Portsmouth - The race for 5th is very much on!
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The race for 5th is very much on!

Former Pompey 'B.B.C man' Avram Grant did us a favour last night when his Chelski side beat Everton 1-0 at Goodison to leave our chances of finishing 5th very much alive.

To be honest I cannot quite understand why Everton and Chelski had to play last night - surely the TV scheduling did not dictate this - but either way defeat for Everton sees us 4pts behind but we do now have a game in hand - this game being against Citeh on Sunday.

One thing that is certain, if we are going to have any chance of claiming 5th then we must go to Citeh and win!

This is how the table currently stands in the race for 5th:

5. Everton - Pld35 - GD+21 - 61pts
6. Pompey - Pld34 - GD+14 - 57pts
7. Villa - Pld34 - GD+18 - 55pts

  • We have Citeh (a), Blackburn (h), Boro (a) and Fulham (h) left...
  • Everton have Villa (h), Arsenal (a) and Newcastle (h) left to play...
  • Villa have Birmingham (h), Everton (a), Wigan (h) and West Ham (a) remaining...

    'If' Citeh beat us on Sunday then they 'could' be back in the race for 5th, but there form on the whole since the turn of the year does not really make me think that they can claw back enough points to finish 5th - that is not to say that I am expecting us to be able to go there and win easily on Sunday, far from it.

    The race for 5th place will be a battle, and could be a battle that goes right down to the wire. I fancy us to do it, but then again I 'might' be over optimistic as I always think that we will win whenever we play…

    On paper Villa 'probably' have the more favourable fixtures, but then again Birmingham and Wigan are both still fighting relegation, although Wigan could be safe by the time they face Villa?

    Everton have a tough task of going to Arsenal and also face an improving Newcastle side - not easy at all...

    I think our 'key' fixture could be the Blackburn one, they are always a tough nut to crack and if they are still going for a European place then they will give us even more of a game as they would have to beat us.

    The Everton - Villa game could prove the decisive one, ideally we would like a draw, failing that so long as we have a gap on Villa a Villa win might not be bad - should one of these scenarios happen I quite fancy us for 5th to be honest.


    Join the Vital Pompey Debate

  • The Journalist

    Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

    Date:Friday April 18 2008

    Time: 8:59AM

    Your Comments (oldest first)

    Change to most recent first
    Villa Birmingham is never easy, whether or not "places" are up for grabs. I think the future is in our own hands, starting on Sunday. If we can remain unbeaten between now and the end of the season, the pressure will be too much for the others.
    Report Abuse
    18/04/2008 10:33:00

    I agree Tony, can't helping thinking though that Arry seems to be too focussed on the Cup. If we had been more positive against Newcastle we could have won, that really would have put the pressure on Everton. Need to win the last 4 games to stand any chance of 5th.
    Report Abuse
    18/04/2008 10:39:00

    I think we can do it. It might come down to how much Arry wants it.
    Report Abuse
    18/04/2008 11:10:00

    Our loss at Goodison Park is magnified by the current situation.
    Report Abuse
    18/04/2008 11:53:00

    Goal Difference could play a big part in this chase for the UEFA spot. But win at City and we are well on the way. Everton looked tired and have injury problems, Villa have a small squad, so it is there for the taking.
    Report Abuse
    18/04/2008 12:25:00

    5th in the league is now (almost) ours too loose. the fa cup IS ours too loose. what a season!!
    Report Abuse
    18/04/2008 17:05:00

    everton villa is the match. also, we need to not be complacent. last week everton drew, then we didnt try hard to get a win, so endin up drawing. we need to focus on city and benji...long live the king
    Report Abuse
    19/04/2008 00:24:00

    To be honest, I'm more worried about Villa putting together a run of four wins than I am about Everton staying ahead of us. I've got a good feeling about the Man City game. As good as Benji is, I don't fancy City to be able to cope with a big, physical Pompey side. Agree about Blackburn though. That could be the key game, because Mark Hughes has made them a resilient bunch. Still, given that Everton have a really rough few games, and their recent results haven't been great, I do think it's ours if we want it bad enough.
    Report Abuse
    19/04/2008 01:20:00

    a win for us tomorrow, with a defeat for villa also would - i think - just about finish their chances of 5th tbh? i think the thing is tho 'how much 'arry wants 5th' as others have suggested.
    Report Abuse
    19/04/2008 10:12:00

    The next two games will tell a lot for us. Away to City won't be easy & Balckburn are more than capeable of making our lives difficult. Villa are still to play Everton & I fancy Villa to finish the stronger.
    Report Abuse
    19/04/2008 19:48:00

    go for it boys it'll be the cap on a great season for you!
    Report Abuse
    19/04/2008 20:55:00

    Well Villa are absolutely hammering their Birmingham City neighbours at the moment, so we need to rake in the points today to fend them off for sixth as well as pressurising the Toffees for fifth.....exciting times!
    Report Abuse
    20/04/2008 13:28:00

    Race on for fifth?? Think you can count us out now.
    Report Abuse
    20/04/2008 23:47:00


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