Sunday, April 13, 2008

Delaying the Inevitable?

My beloved Bolton Wanderers won yesterday, 1-0 over West Ham United.  Bolton are still in the relegation zone, 2 points behind Birmingham City and 3 points behind Reading with 4 matches to go.  The Wanderers have given me, as well as thousands of other fans, that most cursed emotion, hope.  

I am frantically looking at the schedule, doing the math based on different scenarios.  Here is what I have come up with.  If we beat Middlesborough Saturday, draw with Tottenham the following week, and then beat Sunderland at the Reebok, that will put us on 36 points.   

Birmingham play Aston Villa in a local derby, and I can't see them getting more than a point from that.  Then they play Liverpool, which should be a comfortable win for the scousers.  Follow that up with a match at Craven Cottage, and hopefully a draw.  Then, Birmingham end with Blackburn at home.  If they win that, they will also end up on 36 points.  But if Birmingham draw or lose, Bolton stay up.  

The other club hovering around the relegation zone is Reading, who currently have 32 points.  They play Arsenal next week, which will be a loss.  And if Bolton win and Birmingham draw, that will drop Reading into 18th.  Then the pressure starts.  I can't see Reading getting more than 2 points from Wigan away and Spurs at home  Reading will be on 34 points going into the last day of the season, when they have the luckiest draw of any team in the league.  Away to Derby.  If Reading win that match, they are on 37 points, and stay in the Premier League for another season.  If they draw or lose, they are going down.

I still expect the worst, relegation for Bolton, but now I am able to hope for the best.

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