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Stuart Dalgleish 12th May 2012 - 16:10

Premier League Relegation Battle

After Wigan's win over Blackburn last Monday the relegation battle is down to just two teams, and by no means are the team currently in 17th (QPR 2/1 to go down) guaranteed to survive.

Rangers have a two point cushion over their relegation rivals Bolton (4/11), and that realistically should mean that a draw will be enough thanks to their superior goal difference, but when you're up against a team that's going for the title that's not an easy feat to achieve.

I should think many R's fans would probably prefer to watch Stoke's (7/5) match with Bolton (19/10, draw 23/10), such is the supposed inevitability of their result at the Etihad.

Sky Sports have decided, understandably, to show Man City (1/7) take on Mark Hughes' team (20/1, draw 6/1) and also the Sunderland (6/1) v Man Utd (4/9, draw 10/3) game.

I'm not sure on what packages the TV companies decide on at the start of the season, but I would've thought ESPN might've shown the Stoke game, or even one of the matches involving the Champions League chasing sides.

In Spain and Italy, the sides that have no real bearing on end of season outcomes will kick-off at different times to those fighting for the title and relegation, meaning extra exposure to the TV companies, it's something maybe the UK broadcasters could look to for next season.

For now though, we concentrate on these two matches involving the teams fighting for survival.

All the focus really should be on issues at the Britannia, as it doesn't take a genius to figure out what's going to happen in Manchester.

The Trotters simply have to pick up the maximum haul and then expect that their Lancashire rivals will do a professional job on QPR.

It's one of those games that has 'end of season' odds on it, if this game was taking place a month ago there's no way that Stoke would be such a big price, they've proved over the course of the season that they're a better team than Bolton, but we all know by now that come the end of the season these relegation threatened teams can find that extra gear.

That's what Bolton have to do here.

Owen Coyle's team are showing marginally better form than their opponents, but many of the top sides have failed to win at the Britannia this season and you know you're always going to be in for a tough afternoon against the Potters.

It's a physical battle that Bolton are capable of winning though; Wanderers have several strong players in their squad and they will be up for a fight.

While they will have been disappointed to let a two-goal lead slip last week against West Brom, they performed well in drawing at Sunderland and beating Aston Villa in their previous two away games.

With Stoke only winning one of their last 10 games, Coyle and co should be confident of at least doing their part.

One player that has stood up and be counted over the last few months is Martin Petrov (8/1 first goal), perhaps with the off field incidents with his close friends Stylian Petrov and Fabrice Muamba spurring him on, he has been a driving force in the Wanderers midfield.

The Bulgarian is a tempting price to notch at anytime (11/4) in an away win at 5/1.

Peter Crouch (5/1 FGS) will be hoping to continue his fine season and book a place on the plane to the Euros; he's 5/4 to make it 15 goals for the season.

I don't think it will be pretty to watch; under 2.5 goals is 21/20 and 1-0 to Bolton is worth a punt at 10/1 - the Trotters are 11/10 in the draw no bet market with Stoke priced at 4/6.

QPR are the other team in the mire, and I think their fans will be glued to their radios and electronic devices most of the afternoon as the goals flow in front of their eyes.

It's the first time that City have been involved in a Premier League title race, but I don't think the pressure will tell.

Our Match Winner offer on the game is for EITHER Vincent Kompany (7/1 anytime) or Yaya Toure (6/4) to score and City win the league at 6/4, enhanced from Evens.

The pair have been outstanding performers in this outstanding team, stepping up to the plate in recent weeks with big, big goals; they both deserve to have a winners medal around their necks at 17:00 Sunday.

There really isn't a lot more to say on this game; 1/7 is probably the best banker you'll see all season, maybe for a bit of value though look at correct scores - 3-0 is 13/2, 4-0 15/2 and a real battering by 5-0 is 14/1.

Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero BOTH to score at anytime is 5/4, the hot-headed Djibril Cisse went mad celebrating at Stamford Bridge, and if he finds the net at anytime odds of 5/1 his head might well explode.

The French ace is a funny character and we've got a Match Winner on him getting sent off at odds of 25/1, enhanced from 16/1.



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