Luxury problems

So we are going in to the last 10 games of the season.

West Brom, Blackburn, Sunderland, T*ttenham, Villa, Chelsea, Stoke, Liverpool, Everton, and M'boro.
Doesn't look that daunting really does it?

If this was mid season I'd be very pleased with the opposition, but coming into the last quarter it's another matter. Depending on the results up to each game the conditions can be very different and the outcome therefore very unpredictable.

Chelsea and Liverpool may have the title to play for (unrealistic, I know) or just games deciding who will end up second. That is a HUGE difference in player motivation. If these teams are still eying CL glory the home games against them will be quite a bit easier than had we the same games in December. If Carlton Cole can manage to stay on the pitch I won't be too surprised if we get some points out of these games.

Villa away is a tough one for any team and I doubt very much we'll get anything from that game. Especially if they still play for a place in the CL. Let's hope they don't.

Everton away is the second to last game. They have a terrific home record in the PL, their last loss was against Villa Dec. 7! This is the team that may have the least to play for, maybe giving us a chance to bring some points home.

T*tteham away, that's a tough one and not really dependent on where in the league table the teams are at. I fear another loss.

WBA and Stoke are teams we should be able to beat, but they will be in the relegation battle when we play them. This can be really tough games and may well be the deciders of our final league position. If they get the first goal we'll lose not only the game but the UEFA cup spot as well.

Blackburn won away at Craven Cottage in their last game but that aside their stats are unimpressive. They have been trying to stay clear of the last 3 spots for some time and still they seem not to be able to crank out the results, even at home. With a decent squad and game we should beat them.

Sunderland seem to mix results. The ex West Ham contingent will try to impress at the Boleyn but there is none of those I'd like back in our starting lineup at the moment. Sunderland will stay up, there are simply too many teams that need to overtake them and I think they have a better squad than most of those below them. I think they are subconsciously thinking that a loss away against us may still be OK, and that's all we need to win this game.

Middlesbrough at home wraps up the season. If we still have a decent squad to field this will be a win. Boro will by that game have nothing to play for (I sincerely hope) and if a UEFA cup place is depending on this result we'll be in Europe (don't you hate that expression) next season!

Contending that 7:th league place is primarily ManC and Wigan.
City have some pretty tough games still in their fixture list, but the ManC enigma is too hard for me to solve. Their performances seem to be "toss-ups" and I can't really predict if they will get their stuff together.
Wigan have a fixture list pretty much like ours - opposition team motivation will affect their reminder of the season too. That last game (our win at Wigan) may prove very important!

So will we play UEFA cup football next season?
I'm afraid not, the chance is certainly there but the lack of routine in the squad and a weak bench may prove costly. Some months ago we were doomed by quite a few to championship football next season (and we're still "only" 11 p ahead of the 18:th team at the moment).
In that light UEFA or not doesn't seem that important, but it would be so sweet to have a better go at it compared to the last try in 2006, when we had the bad luck of having to play Palermo at their all time high. But then we certainly cannot afford to lose any more players to injury!

One step at a time, let's start with a victory against WBA on Monday!
Come On You Irons and prove me wrong!


Prince H said...

I promise ypu: We will be able to get a point against Villa! :-D

Joppe - said...

Or I will get your record collection? :D

Prince H said...

Only the Beatles 45:s...