The Premiership - So who's coming second?

Last updated : 03 March 2003 By Brian Dawes

Newcastle will play Boro away this week and that could prove to be a tricky derby game, while Manure at home is obviously a tough one. But apart from those two matches Charlton and Everton away are as hard as it gets for them. Matches against Blackburn, Fulham, Villa, Birmingham and West Brom are hardly likely to phase the Barcodes. Although they still have their local derby against Sunderland to complete even that hardly looks problematic on current form. Then again although their fixtures may look fairly easy who knows for sure, even the easiest matches on paper can be anything but with a Championship riding on the outcome.

Merchandise United of course have yet to play at Highbury and at home to Liverpool but the key match for both our Championship contenders will almost certainly be Manure's visit to St James' Park. Quite apart from that, no matter what Fergusmoan might say, they will be concentrating all their efforts on making an appearance in the Champions League Final at Old Trafford and that can only be good news as far as our Premier Championship hopes are concerned.

Arsenal with such a vastly superior goal difference only need to match Manure or The Toon on points to clinch the title, which means that even if one of our challengers were to gain maximum points, something I consider to be highly improbable, we'd only require seven wins and a draw from our remaining nine matches. I say only - but it looks to me as if we're hitting our stride again and although there is still a very long way to go the biggest problem we're likely to face during the run-in will be posed by the FA's Kangaroo Court and dubious refereeing decisions.

The fat lady may only be thinking about clearing her voice in the wings right now but I for one am looking forward to her singing with eager anticipation.