Who will be relegated from the Premier League?
With West Ham United dropping out of the Premier League on Sunday with defeat at Wigan, the final day of the season sees two relegation spots still to be decided. Five teams are battling against the drop so three will be saved with two joining the Hammers in the Championship next season. With so much money and prestige involved in the Premier League, all of the clubs will be desperate to stay up for another season but there will be tears and recriminations on Sunday.
At the moment, Wigan Athletic and Blackpool are in the drop zone and it would be easy enough to think that they will still be there at the end of play on Sunday.
Can Wigan achieve the great escape?
Second bottom Wigan Athletic travel to FA Cup finalists Stoke City on the final day of the season, with the Potteries club looking to finish their own season on a high-note. There was disappointment for Tony Pullis’ men at Wembley with the defeat to Manchester City but the club have qualified for Europe and had a tremendous season so will be keen to leave their fans with a good memory. A defeat at The Britannia Stadium would definitely relegate Wigan but the closeness of the relegation fight means that a point may be enough to keep them up if results go in their favour.
In fact, due to the closeness of the teams at the bottom, Wigan Athletic could lose and stay safe by moving up two places, depending on the other results.
Goal difference could be crucial
The key issue at the bottom is likely to be goal difference with Wigan, Blackpool and Birmingham all on 39 points. Wigan have a goal difference of -22, Blackpool with -21 and Birmingham on -20. Therefore, if Wigan lose by one goal (moving to -23) but Blackpool and Birmingham suffer heavy defeats, the Latics could be saved in the most unlikely of fashion. There is also the fact that even if Wigan Athletic win their game on Sunday, they could be relegated. Sunday will be a day of nerves and watching out for your opponents score to ensure that you know what have to do to keep yourself safe.
Blackpool need a minor miracle at Old Trafford
Blackpool travel to Manchester United which most people would say is a banker home win but it may not be. United have already won the league and their minds will be on the Champions League final. Who can forget the dramatic last day at Old Trafford when West Ham stole a win with a Carlos Tevez goal, keeping them in the top flight against all odds? Similarly, Birmingham travel to Tottenham Hotspur, who could need a win to secure their Europa League spot for next season. The thing is, boss Harry Redknapp has questioned whether Spurs want to be involved in the Europa League next season so an away win would not be the biggest shock.
The other game at the bottom sees Wolverhampton Wanderers welcome Blackburn Rovers to the Molyneux where a win would keep either team safe. A draw may not be enough for either team, depending on the other scores so you can expect this match to be an edge affair.
The battle against relegation is genuinely one of the tightest it has been in years and it will be very hard to call this one.