest Italy has been in the FIFA rankings since they started putting them out. They have a youth-heavy roster now as they rebuild. Portugal are #7 in the world.
Italy drew with Poland in their first and only match so far. This is the first match for Portugal, who Noob likes easily by a goal today. (2:45 PM EST, ESPN Deportes)
RESULT: Portugal 1-0
B. St. Kitts and Nevis vs. Puerto Rico – CONCACAF Nations League qualification
Again, head down to the Midweek for more event details.
Noob is mildly surprised to find that SKnN are more highly-ranked than Puerto Rico. They are #135 and #173. I’d favor the home team here even were this at a neutral site. First match of the event for both teams.
RESULT: SKN 1-0
The real surprise is that Number B is displacing Number Two.
Get on the train.
Morelia vs. Queretaro – Liga MX Femenil
Only the top two from each of this league Group’s make the postseason. These two are #6 and #5. Neither side is likely to crack the top three even.
This is a quirky matchup. Queretaro don’t score much at all, but don’t give up tons and tons. That Queretaro score nearly twice as often isn’t even impressive, and that they give have far and away the Group’s worst defense.
RESULT: Queretaro 1-2
Gambia vs. Togo – Africa Cup of Nations qualification
Groups of four. Top two from each make the Cup.
The surprise two matches into this Group is Benin. They’re tied with favorite Algeria at four table points each. Gambia and Togo have just one each. But they play six each, so there’s a ways Togo. Still, a loss for either of these two might mean lights out.
FIFA ranks them as #172 and #124. Togo by a goal on the road today.
RESULT: no score found Different sources Noob uses indicate either the game really was slated as yesterday but report no score, or that it’s next month.
And now, bad teams! Wheeee!
Guayaquil City vs. Independiente del Valle – Ecuador Serie A
Here in the Second Stage of Ecuador’s season, these two are last and second-to-last place. IdV did well enough in the First Stage that they are not in the bottom two in the season’s aggregate table. Those two will be Relegated.
QC, however, are last place everywhere you can look. Noob doesn’t think they can do better than a draw at home today. Based on GD, de Valle remain a mid-table team probably.
Fun Fact: Guayquil is home to other top-division clubs — Emelec and Barcelona SC.
Merreikh Kosti vs. Merreikh Nyala – Sudan Premier
Don’t you quit on Sudan, Noobites! This is the #7-ranked domestic league in Africa and they consistently love them some Monday matches.
The bottom ten teams are playing in their own Relegation subdivision here in the last part of the regular season. Four will be automatically dropped. Last-place Nyala will be one of them, plain and simple.
Kosti play enough defense that from 8th place, they can see murky daylight. Noob says “murky”, because even if they climb above the auto-cutline, they next two teams in the table will have to play in a Relegation Playout match.
Kosti the town was founded by Greeks at the start of the 20 C.
This was not many years after the native Mahdist regime had been overthrown by Anglos and Egyptians.
Universitatea Cluj vs. Aerostar Bacau – Romania Liga II
With the premier-level leagues in much of the Western World on international break, we delve down a tier in some countries for more Matches of Suckitude.
Bacau are in dead last. But it’s very early in the season. If their offense can improve some without sacrificing their mediocre defense, they can climb some in the table. Can they climb five spots and avoid getting The Boot? Dubious.
U. Cluj give up very few goals, but they pack it in on D and don’t score much themselves. Midtable and unlikely to climb with that style of play.
RESULT: U. Cluj 3-2
Fun Fact. Well, Sort Of: Bacau went bankrupt in 1993-4, reformed in ’95.
8. Borac Cacak vs. Sindelic Beograd – Serbia Prva Liga
They’re also only a few matches into the season here in Serbia’s second tier. Four will get Dropped in a few months.
Right now, Cacak are tied for 12th, right on the line. But so far they’ve displayed the worst offense in the league, so don’t look for them to get out of trouble any time soon. S.B. are in 5th, another one of these small-ball teams. Score little, try to give up even less.
Borac Cacak are “The Zebras”
Elva vs. Tartu Santos – Estonia Esiliiga A
Oh, sweet double I’s. You will never lose your luster to Noob! That Esiliiga is second-division ball doesn’t mar your shine at all.
Here, two teams will be automatically dropped. Tartu Santos are just above that line, in 8th, yet not at all out of direct danger. If they stay there, they’ll have to play a third-tier team for the right to stay in A.
With their subpar defense, Noob would consider them at home no better than an even match for midtable Elva. And this is at Elva.
Fun Fact: Tartu the town boasts a professional handball team. It plays in the second division of pro ball in the country.
KTP vs. Klubi-04 – Finland Ykkonen
We finish our weekly Track of Sadness with a second northern European league, where the seasons are nearing their ends.
Klubi-04 is at the table bottom, deep, and two will get Relegated. They’re the only ones who aren’t averaging even a goal per match. KTP are in 7th, and score very little more than their guests. This would be a terrible slog of a match to watch.
Fun Fact: Klubi-o4 are the reserve team for HJK, the best club in all Finland.
RESULT: Klubi-04 1-3 After a couple weeks without, we have a Relegation Monday miracle!
They’re still in last. Still sport the worst GD in the league by over 50%. But that just makes the win all the more miraculous.
So long from Helsinki, home of Klubi-o4!
Kamppi Chapel, “The Chapel of Silence”