The English Premier League is reaching its conclusion and the struggle for survival is being fought just as ferociously as the battle between the two Manchester clubs for the title itself. Wolves have already been condemned to relegation to the Championship next season and are rooted to the bottom of the table with just 24 points. Seven points above them but looking almost certain to join them are Blackburn Rovers. They have two matches remaining to save their Premiership lives but a last day visit to Champions League finalists looks a tall order.
If Blackburn fail to avoid the drop, the third relegation spot looks like a straight fight between Queens Park Rangers and Bolton Wanderers. At present they are level on 34 points with Rangers holding and eight-goal advantage on goal difference. However, they must somehow bounce back from a 6-1 defeat at Chelsea that must have severely dented their confidence. Adding to their worries, their very last game of the season is at Manchester City who may possibly need a win to secure the Premiership title.
Three points clear of both QPR and Bolton are Wigan and Aston Villa. Should both QPR and Bolton accrue more than three points from their remaining two games, it is possible that they could be dragged back into the relegation zone. Wigan have been in sparkling form recently and know that victory at Blackburn would secure safety whilst consigning their opponents to Championship soccer next season. Villa have edged perilously close to the drop zone with some very poor performances but do have a superior goal difference to the teams below them. A point in their game at home to Tottenham would probably be enough to secure safety.
QPR boss Mark Hughes has been lamenting his side’s poor away form in recent weeks and must pin his hopes in securing three points against Stoke City. Anything less will surely open the door for Bolton who face the same opponents on the last day of the season following the visit of mid-table West Brom. Bolton boss Owen Coyle knows that even a point against West Brom would still give them a chance of survival on the last day as very few people will expect QPR to come away with anything from Manchester. It promises to go to the very last kick but it looks like Wolves, Blackburn and either QPR or Bolton for the drop this season.
May 6th Bolton v West Brom, QPR v Stoke City, Aston Villa v Tottenham
May 7th Blackburn v Wigan
May 13thChelsea v Blackburn, Manchester City v QPR, Stoke City v Bolton, Wigan v Wolves, Norwich v Aston Villa