Lucky Pants Time

By london_dan Last edited 166 months ago
Lucky Pants Time

Norwich, Southampton, Crystal Palace, West Brom. One of these teams will be partying well into the night on Sunday, leaving the others to look forward to playing Hull, Plymouth, and Burnley next season.

To avoid the drop, Palace will almost certainly have to beat their South East London rivals Charlton. Charlton who haven't scored in four, not won in eight, and lost the last four games; against Palace who have visited the Addicks 14 times in the league and only won once - a 2-1 win in 1989 - and that was at Selhurst Park.

But whatever happens at The Valley on Sunday, focus will have to be shared with their relegation rivals.

West Brom have on paper the easiest tie - at home against fifth-from-bottom Portsmouth. But Pompy have a new manager to impress and won't be giving up this game easily. A West Brom win will mean Palace also have to win to stand any chance of staying up.

Above Crystal Palace on goal-difference, Southampton may have the toughest game on paper - at home to Manchester United. But with United not being able to improve on, or being in danger of losing their third spot and with the FA Cup final in mind, Ferguson will almost certainly put his youth and lesser lights in. And we saw what his lesser lights were able to achieve (or not) last weekend.

So that's no real help to Palace. But a Southampton win will still be ok for the Eagles if they manage to beat Charlton by two more goals than Saints beat Man United. Now, if West Brom and Southampton lose then a Palace draw might be enough. But that depends on Norwich. Are you still with us?

So Norwich, then. (Let's be 'aving you, etc.) - the in-form side and currently in pole position, and who are away to Fulham on Sunday. A Norwich win and Palace are down whatever the other results are. But a draw for the Canaries and a win for Palace will see the Eagles safe, providing Southampton don't spoil things. And a Norwich defeat and a Palace draw will also see them safe just as long as Southampton lose and West Brom don't win.

Crystal Palace will need all the bouncebackability they can muster, and despite what Iain Dowie might say, it's definately Lucky Pants Time.

Before this excitement, West Ham are at home to Ipswich in the first leg of their play-off semi-final on Saturday (kick-off 12:15), with the second leg to be played on Wednesday. While last night Brentford lost the first leg of their play-off semi-final 1-0 away at Sheffield United. The second leg of this tie is on Monday at Griffin Park.

Also playing out the season this weekend are Chelsea who are away at Newcastle, Arsenal who scraped a lucky 7-0 win against Everton this week are away at Brum, and Tottenham are at home to Blackburn.

(Photo from here on Flikr)

Last Updated 13 May 2005