↓ Blackburn Rovers. Yes, I know they are have got 4 points out of the last 6, but I still can’t see them staying up. Steve Kean has shown great dignity and doesn’t deserve any of the Rovers’ fans’ vitriol, but his team are lacking. And they are so reliant on Yakubu that if he doesn’t score then they don’t look like getting anything from a game.
↓Bolton Wanderers. This pains me to predict this because Owen Coyle has also been a good manager over the last season or two, and most of the time he has tried to get his team to play the way he wants football to be played. And after last year, I never thought that they would be in this position now. But they have lost key players since last season (Sturridge, Elmander, Stuart Holden) and, again, despite a few good recent results, they are just not picking enough enough points and don’t look like doing so. And if Cahill does go to Chelsea then that won’t help (and have we heard rumours of Kevin Davies’ departure too?) The Trotters’ main hope is probably to make some loan signings in the January window.
↓Wolves. We think the Molineux team flattered to deceive at the start of this season, and despite Hanson and co. saying how they “would be fine” (or maybe because they said that…), we don’t think they will be. They escaped by the skin of their teeth last season but this year they may well not.
Next Most Possible
? Wigan Athletic. Maybe this is just is being a bit over-romantic about the way that Martinez makes his team play, but we just think Wigan may have enough in the tank to escape the drop – again. We hope so.
? QPR. It would be very sad to see Rangers go straight back down again but they are now struggling. They’re not scoring goals, they don’t look like scoring unless Heider Helguson is on form, but at 34 years old, how long can he keep scoring? They could of course turn this around with some January spending, but Warnock would still need to fit any new players into the team and that may be tough.
The only consoliation I can offer to supporters of all the above teams is that we are sometimes wrong! And the prediction-curse can often befall posts such as this. And there is always the seemingly every-season scenario of a team who is apparently safe as of today but who somehow gets dragged down into the relegation battle over the remaining winter months. We won’t predict who we think that will be here, otherwise we’ll go through half the league by the end of this blog…