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Premier League Relegation Battle Approaches Crux

Hugo Rodallega celebrates scoring for Wigan.


Three of the bottom five Premier League teams have must-win home games this Saturday afternoon as they battle to avoid the dreaded drop.

Blackburn host Bolton, Blackpool entertain Stoke and Wigan face Everton in three matches that the teams at the bottom of the table will have earmarked as fixtures that they must win in order to keep their survival hopes alive.

Blackpool were the only side in the bottom five to pick up a point last weekend and now sit above the relegation zone by virtue of a one better goal difference than third-bottom Wigan. They host Stoke this weekend looking for another three points to add to their cause.

Ian Holloway’s side have the worst home record in the Premier League but face a Stoke side that are not fluent on their travels. The bookmakers make the visitors the slight 11/8 favourites while pricing the home side at 15/8 to pick up all three points.

Wigan’s home record is only marginally better than Blackpool’s but they will be hoping to embellish that statistic with a home victory over Everton this Saturday.

The Latics lost 4-2 to Sunderland last weekend and in doing so slipped back into the drop zone. Manager Roberto Martinez criticised some “ridiculous” refereeing decisions in the aftermath of that defeat and could find himself in trouble with the FA for some of his comments.

Once again the visitors have been made the slight betting favourites at odds of 6/4 with Wigan priced at 17/10 for the win and a draw quoted at 9/4.

Blackburn have a narrow one point buffer above the relegation zone but have now not won in their last 11 games in all competitions. They are the league’s out-of-form team but face a Bolton side that have won just two league games away from the Reebok this season.

Rovers are made the odds-on 10/11 favourites to pick up the win that they need  while Bolton are 3/1 to compound their misery and the draw is priced at 5/2.

There is no room for excuses at this stage of the season for the teams battling relegation at the bottom of the Premier League. Mental fortitude will go a long way to securing Premier League status for those battling to avoid the drop.

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