Paul Merson on Cardiff and Brighton chances of Premier League survival
Last Updated: 18/04/19 9:19pm
Paul Merson believes we are in for a thrilling end-of-season relegation battle, with Brighton's fixtures giving Cardiff the edge.
Cardiff went into their midweek clash away to Brighton knowing nothing other than three points would give them realistic hope of being the latest Premier League side to make a great escape, and they did not let their travelling fans down, coming away with a crucial 2-0 win against the Seagulls at the Amex Stadium on Tuesday night.
With Cardiff gaining belief in completing a miraculous survival bid, the spotlight has turned on Brighton as they continue to sleepwalk towards relegation following a fourth straight Premier League defeat. They hold a two-point gap over 18th-placed Cardiff, but still have to face Manchester City and Tottenham - and it is that run in which means it is advantage Cardiff in the bid to remain a top-flight club next season, according to the Magic Man.
Merson's predictions for relegation run in - Brighton
|Opponent and date||Merson's prediction|
|April 20: Brighton vs WOLVES||0-3|
|April 23: TOTTENHAM vs Brighton||3-0|
|April 27: Brighton vs NEWCASTLE||1-1|
|May 4: ARSENAL vs Brighton||3-0|
"Anything can happen with injuries and suspensions," Merson said.
"The timings of the games will have a huge bearing on it. Arsenal could be playing Brighton with a Europa League semi-final to consider either side. That is a different game then. They could have been beaten by Crystal Palace and be out of the top four and putting all their eggs into one basket - the Europa League.
"The same could happen for their final game of the season against Manchester City, who could have already lost out on the league, or have won it.
"But, if Arsenal and City win their previous games, which I think they will, then Brighton are in real trouble - I would not give them a chance in hell of getting something at City. Brighton's fixtures are shocking."
Merson's predictions for relegation run in - Cardiff
|Date and opponent||Merson's prediction|
|April 21: Cardiff vs LIVERPOOL||0-2|
|April 27: FULHAM vs Cardiff||1-2|
|May 4: Cardiff vs C PALACE||2-0|
|May 12: MAN UTD vs Cardiff||3-1|
'Cardiff will stay up'
"I think Cardiff will stay up. Their games are just much more winnable. Palace cannot stand Brighton, and even their own fans will be wanting Cardiff to beat them when they play each other.
"Like I said before with Brighton, it is all about timing. Palace and Fulham have very little to play for, so Cardiff are playing them at the right time.
"Man Utd on the final day of the season - they could easily be out of the top-four race by then and their season finished, playing youngsters to see if they will be good enough for next season."