Date:Wednesday May 13 2009
The battle for seventh position could be settled by Saturday evening.
Fulham could clinch the final Europa Cup spot if the following events occur.
1) Fulham defeat Newcastle at St. James` Park
2) Spurs and Man City draw at White Hart Lane
3) West Ham loses or draws to Everton at Goodison Park
A Fulham win would put the Cottagers on 53 points. A Spurs/Man City draw would put Tottenham on 49 points and City on 48 points. A West Ham loss or draw would keep the Hammers on 48 points or put them on 49 points.
With only one match to play for each team after Saturday, it would be mathematically impossible for Fulham to be overtaken going into the final weekend.
Now, to be fair, Fulham defeating Newcastle is by no means a given.
Newcastle are riding high after their defeat of Middlesbrough this week, and also knowing that they are not yet safe from relegation. A loss to Fulham could draw them right back into the relegation zone, and they know it.
The other results are not so far-fetched. Spurs and City are two evenly matched teams. Man City has the firepower, but White Hart Lane has been a fortress of late. Conversely, Man City do not have a good defensive record on the road, but Spurs are not a high-scoring team even at home. A 1-1 final is certainly possible.
Everton are obviously focused on the FA Cup final and with their own Europa Cup spot safely tucked away, there`s no way of know how they will approach this game. With Carlton Cole injured and Craig Bellamy leaving for Man City, West Ham have had trouble scoring goals of late, but they`ve maintained a relatively solid defense even away from Upton Park. You could easily see this match end in a 0-0 or 1-1 stalemate.
I`m not saying it`s going to happen this way, but it certainly could, and how nice would it be to go into the final weekend, a home match to Everton, knowing that there was nothing on the line. Wouldn`t it be great to let the finale in front of the home supporters at Craven Cottage be a celebration of the best season Fulham have ever enjoyed in the Premier League? Let`s hope it comes to pass!
Date:Wednesday May 13 2009
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