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Sunderland still lack relegation value despite Villa battering

| 30.04.2013

Sunderland managing to find a way to concede six goals against Aston Villa has left Wigan in desperate relegation peril.

Survival is now well within the Villans’ grasp after their 6-1 demolition job of Sunderland moved them into the queue of teams one win away from the craved 40-point mark. They’re now lofty 11/2 shots for the drop, leaving Wigan to rue Emmerson Boyce’s own goal against Tottenham that little bit more as they stand marooned at 4/11.

Five points separate them from safety and the future looks bleak for the perennial escape artists. Away dates at West Brom and Arsenal fall either side of their maiden FA Cup final, meaning two winnable home dates with Swansea and Villa on the final day should prove inconsequential.

Realistically, they must target three wins from those games, as well as hoping results fall in their favour. However, having failed to win any of their last four games, it is difficult to imagine where they’re going to get nine, or even seven points from.

As the permutations stack up against them, it becomes increasingly difficult to argue how they’re going to pull off their annual Houdini-inspired death-defying antics.

As discussed on Ladbrokes News yesterday, Newcastle could prove a profitable alternative, while Sunderland, having got shown up for what they are by a below-average Premier League outfit, have also re-entered the debate at 14/1 but, unfortunately for Roberto Martinez, it has become a question of hit and hope.

The Black Cats entertain Stoke and Southampton, two sides who share almost-guaranteed safety as well as identical home kits, in the immediate aftermath of their Villa hiding and it’s almost impossible to envisage them not picking up at least one set of three points from those games.

Losing so heavily in the west Midlands might tempt some to have a dabble on the huge price Paolo Di Canio’s men have dangling around their necks, but in the interest of saving the pennies, this would be incredibly ill-advised.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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Author

James Middleton