Italian Superlega CredemBanca 2021/22.
Only one Round is missing at the end of the regular season and, well, if many things have already been decided by mathematics, there are also as many questions about the playoffs and also about the relegation issue.
The last (little coveted) ticket is still available for relegation to Serie A2.
The first has already been taken by Ravenna which, after 25 games played, has not yet won one, and now boasts two points in the standings, the result of two tie breaks (lost), against Padova (Round 3) and Milano (Round 9).
Vibo Valentia, Verona and Padova compete for the other one. Everything to be decided also for the eighth place, the last slot that qualifies for the playoffs, and there are still a couple of positions in the balance, such as third and sixth place, which are not so firm in the hands of Civitanova and Piacenza.
Ok, in details, to avoid relegation, for Vibo Valentia, winning may not be enough.
The defeat against Padova yesterday complicates the Calabrians’ plans, now at 22 points, to stay in Superlega. In fact, a home win against Piacenza may not be enough to overtake Padova themselves and Verona, both at 24 points.
Padova will face Modena, whose fourth position is safe, and cannot aspire to do something better, because Trento, mathematically, is at least in third place, therefore at a safe distance.
Verona will face Monza on their home soil. A team that, on the other hand, has some chance of improving their position in the standings. Surely, at least apparently, for the three “unsafe” sides all commitments that are anything but easy.
Padova and Verona have on their own that they depend only on themselves, and a victory even from two points would automatically bring them to safety, so unattainable by Vibo.
A possible scenario also foresees a gathering of the three teams with 25 points (if Vibo wins by three points and, both Verona and Padova lose at tie break) or even with 24 (two points for Vibo and 3-1 or 3-0 defeat for the others).
But, in both cases, the regulation would still condemn Vibo Valentia, who would have a victory less than the other two. So, to save themselves, Vibo has no other options than to win three points on the field, reaching 25 and hope that one between Verona and Padova do not score points, thus remaining at 24.
Assuming that both lose clearly and Vibo overrides both sides, relegation for Verona due worst set quotient.
But that’s not all: for the eighth place, the last one for the playoffs, there are a multitude of scenarios because, for mathematics, there are still both Verona and Padova. The current situation foresees Cisterna (27 points) mistress of her own destiny: a victory even by two points at home against Trento would protect them from a possible three-point victory of Taranto (26). The Apulians, safe from the red zone, will face away Milano (which is fifth, and will certainly remain fifth).
Mathematics also keeps Padova and Verona alive which, with their 24 points, would reach Cisterna in the event of their defeat (Cisterna has the disadvantage that, by losing, it is in default with all the other contenders for games won/lost and, in a tie of points, this is the criteria to determine who is ahead in the standings.
And, again in theory, a large grouping with all teams with 27 points could also occur: if Cisterna loses, if Taranto loses at tie break (26 + 1 point) and Verona and Padova win claiming three points (24 + 3).
In this case, the worst would be the current best ones, that is Cisterna and Taranto (respectively 9 and 8 victories), while the other two would reach 10 games won! And, between Padova and Verona, the first would be awarded for best quotient set.
And about for the second and sixth positions, they are still in the balance, but less “confusing”: Civitanova (54 points) is installed from Trento (53) and, on Sunday, they will face leaders Perugia (leaders, already mathematically).
But, in case of defeat they still have a chance, without looking at the result of Trento in Cisterna, as 23 March is the recovery match with Milano so a full success against these rivals would be enough to secure the second place.
Last situation still undecided is the sixth place, now owned by Piacenza (34 points).
But a defeat in Vibo Valentia and a simultaneous three-point victory of Monza (31) on the field og Verona would reward Monza with one more match won.