In the run in to the end of the season, I am going to be focusing on whether a prime relegation candidate can get enough points from their final five fixtures and survive- that team is Hull City. It was believed that getting rid of Phil Brown, and bringing in Iain Dowie, would give Hull a better chance of surviving but if anything the opposite has happened.
The club are in deep trouble, and they currently sit in 19th position- four points from safety. They survived on the last day of last season, but can they do it again? Let’s see if they can get enough points from their last games:
Saturday, 17th April – Birmingham (A): In normal circumstances I would predict that Birmingham would win here. However, this is Hull’s chance to show some character and fighting spirit after being humiliated by Burnley – 4-1 – last weekend. It will still be a severe test but they will be determined to show that the result is out of their system.
Wednesday, 21st April – Aston Villa (H): This is Hull’s game in hand and they should be right up for it in front of what is likely to be a packed KC Stadium. Villa will be no pushovers, and given that Martin O’Neill’s men have had some indifferent results recently, they will want to finish as high up the league as they possibly can.
Saturday, 24th April – Sunderland (H): I see this as a must win game for Hull. It’s their penultimate home game and against a side that has nothing to play for. Dowie should have his team fired up here but they have to be wary against a side that has strikers in form and playing in a relaxed manner. I reckon there could be a few goals here and it could take some magic from the home team to win it.
Prediction: Hull win
Monday, 3rd May – Wigan (A): There was bound to be a fixture like this in the run-in. This is the match where the term ‘six-pointer’ is most appropriate. Wigan will be tough opposition here and a nervy 90 minutes is in store for both sets of fans. I make Wigan slight favourites given the fact that they are at home and this could potentially be the match where the Latics maintain Premiership status for next season.
Prediction: Wigan win
Sunday, 9th May – Liverpool (H): It seems certain that Liverpool can’t get fourth spot but could have a Europa League final to look forward to. I have a feeling that it could come down to this game, just like last season, for Hull. No matter what kind of season the Reds have had, they are not the type of opposition you want to be facing on the last day in an attempt to stay in the Premiership. Even then, I don’t see Hull losing the match.
Total points after 38 games – 33. It would be amazing if they survived with that many points but a lot will depend on how Wigan fare in their matches. Considering I have them down to only lose one match in the run-in, the odds are still against them to beat the drop.
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