Date:Thursday April 6 2006
Blues Chase Fulham –Villa
Blues elevation to 17th place on Tuesday may have signalled some relief among the ranks of the Blue & White faithful but having taken six months to rise above some dross below, they could find it even harder to stay there. In order to stay up they need to get more points than Pompey who have 5 home games albeit one against Arsenal and one against Liverpool.
Current form would suggest at least another 10 points from the south coast team. Blues would have to match this. Villa and Fulham are both in free fall and could gain no more points although Villa have Blues Albion and Sunderland to face. If the Lower Grounders can’t get 4 or 5 points from those then they will deserve the drop.
The fact that they are faced with 2 derbies, which if they lose will throw their season into chaos will put pressure on them. Blues Pompey and the Baggies could be within two points of Birmingham’s other team by Easter Sunday.
The get out of jail card which sees Villa at home to Sunderland could go belly up if the then already relegated Wiersiders start winning. Often when teams at the bottom are released from pressure they perform well. Should Villa’ future depend on this result then who knows what could happen.
As far as Blues are concerned if they can stay in front of Portsmouth then they are very likely to pass both Fulham, who have played a game more and Villa. Blues would need to beat Villa at Villa Park, an away venue where they have gained most Premiership points.
The waiting for Blues to get their big players back on the field, a plea that Steve Bruce has been trotting out weekly since July thankfully can be put to bed. Some of his injured party could well have already played their last game for Blues. Blues must survive on what they have got. Steve will need to get a six more performances from the likes of Tebily and Sadler. Lazaridis and Dunn are likely to be available for 3 games if we are lucky. The rest don’t appear to be that interested in getting back.
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