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