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York Canary

IT BEGINS TONIGHT

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The biggest week of football we''ve had in years..and it could all come down to what happens elsewhere.

The next 2 days alone could shape it all

Sunderland vs Stoke - 8pm

 

Sunderland have the 2nd lowest no. of goals scored at home (QPR being 1st) and now have Fletcher and Sessegnon out for the season. Wickham also likely to be out tonight. They have less possession under Di Canio and are more direct so they need to be clinical, but without the pace of Sessegnon and finishing of Fletcher it''s going to be tight. All on Danny Graham et al now.

 

Stoke have the joint 3rd lowest no. of goals conceded away from home

 

Anything can happen in this game, but my realistic hope and prediction is a drab 0-0 or ideally a sneaky Stoke win to make it 3 on the bounce for them and massive pressure on Sunderland to beat the free-playing Southampton

 

Then onto Tuesday where both games could have a bearing on our season

 

Wigan vs Swansea

Man City vs West Brom

 

Wigan missing a couple of players, but Swansea missing Michu. Realistically I can see Wigan winning this one as many others do. A draw or loss would be perfect, but it''s highly unlikely with the way Wigan are going at the moment. They''d need to lose one or more of Koné/McCarthy/Maloney/McManaman before I could believe they''d struggle

 

The result of the Man City & WBA game doesn''t matter, but any injuries/suspensions to WBA could be big so it''s something to keep an eye on

 

Worst case scenario

Sunderland & Wigan win (and WBA get through unscathed to boot). We''d be 17th going into the weekend with WBA to play at home and Newcastle in 18th place away to QPR

Winning against WBA is the obvious main target, but we all know that it''s very, very possible that it''ll come down to what happens elsewhere. It''s us after all

 

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I really can''t see Sunderland winning this one, Stoke will be very happy with a point and will batten down the hatches to get it, it''s got draw written all over it for me.

Add further cliches as appropriate!

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If we stay up it is because some one else has thrown it. We are relying and always were relying on others failing.

All of us will be hoping stoke can do something tonight.

Wigan need to lose on Tuesday.

Then our players need to win on Saturday there have been many must wins this season that so many have dismissed on here but it proves why. We needed momentum, that Southampton game came so close to the Everton game and it would have been one we would have robbed from saints. One kick and g holt missing. That is a key moment in this season.

But now each game involving, Sunderland, Newcastle, Wigan and Ncfc are critical. It is on our players who have been inept to turn in that performance this Saturday and see if we need to do something at man city.

The two games this week could set this up for us to take advantage. We all hope so, but these players and coaching staff have let us down totally. They need to repay now!

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Thanks OP

 

This time of year you get wild results. It tends to depend on who needs a result more with mid-table and relegated teams flaking out and champions losing at home, but sometimes the lack of pressure can work the other way e.g. Reading at Fulham (albeit Fulham with nothing to play for).  So there''s no way you can say any result is unthinkable etc - anything can happen.  I always remember our final game of the L1 season against Carlisle at home when we were just safe as Champions and we put in an utterly lacklustre performance against a team we''d have rolled-over until then, losing 2-0.  Or just look at Man U losing at home yesterday against Chelsea, not a massive upset but they''ve been winning everything at home this season.

 

But I''m afraid with nothing much to play for I expect Stoke to lose tonight at Sunderland and similarly Swansea to lose at Wigan tomorrow.  We may get lucky with one of these results, especially Swansea have been safe for a while now and may get their focus back for the last few games (players realising they are playing for their places next season) so we can but hope.

 

However you look at it , Saturday is a REAL must-win game for us, for the first time this season.  If we can beat WBA at home we are still probably safe, if not we''re probably going down.

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I think the big game is QPR v Newcastle next Sunday. If QPR could find any sort of form and beat Newcastle, Newcastles home game the following week against Arsenal would be massive!!

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If you think Stoke have nothing much to play for then you haven''t done the maths. The teams on 40 points are not safe. Stoke will want to get over the line.

Also, Pulis is under huge pressure and will need to finish as high as he can.

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I think if Stoke can keep Sunderland quiet for the first 20 minutes it should start to make for a very nervous atmosphere at the stadium of light and the thrashing will start to play on their minds. Stoke have found some results of late, so I think that there is every chance that they could nick a win! Either way it will be the first time I will celebrate a Stoke goal like a Norwich goal if they score tonight.

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[quote user="Its Character Forming"]

Thanks OP

 

This time of year you get wild results. It tends to depend on who needs a result more with mid-table and relegated teams flaking out and champions losing at home, but sometimes the lack of pressure can work the other way e.g. Reading at Fulham (albeit Fulham with nothing to play for).  So there''s no way you can say any result is unthinkable etc - anything can happen.  I always remember our final game of the L1 season against Carlisle at home when we were just safe as Champions and we put in an utterly lacklustre performance against a team we''d have rolled-over until then, losing 2-0.  Or just look at Man U losing at home yesterday against Chelsea, not a massive upset but they''ve been winning everything at home this season.

 

But I''m afraid with nothing much to play for I expect Stoke to lose tonight at Sunderland and similarly Swansea to lose at Wigan tomorrow.  We may get lucky with one of these results, especially Swansea have been safe for a while now and may get their focus back for the last few games (players realising they are playing for their places next season) so we can but hope.

 

However you look at it , Saturday is a REAL must-win game for us, for the first time this season.  If we can beat WBA at home we are still probably safe, if not we''re probably going down.

[/quote]

 

...SUNDAY...

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Without Beausejour Wigan are going to find it a lot harder against Swansea tomorrow. There''s no one who can replicate his link-up play from defence and he was a huge reason for their success in the second-half of last season. The longer he''s out the better for us.

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If Wigan do beat Swansea then Villa are knee deep in it. They''re not going to beat Chelsea meaning they''re final game of the season could still be the decider.

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The final day is not irrelevant, even if we beat WBA that might not be enough

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[quote user="zippy230255"]I think the big game is QPR v Newcastle next Sunday. If QPR could find any sort of form and beat Newcastle, Newcastles home game the following week against Arsenal would be massive!![/quote]
I agree with this, i now think it''s between us and Newcastle to go down. I expect Sunderland to pick up at least 1 more win with their remaining games and with Wigan beating West Brom at the weekend, a win against Swansea should give them the mental edge to see them across the line. 
Now we all know we are not going to get anything at City, same goes with the Toon at Arsenal, so for me, it could well come down to goal difference if neither team can grab the vital win this weekend.

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[quote user="SYG"]The final day is not irrelevant, even if we beat WBA that might not be enough[/quote]"Irrelevant" is the wrong word. "Write-off", "humiliation", and, as likely to be used by Lineker on Match of the Day "reminiscent of their 6-0 final day defeat to Fulham that saw them relegated in 2005" are probably more appropriate.

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Just to reiterate what CambridgeCanary said earlier, if Stoke win tonight then they are safe. Pulis is under a lot of pressure to finish on a high after a pretty poor run.

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Well the good news is that Sunderland haven''t a Monday night game in the last 17 attempts. Here''s to 18.I''m not sure that Wigan will beat Swansea. Their injuries in defence will have more impact than Michu being missing in the Swansea line-up. Let''s just hope Swansea aren''t already on the beach.Whatever happens in those two games Chris Hughton & Co need to take full advantage of their spying trip to the Etihad to see our last two opponents in action although I can''t see us winning there if Man City were to put out the U18''s.

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"Whatever happens in those two games Chris Hughton & Co need to take full advantage of their spying trip to the Etihad to see our last two opponents in action although I can''t see us winning there if Man City were to put out the U18''s."

If that was the case then we should play our (currently best in the country) Under-18 team!!!

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I''m targetting Wigan out of all our rivals not to make it and this is mainly because of ther Cup involvement.

 

The game against Swansea comes just four days before probably the biggest day in the Club''s history, The F.A. Cup Final and this propect is bound to be looming in importance for both manager and players alike.It is there.  Martinez will likely have told the players that the League is more important and that they need only go out and enjoy Saturday, but will he and his players totally swallow this?

 

Also, the prior-to game against WBA was a very tough one.

 

I think that the prospect of the final will effect the mind-set of the players against Swansea. I hope that it is to their greater rather than lesser detriment.

 

On top of this, they have the awsome game against Aresenal at the Emirates the following tuesday and with their cup dream probably in tatters, or even a replay in  hand (do they still have them?) they are likely to approach this game tired, dispirited emotionally drained and with a sense of anti-climax. A nice thirty minutes of extra time will do nicely to boot. 

 

This could all hangover the following saturday against Villa and will Martinez have a fully-fit squad? I doubt it as this is all a big ask for a club with the relatively limited resouces of Wigan.

 

The F.A. Cup will, IMO, be the undoing of Wigan. They have never before had their traditional end-of-season surge with this distraction, which might have already impacted with their recent run.

 

Without it? I am not so sure.   

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Thanks Yok for the nice, clear appraisal of the games coming up this week. There are, of course, more lifelines if Wigan beat Swansea. It''ll mean we have to win on Saturday, but we almost certanly do regardless of any other permutations. If Wigan do get to 38points, then lose to Arsenal, Villa lose to Chelsea, and we do the business against WBA, we''ll be safe and the pressure will be back on Villa going to Wigan. I hope York you can do another analysis as these next few tense days unfold.

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See I dont really get the whole "FA Cup will distract Wigan" theory.

Staying in the premier league is a lot more important than a game that they arent going to win anyway.

That''s just my view anyway!

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I think if Stoke can keep Sunderland quiet for the first 20 minutes it should start to make for a very nervous atmosphere

We tried that didnt we, then some pratt changed all that.

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the best we can hope from a Michu-less Swansea is to hold Wigan to a draw.....if that happens and Chelsea beat Villa on Saturday, my crude maths tells me that we''re safe if we beat WBA on Sunday.........sounds simple

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