Latics facing drop - poll

Readers and bookies in agreement as Wigan edge closer to relegation

By Kristian Walsh   Last updated: 1st April 2011   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Latics facing drop - poll

Pressure mounting: Roberto Martinez

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Nearly half of readers believe Wigan Athletic are most likely to be relegated from this season's Premier League, but the remainder appear split.

The uncertainty surrounding this season's relegation battle has been replicated by readers, with only two clubs - Wigan and Wolverhampton Wanderers - polling more than 10 per cent of the vote.

Forty-nine per cent of the 15,000 readers who took part in the poll believe bottom-of-the-table Wigan will go down, making them clear favourites; but even Wolves, with 11 per cent, are no guarantee to go down with our readers.

Fierce rivals West Brom are third with seven per cent, while four more teams polled between six and seven per cent, reflecting how tight this year's relegation battle is.

Blackburn, Blackpool, West Ham and Birmingham make up that contingent, while Aston Villa and Newcastle garnered four and three per cent of the vote respectively.

Bookmaker Sky Bet appear to mirror the result of the poll with Wigan strong odds-on favourites for the drop. Roberto Martinez's side are only two points from safety but face trips to Chelsea, Sunderland and Aston Villa, making their odds of 1/3 seem fair.

Readers have more faith in Blackpool (11/10) than the online bookmaker with only six per cent of readers backing Holloway's men for the drop; with the return of Matt Gilks in goal and home games against Wigan, Newcastle, Stoke and Bolton, the Tangerines are capable of peeling away from the relegation mire.

Readers seem less confident on the chances of Wolves and West Brom (7/4), while Blackburn's woes are not considered too troubling by readers.

Although Rovers currently sit fourth in the poll, the online betting firm make them 6/4. This low price can be attributed to the growing worries surrounding Steve Kean's job, while away matches to relegation rivals West Ham (7/4) and Wolves could prove their downfall.

The wild cards in this fight for survival are the Midlands pair of Birmingham (13/8) and Aston Villa (7/1). The poll suggests both are capable of staying in the Premier League despite both facing crunch games against those around them.

Birmingham will play Blackburn, Newcastle, Wolves and Fulham, while Gerard Houllier's side encounter Newcastle, West Ham, Stoke, West Brom and Wigan.

Both their fates may rest upon those games, particularly with Birmingham yet to play Chelsea, Liverpool or Spurs away, while Aston Villa face Arsenal and Liverpool in their final two fixtures, meaning wins against those around them will be paramount to their survival.

Comments (2)

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B P (Arsenal fan) says...

With only 6 points between the bottom half I wouldn't be surprised if a "big club" gets really sucked into the battle. Maybe Villa?? It's pretty good to see such a tight run-in, just shows have competitive it really is. Also good to see teams like QPR & Cardiff looking good for promotion!

Posted 18:16 1st April 2011

Gaz Edwards (Arsenal fan) says...

Wigan will stay up, many many people hate Wigan because of the fanbase and of how small a club they are, and its the fact championship clubs such as Leeds, Ipswich, Sheffield UTD and Cardiff are all Jealous of where Wigan have been in the last 5 or 6 seasons, Wigan should be a role model to all small clubs, everything is possible, for that i hope They stay up and yet again prove all the pundits and bias fans wrong!

Posted 16:51 1st April 2011

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