Easter is often an important time in the football season especially in the Championship where two games are played over the weekend. In 2009 a bad Easter cost us the chance of the title but this year Blues aren’t really in such a critical position. A playoff position is very unlikely and one win from these two should remove any fears about relegation. The same cannot be said about our opponents though as they are both involved in real scraps at either end of the table. Palace need the points to push for second and Wolves need them to get out of the drop zone.
The reverse fixtures in December were a mixed bag for Blues. The Wolves game was very disappointing as we were the better team before the freak own goal but the Palace game included a spirited comeback for a good point. Of the two games this weekend the Wolves game is the far more important one for me. A victory on Monday should give us a comfortable gap to the bottom and there will always be some satisfaction in giving the Dingles a push on their way to League One. Local derbies are always interesting and we should enjoy this one as next year we may be the only West Midlands side in the Championship. Sadly I don’t think the Villa will go down and Wolves could well be having to settle for local derbies with Walsall.
It seems a long time since we last played so it’s easy to forget that Blues are on a two game winning streak. The win at Middlesbrough was particularly welcome (Not to mention surprising) as we have a terrible record up there. It probably said more about Boro’s dire recent form than about ours but the three points were very welcome. I expect Lee Clark to play a similar team against Palace before going more attacking against Wolves. It will be interesting to see if Nikola Zigic and Wes Thomas can form a decent strike partnership over the remaining games of the season. We have goals in the team and can still push on for a top ten finish as long as we are also able to keep them out at the other end. Consistency has not been our strong point this season so with that in mind I’m going to predict a mixed bag over the weekend. I’d also like to wish all Bluenoses around the world a Happy Easter.
Palace 2 Blues 1
Blues 2 Wolves 1
C’mon you Blue Boys!