With the Aki Yusho still very much in the balance, and all the lower san’yaku ranks still in play, I thought I’d take a look at what the key players likely have in store for them in the final 5 days.
Harumafuji has Takakeisho tomorrow, and is then likely to face Ichinojo, Tamawashi, Yoshikaze, and Mitakeumi, before the show-down with Tachiai “favorite” Goeido on senshuraku.
Goeido has Tochiozan tomorrow, and his other remaining stumbling blocks before Harumafuji are likely Takakeisho, Ichinojo (LOL), Shohozan, and Mitakeumi.
Mitakeumi still needs 3 more wins to hold rank. He has Aoiyama (who’s getting either respect or zero love from the schedulers) tomorrow, and should then face Shodai, TBD, Harumafuji, Goeido, and Yoshikaze. Who gets to stay a Sekiwake could come down to Mitakeumi vs. Yoshikaze on senshuraku!
Yoshikaze likewise needs 3 more wins. He has Shodai tomorrow, then likely TBD, Takakeisho, Aoiyama, Harumafuji, and Mitakeumi. He’s already faced Goeido, and so has a somewhat easier path to kachi-koshi than does Mitakeumi.
Tamawashi can only afford one more loss if he wants to stay Komusubi (or move back up to Sekiwake if a slot opens). He faces Hokutofuji tomorrow, and likely still has Harumafuji, Shodai, Chiyotairyu, and Aoiyama on his dance card. Given his injured ankle, going 5-1 will be a tall order.
Tochiozan likewise needs 5 more wins. His toughest remaining bout is tomorrow against Goeido. After that, the highest rankers he hasn’t faced are Onosho, Takakeisho, and Ichinojo. 5-1 will be a major challenge, but he has an easier remaining schedule than Tamawashi, and seems to be regaining his form, so we’ll see.
Kotoshogiku is 5-4 and would be a candidate to move back up to Komusubi with 3 more wins. He has Onosho tomorrow, and is then likely to face Chiyotairyu, Shohozan, Hokutofuji, and Aoiyama.
Hokutofuji needs 4 more wins to secure his kachi-koshi. He’ll have to do it against Tamawashi, Tochinoshin, Chiyotairyu, and perhaps Aoiyama, Shodai, and Takakeisho.
Onosho is definitely gunning for a San’yaku slot, and is in the chase group for the Yusho. He is almost done with his first tour against the San’yaku, going 5-1 with just Tochiozan still to face. He has Kotoshogiku tomorrow, and likely Shohozan, Aoiyama, Shodai, and Takakeisho.
Chiyotairyu came in with much less fanfare than Onosho, but has been similarly impressive, especially after defeating Onosho head-to-head today, and finds himself with the same record. He faces the ailing Tochinoshin tomorrow, and his remaining opponents likely include Aoiyama, Hokutofuji, Kotoshogiku, Tamawashi, and Ichinojo.
There are a few TBD’s above, and I haven’t carefully cross-checked to make sure that I’m not double-scheduling anyone. In any case, a few slots will need to be filled by rikishi below Ichinojo on the banzuke. Kagayaki is next by rank, but given how badly he is doing, and the potential Yusho contenders among the lower ranks, the schedulers have better options. I’m guessing the state of the Yusho race will determine who gets pulled up from among the currently 7-2 Takanoiwa and Daishomaru and the currently 6-3 Takarafuji, Arawashi (who is fighting Yutakayama tomorrow?!), and Daieisho.