If they can beat Stoke next week, and QPR +/ Wigan lose (both teams currently on 37 points), Bolton will be safe on 38 points. If Bolton win and QPR +/ Wigan draw, it will go down to goal difference. Stoke are never easy to beat at home and Bolton are just dire at the minute. They started last season with such promise however ended up a lowly 14th and have failed to improve this season. After it looked like Muamba's problems may have united the team, sealed with a win over Villa, they have failed to fight back enough and realistically you would have to imagine it will be Bolton or QPR for the drop.
Horryfying moment Muamba collpsesWigan have been playing fantastically, beating Liverpool, Stoke, Man Utd, Arsenal and being unlucky to lose to Chelsea, over the past month or so which is one hell of an achievement. It's only a shame they have left it so late in the season to hit form. Aston Villa have been looking dangerously close to the relegation zone themselves with McLeish leading the team to the worst home record in the clubs history. That is some mean feat. Birmingham City got relegated by the ginger Scotsman this time last year on 38 points - the same tally Villa currently holds. Bolton would have to beat Stoke 18-0 with QPR and Wigan both winning to see Villa go down but the truth is, it has been far too close to call. Last season, under the management of 4 different men, Villa managed to finish 9th when they hit a run of form towards the end of the season. This season, Villa have won merely 4 homes games and an even more dismaying 3 away games. McLeish's negative, long-ball, defensive football has ensured Villa a fair amount of draws but the side have looked clueless and, if results were counted from January, would surely be on their way down to the Championship. Villa have never been relegated from the Premiership, along with Everton, and the club needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror. It was an inevitable ending from the moment McLeish was appointed and it shows the calibre of man he is. Not one wanted at Villa Park, that is for sure. He has been met with abuse with chants of 'Oh Lord, Sack McLeish' amoung others becoming Villa regulars. He barely came out if the dugout at the last home game of the season against Spurs, where his side put in another dismal performance and he once again made bizarre and ridiculous substitutions. There were protests before the season even started and Lerner for the first time let slip that he may not understand football as much as previously the thought. The board members who advised Lerner on McLeish certainly had screws loose.