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The counterpoint to yesterday’s post about Lecce is their rivals for top-spot, Trapani.

Now, I don’t know if you know much about Trapani – certainly, I didn’t before the start of the season, so here’s a little background.

Trapani – An Introduction.

Trapani is a town in the north-west of Sicily, with a club who play in the same claret as Torino, and use the same nickname; the Granata. They’re one of Sicily’s oldest clubs but have never finished higher than 3rd highest in the third tier since the start of the professional era; though there was a season before that they were in the
top-flight, but withdrew before the end of the season. They were in the playoffs last season, but lost out to Virtus Lanciano for promotion to Serie B. However, this time, with the prospect of a rarely-seen derby against Palermo, Trapani are on the rise again.

Despite being Torino-flavoured in terms of colour and nickname, there was a time Trapani went by the moniker Trapani Juventus, so I’m set against them.

Interestingly, in terms of where this article is going now, Trapani’s most celebrated ex-player is Marco Materazzi, who was born in Lecce. Not for the first time, Materazzi might well divide opinion here.

Trapani’s Quest For The Title 2012/13

You’re not really here to read about the history a club you’ve never heard of, though, are you?

Here’s a bit about the current Trapani; the team, and what stands out about their attempt to gate-crash Lecce’s promotion bid. Trapani are unbeaten in 2013 (W11 D6) and that’s seen them shoot up the Liga Pro table – it came a little bit out of the blue; here’s a PPG v. matches table for the various months of the season (games are the navy line – on the right hand axis) and you’ll see that, since Christmas, Trapani have really put their foot down; key result in that being a 1-2 victory at the Via Del Mar, cancelling out Lecce’s 0-1 victory on the island in October.

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As much as Trapani have been going like a train early this year, its worth a look at the progression of the two teams. Lecce, other than a real dip (3 defeats in a row in December) haven’t been far off the pace at any point, but to look at the cumulative points, there was a bit of switch as we’ve gone through (the last time Trapani went ahead was by defeating Lecce) the season.

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The Giallorossi have rallied, though, and we go into this last game of the season with both teams level on 61 points. So who is in the better form lately, then? Who is going to do it? Strange as it may seem, Lecce’s ‘rally’ has seen them surge back during April, winning four games in a row while Trapani drew two of the four, so the Puglians picked up four points on their rivals.

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That’s why the Lecce line of 6-game-form is above the Trapani line, if only by two points (14 v 12 over the last six games). Trapani travel to a Cremonese side against whom they drew 0-0 at home, this weekend, so there’s no guarantees there, just as Lecce’s game at AlbinoLeffe is far from a foregone conclusion. I can see at least one of the teams dropping points, so the victor will be the one that holds their nerve the best.

Having won one more game during the season (18 v. 17), I’d probably narrowly favour Lecce. I wouldn’t take them at the 3/10 Bet365 are offering for a win, though (Trapani are 3/4).

Whatever happens over the weekend, this season has developed into a real pleasure after starting like a procession. Obviously, I’m hoping Lecce hold off the Sicilians, but Trapani would be equally worthy champions and I couldn’t fair begrudge them it if they finished on an 18 match unbeaten streak.

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