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Who will join Watford?

Watford became the first team to go down this season after a one-all draw with Manchester City and its not clear yet at this stage who will be joining them in the Coca-Cola Championship next season.

The writing has been on the wall for Watford for a long time but recently they have been playing well and could easily have drawn against Chelsea at home only for Salomon Kalou to score a last minute winner. I think a lot of teams coming from the Championship start very slowly and lose a few matches initially but by the time they warm up to the premiership it would be too late to save their premiership status and I think that's what happened to the Hornets.

I am just wondering who will join Watford and at the moment it could be any one of West Ham, Charlton, Sheffield, Wigan and Fulham. Bobby Zamora's wonderful strike against Everton kept the Hammers hopes of surviving alive but I think their goal difference could be a real stumbling block.

West Ham's last three games are away to Wigan and Manchester United and then at home to Bolton and it is that Old Trafford fixture that must be causing a lot of concern for the Hammers supporters. The teams West Ham are playing all need to win their matches for various reasons - Bolton for Europe, Wigan for survival and Manchester United for the title. So its a tough road ahead.

Charlton who also started the season badly are facing Blackburn and Liverpool away and then Tottenham at home. Compared to West Ham's fixture list, this is not a bad one at all and a win against Blackburn could get them on the right path but Spurs will still be fighting to finish in the EUFA places and that could a real big one. Liverpool might have secured third place by then but would want to finish with a win at Anfield but all the same Charlton could get something out of that match.

Sheffield, Wigan and Fulham are currently outside the relegation zone and of the three Sheffield have a favourable fixture line up. At the beginning of the season I didn't give the Blades much of a chance to survive life in the premiership but they look like they will certainly avoid the drop especially after their brave deserved draw at The Valley.

Neil Warnock's side have two games against Watford and Wigan and an away match at Villa Park. They should be able to push aside already relegated Watford and from there all they need are four points from the last two matches to survive.

Wigan has an interesting fixture list facing two relegation threatened teams, West Ham and Sheffield and then a home match to Middlesborough. For them its going to be like playing in three cup final matches in a row but I guess depending on other results the last match against Sheffield may not be all that significant.

Fulham quietly slipped into the relegation dog-fight after losing their way in the second half of the season which culminated in the axing of their manager Chris Coleman. Their fixture list is a tough one with just one home match against Liverpool but two tough away matches against Arsenal and Middlesborough. On 36 points, they should should be hoping that results elsewhere will save them but I will not be surprised to see them relegated especially if they fail to garner more than three points from their remaining three matches.

So we enter a critical phase of the premiership season as teams at the bottom try to avoid the drop and I hope we are going to watch some exciting matches to cap what has been a wonderful season so far.

West Ham and Charlton should both go down. They have messed up their season with constant unwarranted changes. Charlton changed from one coach to another chasing instant success and should go down to the championship and sort out their problems.

Carl, if one of Charlton or West Ham does not get relegated then it must be replaced by Fulham. That will reduce the number of London derbies!

Carl, I think after Liverpool's win in the Champions League semi-final they may now start preparing for the final and maybe rest some key players and that could benefit Fulham. A win for Fulham against Liverpool will be priceless especially after Fulham lost to Arsenal after looking like they had a draw in the big.

Fulham actually benefited from Liverpool's Champions League win because Liverpool fielded a virtually second string side with only Jermaine Pennant and goalkeeper Jose Reina as the only players who started the UCL semi and rested all the other players. This unlikely Cottagers win will mean that they can breath easy and know that their fate is now in their own hands and if anything it now looks likely that Wigan and Charlton will be the ones to go down. But there could be some twists in the whole relegation battle.

I think its actually unfair for Liverpool to field a weakened side against a relegation threatened team because its unfair to the other teams fighting relegation. Just a few weeks ago Wigan lost to a strong Pool side and how do they feel now when they see a fellow relegation threatened side facing a weak Liverpool team and getting three points. Yes good for Fulham but bad for others.

To be fair to Charlton, I think Liverpool must also field a weakened team against Charlton next week at Anfield.

The Ledge
Think West Ham & Fulham could well be the two. As a Blades fan I am obviously praying it won't be us. We have the best fixtures but at this point of the season does that really make any difference as the results often make a mockery of teams positions.
If we win Saturday it should take us above Fulham and assuming results go our way we should be 5 points clear. With 2 games to go you would assume that to be enough but who knows. Blades have battling qualities as well. I believe they are qualities that Wigan also have but not West Ham, Charlton or Fulham. Going to be an interesting run in but I am aging 5 years every game we play right now. By the end of the season I will be 328 :)

I think Sheffield have a very favourable fixture list and once they win against Watford as I expect them to do, they should be in a good position with 38 points and a Wigan win if that happens against the Hammers would be the best result for Blades. But we have to wait until the weekend to see what actually happens.

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