Premier League Relegation Watch - The road to Hull
Hull City's game in hand has been and gone, and Iain Dowie's men find themselves staring deeply into the abyss.
With the relegation candidates all having just three games left to save themselves, it now looks like Wolves will be in the clear, with a six-point safety cushion over the drop zone.
There is now a mini-league between Burnley, Hull and West Ham, from which only one team will suvive to fight another day in the Premier League.
- Premier League fixtures
- Premier League table
Hull City will feel they still have two winnable games left, at home to Sunderland and away to Wigan before a final day showdown at the KC Stadium against Liverpool.
Given how dreadfully they played on Wednesday, barely creating a chance and looking like a side devoid of confidence, it is difficult to see where their next goal is coming from, let alone point.
They may be able to scrape for draws against Sunderland and Wigan, but Liverpool will be too much for the tame Tigers. Their fate is now out of their hands.
West Ham will be reinvigorated after Hull's latest defeat, and Zola's men should now be chomping at the bit to get a vital three points against Wigan Athletic tomorrow afternoon.
If big man Carlton Cole can find his shooting boots once again, the Hammers should win against a Wigan side who never travel well. West Ham then travel to Fulham, who may be distracted by a Europa League final to risk too many first team players in a meaningless end of season game for the Cottagers; expect the Hammers to pick up a point there.
Those four points should keep West Ham's heads above water, because they face a grueling task at Upton Park on the final day of the season against Manchester City. Given the tightness of this season's Premier League, 35 points will probably be enough for them to escape relegation.
As I reported on Wednesday, Burnley look in even more danger than Hull, and with games against Liverpool, Birmingham, and Tottenham left Brian Laws and his team look doomed.
The gulf in class between Burnley and the top half of the league has been exposed cruelly and often in the second half of this season. With all their games coming against top half teams, their time looks up.
The ball is now firmly in Zola's court. For the gentile Italian, it is not only his club's future that is on the line, it is his own. Keep them up, as I expect him to do, and he will be seen as the saviour.
- Robbie Blakeley
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