Birmingham on brink of relegation and could rue poor home record
Birmingham City have won just two Championship matches at home all season, but thankfully for beleaguered Lee Clark their final game of the campaign is at Bolton Wanderers.
Coral make the Blues joint 10/11 favourites alongside Doncaster Rovers for the drop, and even a victory for the West Midlands club (7/4) may not be enough to survive if results go against them. They could well join Barnsley and Yeovil in League One next term.
A draw at the Reebok (5/2) would only be enough for Birmingham to stay up on goal difference if Paul Dickov’s Rovers lose at champions Leicester City (8/13).
There is one other permutation that could keep the Blues up, but it requires Blackpool to be beaten by Charlton Athletic (11/5), and both Millwall (5/2) and Doncaster (3/1) to get no more than draws.
It thus seems that Lions boss Ian Holloway and Seasiders caretaker Barry Ferguson should survive, and that is reflected in their respective relegation odds of 16/1 and 66/1.
Millwall host Bournemouth and can only go down with a draw (5/2) or a defeat (23/10), coupled with wins for Birmingham and Doncaster. Blackpool can only lose second-tier status if they lose and all three sides below them get three points, and that would be lousy luck.
At the right end of the table, it should be a straight battle between Reading (9/2 to go up) and Brighton (12/1) for the final play-off place. Either will join Wigan Athletic, QPR (both 11/4) and Derby County (9/4) in the lethal lottery.
There is still a mathematical possibility that Blackburn Rovers could crash the top six and be promoted (200/1), but those other sides would need to lose by four goals and Gary Bowyer’s men win against Wigan by the same margin. It’s hardly likely.
The Royals (10/11) host already promoted Burnley (11/4), and a victory for Nigel Adkins will take the Berkshire outfit into the play-offs, irrespective of the result Brighton record at Nottingham Forest. Oscar Garcia’s Seagulls need to beat the Reds (6/5) and hope Reading can only draw (13/5).