Read Peter Lynn‘s assessment of the relegation run-in and why he believes it favours Sunderland. Check the remaining fixtures – see footnote – for yourselves and vote. Since Monsieur Salut and his Norwich and Newcastle bloggers at ESPN FC all put their teams to finish 17th, we can hardly be surprised if the poll results reflect similar partisan hopes. But have a go all the same – some people may even be objective …
As we drove back to the Midlands after the brilliant win against Norwich, we were listening to the radio commentary of the Newcastle v Swansea game.
We cursed the Newcastle goals, cursed the Swansea misses, cursed the Mags luck for playing a team with “nothing to play for” and finally the result, which meant of course that the points gap that might have developed between us and them up the road, hadn’t. As others have reported elsewhere, it took the gloss off our win.
Subsequently, I have been wondering if it was all bad news. Depending on their result on Tuesday against Man City, their “waiter-inspired” win against Swansea may actually be helpful to us.
If they had lost, there might have been a temptation for us to start to think that getting out of the mess that we have got ourselves into was going to be relatively straightforward. As it is, those thoughts never even got a chance to get going.
As I see it, and especially following the point that Crystal Palace gained yesterday, the battle between Norwich, the Mags and us for the two remaining relegation places could well last until the final games on May 15.
If we try to guess the results in the remaining fixtures – always dangerous but a bit of fun (?) – as I just have, we could be safe after our “game in hand” against Everton on May 11.
To arrive at this conclusion, I have credited us with draws against Arsenal and Stoke and wins against Chelsea and Everton. Then I have credited Newcastle with wins against Crystal Palace and Villa and a draw against Spurs. Finally, I have credited Norwich with wins against Watford and Everton.
This gives a final total of points of 38 for us, 37 for Norwich and 35 for Newcastle. We also (presently) have the benefit of a considerably better goal difference than the other two battling clubs which gives us some leeway in the event of us losing one of our two forecasted draws.
In my scenario, I have tried to make some allowances for external factors such as FA cup final involvement and the so called “nothing to play for” attitude of some opponents.
Have a go yourself – it’s free!
The relegation run-in
April 24 Arsenal (h)
April 30 Stoke City (a)
May 7 Chelsea (h)
May 11 Everton (h)
May 15 Watford (a)
April 19 Man City (h)
April 23 Liverpool (a)
April 30 Crystal Palace (h)
May 7 Aston Villa (a)
May 15 Tottenham Hotspur (h)
April 30 Arsenal (a)
May 7 Manchester United (h)
May 11 Watford (h)
May 15 Everton (a)