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By user Bobo
It's time to review what's happened this term in the English domestic football leagues. With a fair amount of time left, there has been one title decided, as Reading have made it into the Premier League, and with two matches to go in the season, and 102 points to their credit, they still stand a chance of beating Sunderland's record of 105 points in a season.
But can they cut it in the top league? Time will come where we'll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, in the top league, Chelsea continue their spending spree and win the Premiership title (and you can make it sound like those sentences are tied into each other as much as you please).. and Manchester United are practically guaranteed second place. You know, for the fans to have claimed we've had such a terrible season, and then for us to finish second.. it's somewhat mean to the other clubs involved..
Meanwhile the relegation race is between three teams, Birmingham City, Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion, since we've already seen Sunderland relegated (and, if they don't pull their act together, they're going to get the lowest number of points ever in the Premier League, with seven points required in the last four games if they are to avoid this).
Manchester United can guarantee second place if our next match is a victory (away at Chelsea, no less, who have only dropped two points at home all season). Mercifully, however, we're not trophyless this season, having gone away with the league cup after a super victory against Wigan Athletic.
Going down a league, Reading and Sheffield United have guaranteed their promotions, the former having scored 102 points and Crewe Alexandra, Brighton and Hove Albion and Millwall have secured their relegations with nine points separating the third-bottom and fourth-bottom teams with only two matches to go. Watford's Marlon King is top scorer in the Championship with 21 goals.
League One's plaudits are probably going to Southend United, with the mathematical possibility of second and third place still open to any of nine teams. Meanwhile, four teams stand a reasonable chance of relegation, taking your pick between any of Walsall, Hartlepool, Milton Keynes Dons and Swindon Town.
Barnet have secured promotion into league football once again, and the irony of the conference, Scarborough, who have an unbeaten home league record, are in thirteenth place. Two of the three teams at the bottom of the conference have secured relegation, with the last place still up for grabs. Come grab your tickets for the end of the season.
A report on Scotland will come soon. Let's hope for a positive season come 2006/07.