Ekstraklasa: 2017/18: Playoffs, here we are!

The regular season has come to an end: 30 games that defined the Ekstraklasa Playoffs groups without surprises. And the playoffs have just begun!

Wisła in the ‘Championship Round’ Playoff

Wisla's gunner Carlitos Lopoez
Wisla’s gunner Carlitos Lopoez

Despite their disappointing second round of season, Wisła secured their participation in the Championship Round with the big fish. At some stage this season, they were only a few points away from the leader’s seat. They looked like the perfect underdog, up for the title fight.

However, too many wasted points and irregular performances took them away from the top. Wisła is now 11 points away from the leader Lech Poznan and 10 points from the Europa League qualification spot (2nd and 3rd spots).

In other words, unless they win all their seven Playoff games, there are thin chances they win the title or qualify for next season European Cup. That would mean nothing else at stake than facing glorious opponents such as Legia Warsaw, Jagiellonia Białystok and Lech Poznan.

But Wisła has two strong assets: nothing to lose (therefore less pressure) and Carlitos Lopez. The Spanish ‘Pistolero’ is in great form, with five goals scored in his last four games. He is now the new Ekstraklasa top scorer, with 21 goals this season. In any case, there is a big challenge ahead for the Wisła men, to return to their glorious past.

Wisła’s full Playoffs fixtures:

Mon 16/04/18: Wisła Płock vs. WISŁA KRAKOW (2 – 2)
Sun 22/04/18: WISŁA KRAKOW vs. Legia Warszawa
Sun 29/04/18: Jagiellonia vs. WISŁA KRAKOW
Sun 06/05/18: Korona Kielce vs. WISŁA KRAKOW
Wed 09/05/18: WISŁA KRAKOW vs. Zagłębie Lubin
Sun 13/05/18: WISŁA KRAKOW vs. Lech Poznań
Sun 20/05/18: Górnik Zabrze vs. WISŁA KRAKOW

Cracovia in the ‘Relegation Round’ Playoff

Cracovia's miracle did not happen
Cracovia’s miracle did not happen

As predicted by many, the Cracovia Pasy will play the Relegation Round Playoff. Even if their unexpectedly strong 2018 performances brought them so close to a qualification for the Championship Round, the points wasted in their last two games (1/6 points) sealed their fate.

With seven games to go, Cracovia will now have to fight against relegation, but they should not have difficulties in reaching that target. At 14 points from the bottom spot and 10 points from the first relegating team, the Pasy are in a fairly safe position and should only secure their stay in Ekstraklasa with a couple of points.

Despite failing to qualify for the Championship Round Playoffs, this season will for sure remain memorable given the disastrous first part of season and relegation spot, the post-winter resurrection, and the fans’ boycott of home games in 2018, which has still been ongoing.

Cracovia’s full Playoffs fixtures:

Sat 14/04/18: CRACOVIA vs. Piast Gliwice (2 – 1)
Mon 23/04/18: Lechia Gdańsk vs. CRACOVIA
Sun 29/04/18: CRACOVIA vs. Nieciecza
Fri 04/05/18: CRACOVIA vs. Śląsk Wrocław
Tue 08/05/18: Arka Gdynia vs. CRACOVIA
Sat 12/05/18: Sandecja Nowy Sącz vs. CRACOVIA
Sat 19/05/18: CRACOVIA vs. Pogoń Szczecin

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