With the Barclays Premier League entering the final straight, the relegation dog fight is getting tighter as the weeks pass by. Here is a look at the clubs in the bottom half and their fixtures as the season enters the crucial stages.
The 2010 run in preview: Blackburn
|Home||Man United (11/4)||Everton (17/4)||Arsenal (1/5)|
|Away||Burnley (28/3)||Pompey (3/4)||Wolves (24/4)||Aston Villa (9/5)|
Blackburn took a huge step towards survival with a win at home against Birmingham City.
With local pride at stake against Burnley, Blackburn should secure survival this weekend against a lacking in confidence Burnley side.
After securing their own survival they will then be able to concentrate on denting other teams survival or European dreams and aspirations.
The 2010 run in preview: Stoke City
|Home||Hull City (3/4)||Bolton (17/4)||Everton (1/5)|
|West ham (27/3)||Wolves (11/4)||Fulham (14/4)||Chelsea (25/4)||Man United (9/5)|
Stoke would feel that they are already safe, but a win away at struggling West Ham would confirm it and also give Zola a huge headache.
All wouldn’t be lost though if they didn’t manage it there as they have another four winnable games to have a crack at and also dent those teams survival/European bids.
Their home form has been excellent this time and it has seen them through.
The 2010 run in preview: Sunderland
|Home||Tottenham (3/4)||Burnley (17/4)||Man United (1/5)|
|Away||Liverpool (28/3)||West ham (10/4)||Hull City (24/4)||Wolves (9/5)|
Sunderland has a really tricky run in that could go either way.
They will certainly be a factor in who qualifies for Europe and who gets relegated. With the likes of Bent and Campbell they should have enough fire power to gain the 3 points I think they need for survival.
Sunderland fans can look forward to a typical Steve Bruce edge of the seat, nail biting end of season.
The 2010 run in preview: Bolton Wanderers
|Home||Man United (27/3)||Aston Villa (3/4)||Pompey (24/4)||Birmingham (9/5)|
|Away||Chelsea (13/4)||Stoke City (17/4)||Tottenham (1/5)|
Bolton are two points away from the magical 38 points and have got what looks to be the hardest run in on paper.
Their next four games are all ones that they will find it hard to get points out of. By the time they reach the last three games they could well be in the drop zone or teetering above it.
They will look to the games against Portsmouth to getting across the line. Worst case scenario would be waiting until the final day to pick up 3 points.
The 2010 run in preview: Wolves
|Home||Everton (27/3)||Stoke City (11/4)||Blackburn (24/4)||Sunderland (9/5)|
|Away||Arsenal (3/4)||Fulham (17/4)||Pompey (1/5)|
After beating West Ham, Wolves will feel that they will survive this season, but they like Bolton have a tricky run in and are certainly not out of the woods yet.
All the teams they have left to play are still fighting for position at either end of the table and so there will be some scruffy encounters for them to get through.
They will affect the positions of a few teams and Mick McCarthy will be hoping for a bit of luck and some good results along the way.
The 2010 run in preview: Wigan Athletic
|Home||Pompey(14/4)||Arsenal (18/4)||Hull City (1/5)|
|Away||Man City (29/3)||Fulham (4/4)||West Ham (24/4)||Chelsea (9/5)|
Two more wins should see latics to safety.
The obvious two games that will be singled out are Portsmouth and Hull at home although as the team has proved this season, they can pull out some fantastic results against the so called elite of the Premier League.
Latics fans will hope that everything is sorted before the final day as we don’t really want the pressure of having to get something from Chelsea.
The 2010 run in preview: West Ham United
|Home||Stoke City (27/3)||Sunderland (10/4)||Latics (24/4)||Man City (9/5)|
|Away||Everton (4/4)||Liverpool (19/4)||Fulham (1/5)|
Out of the 3 at the foot, West Ham has a more favourable run in.
They will be keen to put the defeat of Wolves behind them but they can’t and lose the next couple of games, the Hammers could well play themselves out of the league.
West Ham should have the experience and drive to fight off the relegation threat, but points need to come quickly though.
The 2010 run in preview: Burnley
|Home||Blackburn (28/3)||Man City (3/4)||Liverpool (24/4)||Tottenham (9/5)|
|Away||Hull City (10/4)||Sunderland (17/4)||B’ham (1/5)|
Burnley’s run in does not seem too good for them even if they could get over the mega low confidence they have in their team right now.
They will be lucky to get out of the relegation zone and the odds are stacked against them, especially with two away games against teams that are battling out down there with them.
Burnley look certainties to be one of the teams joining Portsmouth in the Championship next season.
The 2010 run in preview: Hull City
|Home||Fulham (27/3)||Burnley (10/4)||Aston Villa (21/4)||Liverpool (9/5)|
|Away||Stoke City (3/4)||B’ham (17/4)||Latics (1/5)|
With 5 out of the 8 remaining games being at home, Hull will feel that they can pick up enough points to see them safe and there is always the late runner that emerges.
Surviving on the last day of the season last year will stand them in good stead for the battles are to come their way.
However a lot of the games are against teams also scrapping for survival so unless Hull beat those teams it could be second season blues for the Tigers.
It looks like the relegation fight will go the distance but after looking at team’s fixtures, Hull City and Burnley must fear the worst. West Ham should be able to do enough to stave off the relegation threat and teams above West Ham must feel they are almost there.
For Burnley and Hull it seems like a case of ‘it was good whilst it lasted’, unless WHU lose the plot completely.
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