All they needed was a win to make sure they were free of being dragged in to the final day relegation battle against a side guaranteed Premiership Football for next season but Portsmouth proved a bridge too far for Sunderland. They will now go in to Sunday’s final round of matches knowing whatever happens they have to match Newcastle United and Hull City’s results come 6pm to have any chance of survival. It sets up a tremendous day that gives us a parallel with the final day of the 2006-2007 season when Shefffield United, West Ham United or Wigan Athletic were set to be relegated depending on the results.
Thankfully as far as I’m aware we won’t be having any legal challenges after the final whistle this season but I won’t be counting my chickens just yet. Whilst we will miss anything like the titanic clash between Sheffield United and Wigan on the final day, we know now that 3 matches will have a direct effect on the Premiership relegation issues. Someone will go down to join West Bromwich and Middlesbrough, unless Middlesbrough put 4 past West Ham at Upton Park and Hull and Newcastle United lose.
The interesting thing here now is that we could face the fact that the powers that be will be now be faced with showing 3 games simultaneously as events unfold in Hull, Birmingham and Sunderland. God knows what they’ll do if Middlesbough do go 2 goals up against the Hammers.
The permutations that could effect the final day seem to be most I’ve seen since the Premiership started back in 1992 and I can’t honestly say who will stay up. I’m going to try and work out who needs what for Sunday.
So Middlesbrough will survive if Hull and Newcastle lose and they win as well as making up the 4 goals they need on Hull City.
Newcastle will stay up if they win or draw and Hull City lose.If Hull draw, they need to win.
Hull will stay up if they match Newcastle and Middlesbrough’s results, regardless of the score.
Sunderland will stay up if they match Newcastle and Hull’s result.They will be relegated if they lose or draw and Newcastle United and Hull City win.
Ok, so have we got that then? Form wise it’s hard to separate the 4 teams above West Bromich either.Based on the each of the 4 sides last ten games, it’s tough to see any of them winning on the final day, but ironically, Sunderland and Middlesbrough’s only win in the last ten was against Hull City. Newcastle’s only win in the last ten games was against Middlesbrough and Hull’s only win was away at Fulham.
- Newcastle United Last 10. W1 D3 L6 F 7 A15 7 Points
- Middlesbrough Last 10. W1 D3 L6 F7 A19 7 Points
- Hull City Last 10. W1 D2 L7 F5 A13 6 Points
- Sunderland Last 10. W1 D2 L7 F4 A 16 6 Points
Going on that form you’d have to say that it wouldn’t beyond the realms of imagination to see all 4 sides lose on the final day and stay exactly where they are. Whilst I doubt that scenario could happen, days like this are what keeps us coming back for more. I wish the fans of all 4 sides the very best of luck and may the best, or least worse side stay up.
Keep your radio’s at your ears, get the mobile phone fully juiced and make sure if you’re at the game you’ve a reliable friend sat at home who can tell you exactly what’s happening at any ground at any given time.For the rest of us lucky enough not to be involved, I just hope we have a cracking day and we’ll see exactly who will be playing Premiership football next season at 6pm Sunday.