Only one relegation spot left yet any of eight teams could fill it.
The scenarios are not endless but they are certainly plentiful. With Wigan engaged in the FA Cup final this weekend, the agony may go on to the last day.
From Sunderland’s point of view, there is blinding simplicity: beat Southampton and we stay up unless there are crazy scorelines in the remaining games (eg us losing 4-0 at Spurs while Wigan beat Arsenal 2-0 and Villa 6-0, all other results going against us). By all means correct my mental arithmetic but it’s in that league.
The rational outcome – with apologies to Bernard Ramsdale, our Wigan-supporting friend – is clear. Many Sunderland hearts long for Wigan to pull clear at Newcastle’s expense. None of the others can be sure.
We should not be in this predicament. Martin O’Neill, Steve Bruce, Roy Keane and others bear some responsibility. PDC, with two wins and a draw from five, is blameless. The players? Don’t get me started.
But however depleted we find ourselves for the final two games – self-inflicted, of course, in the cases of Sess and Gardner – we are still able to field a clutch of internationals on Sunday. It is a game in which, at the very minimum, we should be able to avoid defeat.
You tell us how it will go. The usual rules: be the first before kickoff to post the correct scoreline and you win a prize when I get round to sending one. A non-Sunderland winner will receive an appropriately modified design in the prize happens to be a Salut! Sunderland mug (we make it all up as we go along).
Ha’way the Lads …
See all Salut! Sunderland’s articles recalling May 5 1973 and the run that took SAFC to FA Cup glory: https://safc.blog/category/fa-cup/may-5-1973/
And by way of public service, here are the remaining games for the clubs still liable to be relegated:
Sunderland: 38 points, goals scored 40, goal difference -12. So’ton (h), Tottenham (a)
Wigan: 35 points, goals scored 44, goal difference -23. Arsenal (a), Villa (h)
Newcastle: 38 points, goals scored 43, goal difference -23. QPR (a), Arsenal (h)
Aston Villa: 40 points, goals scored 44, goal difference -21. Chelsea (h), Wigan (a)
Norwich: points 38, goals scored 34, goal difference -22. WBA (h), Man City (a)
Stoke: points 41, goals scored 32, goal difference -10. Spurs (h), Southampton 9a)
Southampton: 39 points, goals scored 47, goal difference -11. Sunderland (a), Stoke (h)\
Fulham: 40 points, goals scored 46, goal difference -11. Liverpool (h), Swansea (a)
See also: the Southampton ‘Who are You?’ at https://safc.blog/2013/05/the-southampton-who-are-you-draw-at-sunderland-and-skys-our-limit/