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The Race to Europe #2

Everton, Bolton Wanderers, Tottenham Hotspurs, Reading and Portsmouth are all fighting over three spots. Over the remaining few weeks of the season I will be running a series of articles called; "The Race to Europe." This will be updated any time any of the five sides play.

Recap

My predictions from "The Race to Europe #1," where very mixed. I thought Everton would draw at West Ham but they lost. I was convinced Bolton would beat Reading but they lost. I predicted correctly that Portsmouth and Tottenham would draw(even got the 2-2 score line correct!)

Latest Standings

5th Everton 54 (15)
6th Bolton 54 (-3)
7th Reading 51 (6)
8th Portsmouth 50 (5)
9th Tottenham 50 (-1) One Game In Hand

Remaining Fixtures

Everton

Man United- Home (0-2)
Portsmouth- Home (2-1)
Chelsea- Away (1-3)

57

Everton have some really hard fixtures left: Man U and Chelsea are different class and I can`t see Everton getting much against them. Portsmouth could become a huge match!

Bolton

Chelsea- Away (2-0)
West Ham- Away (1-1)
Aston Villa- Home (1-0)

58

Bolton face title challengers, along with a relegation threatened team. There is no guarantee Bolton will pick up the required points over the next few weeks!

Portsmouth

Liverpool- Home (0-0)
Everton- Away (2-1)
Arsenal- Home (1-0)

54

54 points would mean drawing with Liverpool and BEATING Arsenal. Although neither have much to play for! With two home games remaining and an away game with Everton- it`s in our own hands!

Tottenham

Middlesborough- Away (1-1)
Charlton- Away (1-2)
Blackburn- Home (1-0)
Man City- Home (1-1)

55

Tottenham have three home games left of which I expect them to win at least two. Charlton away won`t be easy but I think they will get something at Middlesborough. They have good squad depth and are well equipped for Europe.

Reading

Newcastle- Home (0-2)
Watford- Home (1-0)
Blackburn- Away (0-2)

54/b>

What a superb season for Reading but I can`t see the remaining four games turning out well for them. I think they face two tuff away games, along with a couple of 50/50 home games. Although I think Europe is beyond Reading, it has been a great year for them.

Final Prediction

5th Bolton (58)
6th Everton (57)
7th Tottenham (55)

8th Portsmouth (54)
9th Reading (54)

Although I still think we will just miss out, you can see from this weekends results how tight it`s going to be.




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The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday April 22 2007

Time: 7:54PM

Your Comments

I know this sounds wrong, but Im still not sure I even want us to make europe. I want to see the squad grow with good players in the off season & to fully cement pompey as a top 10 team with no destractions. As much as I always want us to be striving for somthing, & europe is a great competition that again would be a first for us, building a real top team in the prem is for me, the priority. I am certain that if things work out the way they should do, we will qualify for europe next season & hopfully it will be with a decent sized squad with even more quality enabling us to cope with the demanding fixtures! I challenge anyone to knock how well the boys have done this season, & even though their is always room for improvment, I cant help but think were we were just 5 years ago! O, & well done DJ, stick that in your pipe & smoke it Mclaren!
CharlieChimes
A nice unbiased perspective is refreshing, none of our lot would be so humble. Wish you luck for the remainder of the season. (By the way i think spurs have 50 points not 48)
Phartman87
nice to see us making it into europe from your preds, but i think we will balls it up
EvertonMike
Reading Everton Bolton
gunnerb
If we draw to Man City at home then something's definitely wrong at Spurs
sameoldspurs
If Spurs had 48 points I'd really fancy us to make it but as they have 50 and a game in hand it's looking touch and go now... Whatever will be will be now but I still think we can and will beat Liverpool and Arsenal at FP...
pompeyrug
Double edged sword Europe, very much tougher in the league games the futher you progress. Then again, we can attract players on the back of it. Play a frew games, go out gracefully in R3 & continue to establish ourselves in the league. I still think it is a big ask with a tougher run in than Spuds or Reding.
storagematt
I shared similar thoughts to what you have storagematt the other week. We certainly could attract players through offering them european football then bow out gracefully and continue to move forward in the league, but it doesn't always work like that does it... Whatever will be will be now and whatever happens it's still been a great season...
pompeyrug
sorry spurs points total now corrected
VitalPompeyAdmin
I totally echo what you're saying CharlieChimes, I'd far prefer to wait longer for Europe and build on our squad instead. In fact, I don't care if it takes another five years, my primary concern is that we always remain in the Prem, we can build on from that.

And yes, it has been a magnificent season and as far as I am concerned, whatever we pick up from this point is a bonus.
TruePompeyBlue
Lets not pace ourselves for Europe. By the time we are ready for it, we could be back in the Championship. We have a ferry port that can get us to mainland Europe in 5 hours, so what are we waiting for?
The Rabbi
Think it's a tall order now The Rabbi, Liverpool (h), Everton (a), Arsenal (h) are not exactly the best three to hope for in the run in. I am sure we can turn Arsenal over, maybe even Liverpool as our home form may well give us the edge there, but the crucial one is Everton away and we all know our away form is not worth putting our houses on.
TruePompeyBlue
Its nothing to do with our away form, its the away formation! If Harry had the guts to play 4-4-2 or even dare i say it 4-3-3 away from home and told the players to go for the win then we might be in with a chance. i just don't understand why he is so reluctant to score. maybe he's got heavy money on 0-0?
The Rabbi
Ouch - you are not suggesting rigged bets The Rabbi? I agree about the formation and so allegedly do the players who constantly bemoan playing 4-5-1. So why doesn't our gutless and pointless Skipper speak up and talk to HR about it on behalf of the players, that's part of his job? Mind you, our skipper was probably concentrating on learning how not to give needless penalties away, or looking in the property papers for a new home as he won't be at Pompey next season (or at least, he shouldn't be!!).
TruePompeyBlue
I doubt that we will ever know the truth about Harry's dealings in football. I'd actually rather not know to be honest. I agree with you totally about Dejan. Its time to put sentiment aside and hand him a free transfer along with a large pat on the back for his contribution over the last five years or so. While the door is open I'd also get a taxi for Kanu, and Lua-Lua. As Harry said we need pace and goals, and it ain't going to come on a regular basis from those two. A few pacey, experienced, proven goalscorers would do us the world of good next season. Why don't we bring the likes of daryll Fordice through from the reserves and start blooding the kids. I'd also like to see us wave goodbye to Barry Harris. Does anyone know what that bloke has done at Pompey for the last 40 years? Surely he can't be on a club salary? maybe he's Harry's personal runner.
The Rabbi
 

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