Fulham hopes are high with survival magic man Magath
Eight teams are still not mathematically safe from Premier League relegation, with two and three games to go of the season depending on the club. Here Coral preview the non-televised fixtures.
Stoke City v Fulham
Felix Magath is a man used to winning matches, gaining trophies and even playing chess in his spare time, but the World Cup finalist as a player is even more noted in his home country Germany as a master of survival.
In his early managerial career, he was known as ‘firefighter’ for coming in and revitalising struggling teams, and, with current side Fulham in 19th place and a point off safety, their odds of 5/2 to stay up sound enticing.
They are, however, odds-on at 2/7 to go down, but face Stoke who are already know they can not get relegated. Having lost just one of their last four games, they certainly have momentum, so back them at 23/10 to win here.
Aston Villa v Hull City
Remarkably, Villa (7/1 relegation odds) have neither lost nor conceded against the Tigers (100/1) in their last eight matches with them in all competitions. In fact the last time Hull won was way back in the old Division 2 in 1987.
Back Paul Lambert’s men at 3/1 for a victory to nil again, or 9/5 just to keep a clean sheet. The Villans sit just three points above the drop zone – two behind Hull – but have a game in hand on the current bottom three sides, and are priced at 13/10 to win to all but assure safety.
Manchester United v Sunderland
Giants killers Sunderland (11/4 to go down) travel to Old Trafford against a United side full of optimism and hope, following the temporary appointment of club legend Ryan Giggs as manager.
After staring at a fixture list of Manchester City, Chelsea and relegation rivals Cardiff a couple of weeks ago, and sitting bottom of the table, virtually no one would’ve fancied Sunderland’s chances of survival. However, they somehow took seven points from those three games and now lie out of the drop zone with a game in hand.
It seems a tough ask for Gus Poyet’s side to win here for the first time since 1968, though, so back the Red Devils odds-on at 1/3 for victory, or 8/1 to beat them 2-1, as they have done so twice this season.
Newcastle United v Cardiff City
Basement side Cardiff (1/25 odds-on favourites to go down) simply have to win at St James’ Park to have any chance of survival. They are just two points off safety, but have played one match more than 17-placed Sunderland.
The Bluebirds have taken a reasonable four points from their last three games, including an away victory against top 10 side Southampton. They can be backed at 11/4 to beat the Magpies away – who have nothing to fighting for anymore this term – as they did in the FA Cup earlier this season.