Relegation Battle Takes Another Twist
Wednesday, 17th Apr 2019 09:22
Just as they thought that the club was completely safe, Saints fans have found that the battle at the bottom is not quite over yet !
After the win over Wolves Saints supporters could have been forgiven for thinking that the club was now safe from relegation sitting 8 points above Cardiff City occupying the third and final relegation spot.
But the Bluebirds showed that although they might be over the white cliffs of Dover that their tenure in the Premier league is going the same way after they went to Brighton and won 2-0.
Although that still leaves them five points from our good selves, it shows us that we can't relax just yet and we still need another win to make sure that we don't blow all the good work of the last few months in the final run in.
From this view point hopefully it will help Ralph Hasenhuttl keep his side focused on the last three weeks of the season and in doing so not only ensure that there are no nasty shocks, but also push us up a few places in the league, the difference between us finishing 16th where we are now and 12th if we could overhaul Bournemouth is around £8 million and that is a nice little addition to the summer's transfer kitty.
Ironically but for last minute goals for both Cardiff and Brighton at St Mary's the picture would look very different today and we would be virtually at mathematical safety.
Cardiff's position in many aspects could be likened to our own exactly a year ago, a draw at Leicester helped a little but with four games left we looked dead and buried, indeed our position looked worse than Cardiff's now, we were 4 points behind Swansea who also had a game in hand.
History now tells us that Swansea blew up completely and would not gain another point whilst we got 7 and stayed up.
Now Cardiff sit on 31 points and Brighton are on that fateful 33 with a game in hand on the Welsh club, both have far more difficult run ins than we had a year ago.
Brighton have to go to Wolves on Saturday, then next week travel to Spurs followed by Newcastle at home and end with Arsenal away and Manchester City at home.
Cardiff start with Liverpool at home this weekend then travel to Fulham followed by Crystal Palace at home and end away at Manchester United.
Essentially it looks like either club if they are to stay up has to do the business before that final day unless they are to pull off the impossible.
This means that Brighton have to get something at Wolves and beat Newcastle and Cardiff have to win against both Fulham and Palace.
On paper it would seem that Cardiff would be the team to bet on, like Saints a year ago they are the team with momentum whilst Brighton like Swansea are in freefall.
However the Seagulls still have the advantage in terms of points and goal difference and Cardiff have no real margin for error here.
Saturday 27th April is perhaps the day the fate of both will look clearer, Brighton have to beat Newcastle and Cardiff win at Fulham, a win for both will push the relegation battle into the final fortnight, however if one fails to win it could either end it or make it very interesting.
From a Saints perspective our job is to make sure that by the 27th April that whatever happens we are not affected in any way and that means a few more points on the board by then.
Photo: Action Images
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