Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Timmah!

Relegation Season in England

Recommended Posts

The EPL has about four weeks worth of matches left, and as of today, nearly half of the leagues' teams face the possibility of being sent down to the Coca-Cola Championship. The current standings, with their remaining matches:

#20 West Brom Albion (28 points, -30 goal differential) @ Tottenham, vs. Wigan, vs. Liverpool, @ Blackburn

#19 Middlesbrough (31, -24) vs. ManUnited, @ Newcastle, vs. Aston Villa, @ West Ham

#18 Newcastle (31, -16) @ Liverpool, vs. Middlesbrough, vs. Fulham, @ Aston Villa

West Brom only gained their spot in the EPL this season, and have a difficult schedule ahead; only Wigan looks like a match where they could gain three points. Despite Blackburn's mediocre record, they've been playing better at home. Boro is an even better bet to get sent down. They've been dreadful on the road this season and their two home matches are against clubs heading toward European competition. Newcastle seems to be playing out the string, and not even the installation of Alan Shearer seems capable of lifting them. They've earned only three points in their last six matches, and looking ahead, they may only earn three more.

That being said, not all hope is lost.

Hull City (34 points, -22), currently sitting in 17th place, has been even worse than Newcastle of late. Aston Villa is slumping, and that just might allow Boro to sneak out a point, maybe even Newcastle, too. West Ham has dropped two of three, meaning that the final day may not be an end to Boro's days in the top flight. The Tigers' leaky defense could betray them beyond recovery.

Sunderland (35, -15), in 16th place, has lost five of their last six. The Black Cats have visits from Everton and Chelsea (during the final weekend) to look forward to; their trips to Bolton and Portsmouth look slightly more manageable with points attainable. But it's still hard to look past the fact that no team in the league has lost more frequently of late than they have.

Blackburn (37, -18) is in 15th place. Rovers have a pair of victories sandwiching losses in recent weeks, enjoying home cooking in particular. They look like easy targets away to Man City and Chelsea, but have winnable home matches with Portsmouth and WBA.

Portsmouth and Bolton (both with 38 points) and Stoke City (39 points) are also within reach, but are longer reaches to lose their place. Bolton hasn't played particularly well of late, and could make life for their fans interesting, but the others are performing fairly well and seem locked in.

Portsmouth, Bolton, Stoke and Sunderland will all have matches televised on Fox Soccer Channel this weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update:

West Brom, as expected dropped their match with Tottenham, 1-0. Boro gave up a pair of goals to Cesc Fabregas and fell 2-0. Newcastle was beaten into submission by the Reds, 3-0.

Sunderland, Blackburn, Portsmouth and Stoke all failed to firm up their places by losing; Hull will get their chance to gain some breathing room when they face Villa tomorrow.

Only Bolton, with a 0-0 draw away to Wigan were able to earn so much as point. As a result, Wanderers nudge ahead of Stoke into 12th place, thanks to Goal Differential.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Newcastle has snuck out of the Zone!

The Magpie's 3-1 win over Middlesbrough on Monday ties them in points with Hull City, but their superior Goal Differential leaves the Tigers in the trouble area. WBA beat Wigan on Saturday, but that was only good enough to tie them in points with Boro at 31.

Blackburn's 2-0 win over Portsmouth has them firmly safe, but Portsmouth is still in danger, as their standing on 38 points leaves them within reach of Hull City. Sunderland earned a point, but still can't breathe easily.

Wolverhampton and Birmingham City have earned automatic promotion to the EPL for '09/10 by taking the two top spots in the Coca-Cola Championship division. Burnley and Sheffield United will play for the final spot at Wembley on Monday the 25th.

The updated bottom portion of the table (Points, Goal Diff.), with their opponent for this weekend:

#20 West Brom (31, -29) home v. Liverpool

#19 Middlesbrough (31, -28) home v. Aston Villa

#18 Hull City (34, -24) away to Bolton

--------

#17 Newcastle (34, -17) home v. Fulham

#16 Sunderland (36, -17) away to Portsmouth

#15 Portsmouth (38, -20) home v. Sunderland

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Just when I think I'm out...."

Newcastle (at 34 pts) fell behind in the first half, and then watched Fulham 'keeper Mark Schwarzer make two great saves to beat them, 1-0. Hull City (35) came back to earn a draw with Bolton, 1-1, forcing Newcastle back into the Relegation Zone heading into the final week of play.

West Brom Albion (31) were officially sent down after failing to withstand the Reds attack on their home turf, losing 2-0. Middlesbrough (32) put off the seemingly-inevitable by drawing with Villa, 1-1.

Portsmouth (38) is firmly safe heading into their match tomorrow with Sunderland (36), who can earn safety with a win.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tomorrow is the final day of the season, and Middlesbrough and Newcastle fighting for the lives, while Hull City and Sunderland look to keep their place in the top flight.

Middlesbrough will go into West Ham without their top player in midfielder Stewart Downing who had surgery yesterday for a broken foot. Boro has been brutal on the road, so safety appears very unlikely, ending a 10-year run in the EPL.

Newcastle will visit a motivated Aston Villa side, who are currently 6th, and in that spot only qualify for the Europa Cup. If they can surpass Everton in the table, they would be able to go straight in. Newcastle had gone through a difficult period back in the early-'90s, but have been Premier League members since '93/94.

Hull City is one point ahead of Newcastle for 17th place, and get a visit from a distracted Man United club, who are now focusing on next week's Champions League final with Barcelona on the 27th.

Similarly, Sunderland will host Chelsea, who have the FA Cup final on the 30th to be prepare for. Given the delay in time between the matches, however, the Blues are more likely to present the Black Cats with a challenge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it's all over but for crying, and the two clubs that entered today fighting for their Premier League armpatches lost the fight.

Newcastle not only are going down, but lost 1-0 on an Own Goal by midfielder Damien Duff, who deflected a shot by AV's Gareth Barry into his own net just before halftime. The Magpie's '08/09 campaign started poorly, rarely seemed lively, and ended flatly. Just as long-time goalkeeper Shay Given was moved, star striker Michael Owen is likely to depart. Management is expected to try and convince fan favorite Alan Shearer to stay on as manager, and try to revive the club.

Similarly, Middlesbrough fell to West Ham, 2-1, but Boro knew the odds were against them. They not only needed Newcastle to lose, but for Hull to fall, and had to beat the Hammers by several goals. This match served both as a final chance to save the spot, and as an opportunity to assess who they'll be turning to in order to start their journey back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 20th member of the Premier League for 2009/10 was decided earlier today when Burnley defeated Sheffield United 1-0.

The Clarets will be part of the top flight for the first time in 33 years. They took the lead early on a goal by Wade Elliot, and were rarely challenged by the Blades, who finished with 10 men after Jamie Ward received a pair of yellow cards in a span of four minutes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites