Its tuesday afternoon, and I’m tapping away on my borrowed laptop at Seishi High School, blissfully passing the time trying to get this new blog incarnation up to scratch before teaching a couple of classes this evening. The WordPress platform has clear advantages over Blogger, although it does require a bit more work to get the most out of it. Anyway, I digress. This is intended as the first post in the “Football” section- utilising the categories you see on the left to streamline the content of this blog into beautifully divisible sub-sections. Of course, there will be some crossover, and those posts will go in the “General Blogness” section. Ah, I do love a tidy blog.

Anyway, football.

Last weekend (as documented in “Disaster in Birmingham”) we lost 5-1 to our city rivals Aston Villa, a result that leaves us (to use a true football word) mired in the relegation zone, with only three games to go. Lets take a look at the remaining fixtures, and see if we can’t work out how all this toil and trouble will end.

The Table As Is

16th – Bolton, 32 points (GD -20)
17th – Reading, 32 points (GD -28 )
18th – Blues, 31 points (GD -17)
19th – Fulham, 27 points (GD -26)

As denoted by the italics, it’s the second two positions- 18th and 19th- as well as Derby in 20th, that will go down. The key is the remaining fixtures, so let’s also lay those out for you, good reader (CAPS is home games)

Remaining Fixtures

Bolton – Tottenham, SUNDERLAND, Chelsea
Reading – Wigan, TOTTENHAM, Derby
Blues- LIVERPOOL, Fulham, BLACKBURN
Fulham – Man City, BIRMINGHAM, Portsmouth

All in all a fairly mixed bag of games for every club. I think we can count Fulham as down-and-out, but other three really are too close to call. The Blues “should” in theory get a good 7 points from their games- a draw against Liverpool, a backs-against-the-wall win at Filham, and a home finish vs Blackburn. Also Pool and Blackburn have nothing to play for in the league. Yet this is probably wishful thinking considering how we’ve been playing recently. Bolton- I predict- will glean 5 points from their games-away draws and a home win vs Sunderland. Finally Reading- I reckon they will lose to Wigan, draw with Spurs and beat Derby, giving them 4 points. If my predictions are right the final table will be as follows…

16th – Blues, 38 points
17th – Bolton, 37 points
18th – Reading, 36 points

Of course things clearly won’t go to my plan, and it could all come down to the last day of the season, when us and Reading have easy games while Bolton travel to Stamford Bridge.

Conclusion

This is all idle speculation (obviously), but the dangers of relegation are weighing heavily on my mind, not least because (at this current moment) my plan is to return to the UK in the summer. Having to watch the likes of Plymouth and Burnley at home on a tuesday night would be (and I apologise if I sound like a Premier League snob), simple unbearable. The games are next saturday (when I’ll be out drinking in Okayama), the saturday after (when I’ll be out drinking in Kobe with my visiting dad and uncle), and the saturday afer (when I’ll be pacing up and down my living room listening to my computer). Let’s hope the Blues can do it, if only to spare me Plymouth. Please god, not Plymouth…

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