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Relegation Dogfight: West Ham, Charlton, Fulham, Wigan and Sheffield United

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With 3 games left to go and Watford relegated, sides 15th to 19th have little time left in which to negotiate their survival.

West Ham, Charlton, Fulham, Wigan, and Sheffield United are all in the relegation mess (separated by 4 points) – let’s look at the remaining fixtures of each of these 5 sides and evaluate their chances.

West Ham United

West Ham’s so called revival was booted out by a 3-0 defeat to Sheffield United. It’s hard enough when you are stuck in 19th place but West Ham have not made it easy for themselves, and team spirit is low.

Current Status

19th place, 35 games, 32 points, -30 goal difference

Remaining Fixtures

Wigan v West Ham, 15:00 (Saturday, 28 April 2007)

West Ham v Bolton, 15:00 (Saturday, 05 May 2007)

Man Utd v West Ham, 15:00 (Sunday, 13 May 2007)

West Ham can hope to get points from the Wigan away game and the Bolton home game. Knowing how important those games will be for Wigan (relegation fight) and Bolton (race for 5th spot), I’d be surprised if West Ham got anything out of them.

Best Case Scenario

West Ham get 6 points from those 2 games. I don’t see them beating United, at least not at Old Trafford.

Although 6 points is a big stretch, the question that must be asked is – will 6 points be enough?

Wigan Athletic

Current Status

16th place, 35 games, 35 points, -19 goal difference

Remaining Fixtures

Wigan v West Ham, 15:00 (Saturday, 28 April 2007)

Wigan v Middlesbrough, 15:00 (Saturday, 05 May 2007)

Sheff Utd v Wigan, 15:00 (Sunday, 13 May 2007)

Best Case Scenario

Wigan’s best chance for survival will be to win their last 3 games – 9 points will keep them clear of West Ham and possibly Sheffield United and Charlton as well. They’ve shown a fighting spirit in their recent Tottenham game and if they can carry that through to the next three games, they should be safe.

Fulham

Current Status

15th place, 35 games, 36 points, -19 goal difference

Remaining Fixtures

Arsenal v Fulham, 16:00 (Sunday, 29 April 2007)

Fulham v Liverpool, 15:00 (Saturday, 05 May 2007)

Middlesbrough v Fulham, 15:00 (Sunday, 13 May 2007)

Best Case Scenario

Fulham have a serious problem. They play Arsenal and Liverpool back to back, and if Liverpool avoid their away day blues and smash Fulham for a few goals Fulham will then have to contend with beating Boro away (a tough ask).

Best case scenario would be 4 points – beating Boro and drawing with Liverpool. Without Chris Coleman though, that looks a dodgy bet.

And if Wigan, Sheffield United and Charlton can grab more points, then Fulham could be in big trouble.

Charlton Athletic

Current Status

18th place, 35 games, 31 points, -21 goal difference

Remaining Fixtures

Blackburn v Charlton, 15:00 (Saturday, 28 April 2007)

Charlton v Tottenham, 20:00 (Monday, 07 May 2007)

Liverpool v Charlton, 15:00 (Sunday, 13 May 2007)

Best Case Scenario

Charlton couldn’t beat Sheffield United and now they’re in a bit of a bother. The next 3 games are very difficult. Charlton will hope for draws against Blackburn and Tottenham but beating Liverpool could be too much to ask for.

Best case? 6 points if they beat everyone except Liverpool, but realistically we’re probably looking at 1 point (draw with Spurs). Not enough, 1 points.

Charlton might just be out of the race.

Sheffield United

Current Status

17th place, 35 games, 35 points, -20 goal difference

Remaining Fixtures

Sheff Utd v Watford, 15:00 (Saturday, 28 April 2007)

Aston Villa v Sheff Utd, 17:15 (Saturday, 05 May 2007)

Sheff Utd v Wigan, 15:00 (Sunday, 13 May 2007)

Best Case Scenario

Sheffield United have Neil Warnock to thank for their fighting spirit, and it will certainly help them that 2 of their last 3 games are against relegation opponents, and those two are at home. Sheffield United should thrash Watford and edge it against Wigan, and then it’s up to the Villa game to decide what will happen.

Best case scenario would be Sheffield United winning all three games although something more likely would be Sheffield United getting 6 points (losing to Villa).

Should be enough, especially with Charlton having far tougher fixtures.

Final Verdict

Can West Ham beat Bolton at home? Can they beat Wigan away? If they do, they have a good chance at survival.

Wigan are 2 points clear of Charlton but play West Ham at home and Sheffield United away. If they can win those two games, they’re through safely.

Fulham have 3 tough games ahead of them and Sheffield United’s have the easier run-in and could finish ahead of Fulham. They are helped by Charlton’s failure to win when it really matters (against Sheffield United)

Charlton have some very tough fixtures. Alan Pardew will do his best, but after 1 point in their last two games Charlton have little time left to catch up.

Home games against Watford and Wigan give Sheffield United a good chance of climbing above Fulham and Wigan and towards Premiership survival. Sheffield United probably have the easiest run-in of all 5 sides, and they should be safe.

Your thoughts?

Comments (11)

  1. West Ham will go down because going down is the Hammers’ way.

    Fulham have no business being in relegation trouble, but they’ve been lost at sea over recent weeks and now they’ve no one to steer the ship. These days, they never look like getting a goal, nevermind a result…welcome to the Championship, Fulham.

  2. I’d rather have Fulham and Sheffield United go down instead of West Ham and Wigan, but at least with West Ham going down Tevez will come on the market and so will Dean Ashton.

    United moving for either, eh?

  3. Sheffield United are looking pretty safe now.

  4. id rather have sheffield and wigan go down than charlton and west ham. wigan isnt a football town, can’t fill their stadium, and are a championship team. If wolves / westbrom / birmingham / sunderland or any other top 10 championship team were in wigans place, theyd fill their stadium every week.

  5. Ashtons going nowhere

  6. I have a feeling that one club between Charlton and West Ham will stay up – I’d put my money on West Ham – and think they have a good chance of beating Wigan next Saturday.
    Wigan seem to have completely lost their way.
    If Wigan go down watch for a Newcastle United bid for Leighton Baines.

  7. Ed, if Wigan do down watch for the whole Premiership going after Baines :) Spurs will want him too, so will a host of other mid-table Prem clubs.

    West Ham can beat Wigan but they can’t beat Bolton or Man Utd.

    Unless they pull off a miracle and beat Bolton, and Wigan somehow lose to Boro at home, this aint happening.

  8. I think Fulham will barely pull it off. They are ahead enough of Charlton and West Ham enough that I think they will squeak into the last remaining premiership spot.

  9. that miracal you said came true west ham are staying

  10. **miracle**