The Serie C1B title race was looking quite exciting this season. Lecce were beginning to show a little bit of form in terms of overhauling Frosinone and Perugia, and I was beginning to think there was a chance that the Giallorossi might avoid the agony of playoffs again. Yesterday afternoon, Fabrizio Miccoli et al travelled to Viareggio (well, I assume they probably travelled Thursday, but still) for what was their longest trip of the season so far – all of 928km.
This is a vast improvement on the distances they travelled last campaign, I’m sure you’ll recall, but its still a fair old stomp from Salento to Lucca. This season, Lecce have gained 20 points on their travels in 13 games (actually, 20 in 10 games, because the first three were part of a five-game losing run that started – and still looks like it might have ended – the season), which is an acceptable return.
I thought I’d do another banded PPG table according to distance, but this year’s is a little less clean cut than last. Partly, that comes as a result of two of those first three away games coming in the 251-500km bracket (the trips of 348km to Benevento and 355km to Salernitana) but there’s equally the fact that high-flying Frosinone come in there at 497km to counter it.
In short, this table is not as powerful as it was last season although, for a team who average over 1.5 PPG away from home to have earned only one point from trips to an average Pontedera and a poor Viareggio side does suggest that excessive travel doesn’t help the team particularly, which is particularly useful information when taking into account their three remaining away games.
The Lupi still have to travel to Pisa (909km), Alessandro Diamanti’s hometown of Prato (847km) and face a relatively short trip to Grossetto (754km). It would be wrong of me to suggest that there was some pre-planning into this schedule, but for all of Lecce’s last four away games to be more than 754km away is a daunting prospect indeed. I’ll be ticking the home win box, I think.