Current bottom three 7-2 for relegation

THE cold snap has arrived but the teams at the head of the relegation market will be feeling the heat as they go head-to-head on what could be a pivotal 90 minutes at the foot of the Premier League on Saturday.

Four of the bottom five – Southampton versus Reading and Wigan v QPR – face each other knowing they need something extra special even though it’s usually after Christmas that teams start to concern themselves with a battle against the dreaded drop.

Six-pointers are usually reserved for April and May rather than December but with a gap already developing it already feels like a case of now or never, particularly for bottom-club QPR, who remain winless.

“My entire focus is on QPR,” said recently-appointed Rangers boss Harry Redknapp on the club’s official website. “If we can beat Wigan tomorrow then our season could take off.”

Coral go 7-2 that the three teams currently below the relegation line – QPR, Reading and Southampton – are all playing Championship football next season with the trio all rated odds-on to wave goodbye to top-flight football this season.

Wigan are seen as the team most likely to scrap, or rather play, their way out of trouble although defeat at the DW Stadium could see them dragged into the mire and for all four teams this really could be a massive chance with fellow strugglers Sunderland odds-on to lose at home to Chelsea.

The Black Cats were rocked by the news skipper Lee Cattermole is sidelined for two months with a knee injury which is a massive blow for Martin O’Neill’s side, who are 7-2 to be relegated. As well as Chelsea, Sunderland must also face Tottenham, Manchester City and Manchester United this month.

Match in Focus

13:30 TODAY

Ural Sver. Oblast v M Saransk

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Ural won just three of their 15 home games last season
Expert verdict
Ural were uninspiring at home last season - no team scored fewer goals on their own patch in the Russian Premier League - and the prices about them beating Mordovia Saransk makes no appeal. The visitors were promoted as impressive champions and look capable of beating a team who finished just three points above the relegation playoff places.

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