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[Archived] News Article -> BRFCS Guide To Survival Sunday

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[caption id=attachment_2434" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Picture courtesy cn174]squad-300x225.jpg[/caption]So, Rovers' battle to avoid relegation goes into the final weekend of the season and the final day has already been built up in the media as "Survival Sunday", with Rovers facing fellow relegation candidates Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux. Here at BRFCS we thought that it was time to look at all the possible permutations for Rovers.

As things stand, West Ham have been relegated. Two teams from Wigan, Blackpool, Birmingham, Wolves and Rovers will join them. Wigan, Blackpool and Birmingham are all on 39 points and all have vastly inferior goal differences to Rovers, who are on 40 points along with Wolves. Rovers have a goal difference of minus 14, ahead of Wolves on a goal difference of minus 19.

Survival Sunday Rundown

First let's take a look at the key fixtures in the battle against relegation:

Manchester United v Blackpool

Stoke City v Wigan Athletic

Tottenham Hotspur v Birmingham City

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Blackburn Rovers

All games kick off at 4.00pm on Sunday. Wigan and Birmingham both face difficult encounters away from home, with Stoke in need of a result to maintain their position in the top half of the table and Spurs requiring a victory to guarantee themselves fifth spot ahead of Liverpool. Ironically, Blackpool might have the best chance of the three relegation rivals to get a result as the newly crowned Premier League champions don't need the points but do need to keep players injury-free for the forthcoming Champions League final against Barcelona.

Finite permutations

Rovers Beat Wolves

If Rovers beat Wolves, then that will guarantee Premier League safety regardless of what the results of the other games are. This is the most straightforward and the least stressful way of achieving safety for Rovers.

Rovers Draw with Wolves

If Rovers draw with Wolves, then it opens up the possibility of all the other teams getting past Rovers. However, for this to happen, all three of Wigan, Blackpool and Birmingham would have to win, so even one of these teams failing to win would mean that Rovers would avoid relegation.

Rovers Lose to Wolves

If Rovers lose to Wolves, then this increases the odds of Rovers being relegated dramatically as Wolves would leapfrog Rovers, meaning that if just two of Wigan, Blackpool and Birmingham won their matches, then it would see Rovers drop into the relegation zone.

Infinite palpitations

At the moment it has to be said that of all the teams battling for survival, Rovers are by far in the strongest position, but that is hardly cause for complacency. This season has seen so many twists and turns, and it is only to be expected that we are in for another rollercoaster ride on Sunday.

The positives are that Rovers have been playing relatively well recently and are well capable of going to Wolves and getting the result that is needed. But should things go wrong, then Rovers do have the comfort of knowing that their relegation rivals face some very tough away games.

One thing is for sure, this week will be tension-filled for all clubs and fans involved in the relegation battle. For a generation of Rovers fans this will be the first time that they will have experienced the nerve-shredding tension of a final day when everything is on the line. For others this is nothing new, as over the decades Rovers have been involved in many of these last-day scenarios!

All we as fans can do is support the team. For those lucky 2,800 fans travelling to the game, your backing will be crucial to the team. For the rest, well, let's hope that it doesn't get to the stage where we are all hiding behind the sofa...

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