Date: 27th March 2008 at 8:36am
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EUROPE: CAN IT BE DONE?

This is shaping up to be one hell of a finish to the season! Assuming doomed Derby, safe Spurs and the secure Hammers have nothing left to play for, then outside of the top three, every other side in the Premier League has a target. City’s is of course the UEFA Cup. Only 10 points separate 4th and 9th place going into the last seven games and anything can happen. Villa and Everton are both wobbling and like Pompey are due a bad run.

Of course, the only way for City to qualify directly is by scoring goals and winning as many remaining fixtures as possible. On recent form, neither seems assured. If City are to realise a Magnificent Seven run in then a seismic change in system and approach is required.

But, looking at what our Euro opponents have to contend with, this race is far from over and could go to the wire…

4th Liverpool: Everton, Arsenal, Blackburn, Fulham, Birmingham, City, Spurs
Breakdown: versus Big Four: 1, Euro Hopefuls: 3, Relegation Fighters 2, Others 1

5th Everton: Liverpool, Derby, Birmingham, Chelsea, Villa, Arsenal, Newcastle
Breakdown: versus Big Four: 3, Euro Hopefuls: 1, Relegation Fighters 2, Others 1

6th Portsmouth: Wigan, West Ham, Newcastle, City, Blackburn, Boro, Fulham
Breakdown: versus Big Four: 0, Euro Hopefuls: 2, Relegation Fighters 4, Others 1

7th Villa: The rags, Bolton, Derby, Birmingham, Everton, Wigan, West Ham
Breakdown: versus Big Four: 1, Euro Hopefuls: 1, Relegation Fighters 3, Others 2

8th Blackburn: Reading, Spurs, Liverpool, The rags, Pompey, Derby, Birmingham
Breakdown: versus Big Four: 2, Euro Hopefuls: 1, Relegation Fighters 2, Others 2

9th City: Birmingham, Chelsea, Sunderland, Portsmouth, Fulham, Liverpool, Middlesboro
Breakdown: versus Big Four: 2, Euro Hopefuls: 1, Relegation Fighters 4, Others 0

SATISFACTION GUARANTEED?

With City now three points off our record Premier League points haul, this weeks poll suggested by city 81 asked how satisfied our Vital Blues are with Svennis at this stage of the season. 60% saw the glass as half full and that realistically, Sven and his backroom team still have work in progress upon the squad they took on 8 months ago. 27% were absolutely satisfied with the way things have gone to date and only 13% were fed up, agreeing that persevering with one up front has cost us this season having held on to a top four place for a large part of the campaign.

MORE TALK OF THE BIG SUMMER OFFLOAD:

City remain top heavy with loaned out, goal shy striking flops and we can certainly expect a good deal of them to book taxis. Emile ‘Lord Lucan’ Mpenza is the latest reported by his agent to be on his way. But, Academy graduate Kasper Schmeichel now says he is considering his options. For squad continuity’s sake and the fact that Isaksson will soon be on his way, surely City should aim to hold on to the lad.

NEW KITS ALL ROUND….ER, AGAIN?

The Official site dramatically announced yesterday that ‘Prices on this season’s home and away kits have now been reduced at both CityStores, and online.’ Could this be the first sign that the club see the unprecedented money spinning success of Le Coq Sportif’s designs across the board this season as being worth a repeat performance this summer? I’d say so. When I think of the stick we used to dish out to the rags over kits down the years, it’s a real toe curler.

NEXT ON THE AGENDA: BIRMINGHAM AT ST. ANDREWS
Saturday 29th March, 15:00 GMT

Brum Form Last 6 PL matches: D,D,W,L,D,L
City Form Last 6 PL matches : W,L,D,L,W,D

In the City sin bin: All clear

Injured: Ball is out with knee knack tfn and Richards, save for weekly interviews remains sidelined.
Meanwhile, Bojinov is realistically and sensibly looking like returning next season barring the odd substitute appearance for the final game or so in this one.

Johnny on the spot?: Too close to call on current form, but heart versus the head, we have to go for it or stick with caution again and risk getting beaten. Worryingly, Brum have scored 10 goals in their last six games and City, only 4. Heart: Brum 0, City 2. Head: Brum 2 City 0.

 

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