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The Vital Run-In

Blackpool's point against Stoke last weekend ensured that they remain out of the bottom three (for now) by the slimmest of margins, but will they still be out of the danger zone come their final home game of the season against Bolton next weekend?

Here's the state of play at the foot of the table:

15. Birmingham - 39

16. Blackburn - 38

17. Blackpool - 35


18. Wigan - 35

19. Wolves - 34

20. West Ham - 32

The team immediately below us - Wigan - travel to Aston Villa on Saturday. Villa are all but safe from relegation, but know that they probably could do with another point to make things certain, and we think they'll get it this weekend.

Prediction: Villa 1-1 Wigan

Birmingham travel to Newcastle knowing that three points should see them safe. Newcastle have several injury problems at present and are on a bad run - Birmingham should get the win they need here.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-3 Birmingham

The crunch clash of the weekend takes place at Upton Park where West Ham play Blackburn. Rovers picked up an invaluable three points last weekend whilst West Ham desperately need a win to move off the foot of the table. However, with doubts over the talismanic Scott Parker's fitness, there have to be concerns over the Hammers' chances - they really struggle without him, with Trevor Brooking commenting last weekend that the squad lacks fight. A draw looks likeliest here to me.

Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Blackburn

The Wigan result would leave the Seasiders in the bottom three come kickoff against Spurs on Saturday evening, but what of fellow strugglers Wolves? They host West Brom on Sunday lunchtime. The Baggies are all but mathematically safe now and are on a good run of form, but Wolves desperately need the points and we think they'll get all three in front of their own fans.

Prediction: Wolves 2-1 WBA

All of the above would leave the foot of the table looking like this (with no result allocated to us):

16. Blackburn - 39

17. Wolves - 37


18. Wigan - 36

19. Blackpool - 35

20. West Ham - 33

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The journalist

Writer: Eamonn Moore  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday May 6 2011

Time: 9:57AM


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