It’s a huge weekend for…Wigan, Spurs, West Ham and Serie A Saturday
Wigan may have won two of their last three games, against Reading and Newcastle, but with Aston Villa’s consecutive victories they still remain three points within the relegation zone. That said, above Villa things are extremely tight. Norwich are twelfth, but a victory over the Canaries on Saturday would leave Wigan four points behind their opponents with a game in hand.
That said, Saturday’s game provides potentially Wigan’s easiest remaining fixture, and given that matches against Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester City follow in the final eight, you suspect that a draw may simply be seen as a further nail in the coffin.
The traditional Spurs slump? Harry Redknapp suffered, and now Andre Villas-Boas is beginning to sweat on a drop in form that threatens to derail a bid for Champions League football. Whilst the loss from behind at Anfield could be put down as ‘one of those things’, the same cannot be said about losing at home to Fulham.
A trip to South Wales awaits, and given that Arsenal have a) a game in hand and b) a home game against Reading, the four point gap begins to look slimmer and slimmer.
Sunderland are the side most evidently getting dragged into the relegation mix, but West Ham sit just two points ahead of Martin O’Neill’s side, and still have trips to Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City alongside a home game against Manchester United in their last eight games.
There is no suggestion just yet that Sam Allardyce’s side will be relegated (they are available at 20/1 for the drop), but a defeat at home to West Brom on Saturday and you can quarter such prices.
Serie A Saturday
With the Easter festivities, all of Serie A’s matches will be played on Saturday in a league that sees battles still on for Champions League and Europa League places and a tight relegation battle (Three of the bottom four will go).
However, the title race could still be opened up. Juve travel to Inter for the Derby D’Italia with a nine point lead at the top, and one suspects that should they win that may well be that, but with games in April including Bayern Munich (h and a), Lazio (a) and Milan (h) alongside potential Champions League semi-final matches, there must surely be a chance for Napoli to take advantage of any eye off the ball?