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Relegation Watch: Swansea give Newcastle a lift

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A result finally went Newcastle's way, and the Mags are up three points with two games to play

Today's result could spell the end of Wigan's days in top flight
Today's result could spell the end of Wigan's days in top flight
Michael Regan

Swansea scored three goals in the second half, due in part to some comical Wigan defending, and Wigan's chances of survival took a massive hit. Wigan are now three points behind Newcastle with two matches to play. Even a draw this weekend would be beneficial (though not optimal). A win by the Magpies at QPR would force Wigan to win their remaining two fixtures. Let's take a look at the table and the remaining fixtures....

15th Place: Sunderland 38 Points Form: LLWWLD

Next up: Sunderland look to regain their form when they host Southampton this weekend. After winning two straight matches, the Black Cats dropped a 6-1 decision to Aston Villa and then drew with Stoke City. Sunderland finish the season with a trip to White Hart Lane, making this weekend their best chance to pick up points.

16th Place: Norwich City, 38 Points. Form: LDLWLL

The Canaries have been limping home and are probably just a relieved as Newcastle are at today's result. Chris Hughton's side saw a badly needed point escape them late against Aston Villa. Norwich are home to 8th place West Brom (who only have one win in their last seven matches). The Canaries wrap up the season with a trip to Manchester City, who have assured themselves of a Champions League spot next season and may have little to play for.

17th Place: Newcastle United, 38 points. Form: LWLDLD

Remember when we beat Stoke? Thought this whole relegation thing was done? Well, only one win since then has put Newcastle in a bind. The schedule offers them points this weekend, as the Magpies head to QPR. That said, Newcastle are travelling, and haven't faired well at all on the road (understatement). A win would be massive, a point may do it, but anyway you slice it, Newcastle need a result against QPR. We welcome Arsenal to St. James' Park to close the season.

18th Place: Wigan Athletic, 35 points. Form: DLLDWL

In past seasons, Wigan have managed much better form down the stretch. This season, the magic seems to have gone. Wigan are playing well enough (they maybe deserved a win over Tottenham, but instead drew 2-2), but things aren't falling their way. After the FA Cup Final, Wigan are away to Arsenal, and then return home to face Aston Villa. That last match seemed to be a relegation six-pointer not to long ago, but back to back wins for Villa have pulled them up to 40 points. Also of note, Wigan no longer have their game in hand and they'll play Arsenal four days after the FA Cup Final.

My feelings is that it may come down to Norwich and Wigan. However, Newcastle can't act as if they're in the clear. They need three points to give them a bit of breathing room heading into the final match of the season.