Four rounds before the end of the championship of Ukraine, the circle of applicants for the national “gold” was finally determined. The championship will be played between Shakhtar, Dnipro-1 and Zorya.
But the struggle to maintain the elite residence permit this season promises to be even more exciting. Because eight teams participate in it one way or another at once (half of all teams).
Recall the regulations for the 2022/2023 season in terms of downgrading. The last two teams in the standings, i.e. 15th and 16th, are sent directly to the “floor below”. But the teams that took the 13th and 14th places at the end of the championship will play with the teams that finished in the first league championship in the third and fourth positions in the playoffs for the right to participate in the UPL next season.
If it is still possible to somehow cope with the three contenders for the golden crown, that is to say, at least mathematically, who will eventually finish on the first line, then finding the lucky ones and losers in the showdown as much as half of the standings is not just difficult, but almost unrealistic.
It is unrealistic not only because a lot of teams have not yet solved their tournament tasks, but also because in the remaining four rounds they will often play among themselves.
Nevertheless, let’s try to understand the outsider’s intricacies.
Let’s start with the obvious right away. We included eight clubs in the disassembly of those “who are down”. That is, everyone who currently ranks below eighth.
Chornomorets is in the ninth position. Odessans can be safely considered one of the pleasant discoveries of the second half of the season. Grigorchuk’s team, regardless of the ranks, always plays its own game – combinational, aggressive and spectacular. From the “seamen” to the 15th at the moment “Metalist” – seven points. Therefore, purely mathematically, the inhabitants of Odessa can be among the two teams that will directly leave the elite division. However, at the same time, such a prospect is almost unbelievable.
But until the 13th “Minaya” team Grigorchuk – a stone’s throw: only three points. So, “Chernomorets” may well be among the participants in the playoffs. But, in our opinion, taking into account both the team’s calendar and its real potential, the Blue-Blacks will solve the problem of extending the elite registration in advance.
The tournament fate of Lvov is also obvious. The absolute outsider of the UPL has only 13 points. Even if we take into account that Immortal’s wards will win all the remaining matches, they still won’t be able to finish higher than 15th place. So thank you for your attention and welcome to the First League.
In this regard, I would like to say one more thing. Recently, the topic of a possible expansion of the UPL in the new season has been inflated in the media. Say, there can be as many as twenty participants in the national championship. The most zealous guardians for the expansion of the “state” is, as you might guess, “Lviv”.
Frankly speaking, this initiative cannot be called otherwise than nonsense. Given the current realities, we have at least 16 full-fledged clubs to collect in the championship. What are we talking about, even if there are 18 clubs in the Bundesliga. Are we better than Germany now? In addition, this particular Lviv club has already “shone” in successful attempts to “rape” the football law. Enough. Lviv, like no other, deserved to be relegated from the UPL. Let it fly.
Along with Lvov, Metalist is doing very badly. The revived once glorious Kharkiv team after the rashist invasion and the ambiguous position of its owner turned into a useless toy. In fact, the Dnipro-1 farm club, where the management of the team and the club, as well as the leading players, fled.
The level of play demonstrated by Ognenovich’s wards fully corresponds to the team’s standing in the tournament. So, with a huge degree of probability, we can already say now that Metalist, following Lviv, will go directly to the First League. Thanks to Yaroslavsky for the revival. Thanks to him for the complete breakdown.
Consequently, five teams apply for two vacancies of participants in transitional fights at once: “Veres”, “Ingulets”, “Metalist-1925”, “Minay” and “Rukh”. The points difference between tenth-placed Veres and 14th Rukh is only three points.
Unraveling this tangle is now very, very difficult. Therefore, we will not even try to predict, because the probability of error is almost 99 percent.
However, the calendar of the remaining fights for our quintet can and should be analyzed.
So, if we rely only on the schedule of the remaining meetings, Veres has the most difficult one, which will play against Shakhtar, Dynamo, Oleksandriya and Ingulets (in the last round).
Two matches against teams from the top of the table will be played by Metalist-1925: against Dynamo and Kryvbas.
Minai also has two such fights. Against Chornomorets, which we put out of brackets, and against Zorya.
Rukh has a similar schedule: games against Odessa and Alexandria (and this is at the finish line of the tournament).
“Ingulets” is waiting for only one match against the team from the top of the table – in the next round against “Zorya”.
The rest of the outsiders will clobber each other. And who in the end will break the saving jackpot, and who will have to drink a not very sweet cup of “crossovers” – only God knows.
What is clear is that it will be very interesting.