Al'amal - Aquarius 9, 2077, m249
After a brutal week 20 that put 11 players on the sidelines and resulted in the 1st fatality, the MAFL is yet to announce dates for the final week of regular season play. The games will go on, that is for sure, but how the trajectory of the season plays out now is anyone's guess.
Without a doubt, the Comets were dealt the worst of that fateful weekend. Not having 4 of their players in the playoffs is not the issue. The Comets have a large, robust, highly versatile roster that can easily configure a top notch lineup. After all, this is what made them one of the most consistent clubs in the league.
The loss of Warren, however, is a completely different story. This is the kind of emotional blow that can't be compensated with adjustments and replacements. While there has been little talk in the past week about the possible impact on the clubs championship hopes , many do wonder, 'Can the Comets keep their game?'
Al'amal is in their own situation when it comes to the playoffs. With Farra and Fayad out for the count, it doesn't bode well for the club's chances. Number 4 and 5 top scorers, respectively, these two starts have 12 goals between them, significant firepower that will be absent in the defining match against the Immortals.
Al'amal manager, Haajid Nasr, will be down to 12 players, leaving him no choice but to shuffle the lineup. He will likely play Vivian Badour and Rashaa Adel in forward positions or possibly move Husain Guler from defence to fill in the void. However he plays it, it will be unfamiliar ground for the team.
Unlike the injuries suffered by the Comets, there is a chance that all 3 injured Al'amal players could recover in time for the playoffs, that is, assuming they can capture that last playoff spot.
The Immortals are guaranteed a spot in the championship run, but no one is quite sure where they will be after their bout with the Comets. Will Jag Parkar be playing in Week 21? Sources report that Parkar has been in therapy since returning to Amrita, blaming himself for the collision that ultimately caused Warren's death.
The season statistics are clearly out the window at this point. These teams look nothing like they did but a few weeks ago, so a fortune teller might be the best credible source for outcomes on this MAFL season.