So this is it. Anything less than a victory tonight and we are in the playoffs. Anything less than a two goal winning margin and we have to pray for a Coventry win at Southampton or should that end in a draw, an even more improbable winning margin of five goals or more against Hull on the last day of the season.
Of course, even if we win both of our remaining games and improve our goal difference by six, we will still need a relegated club to get a result at the ground of the team that has led the table for most of the season. The chances are slim. Very slim. But where there's hope...
What team will Allardyce pick? If he sets up 4-5-1 and we draw 1-1, he should be sacked on the spot. Go 4-4-2 and lose 4-2, fair enough; but adopt a safety first approach and stay down with a whimper, then we should all agree that enough is enough. We are in this mess because of Allardyce's caution, typified by the inept surrender at Bristol City. Had he gone for it in that game, we could be pulling level with Southampton tonight. What a twat!
Second guessing Allardyce's team selection isn't easy, but if it was down to me, I would go with the following team:
Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Taylor
Lansbury, Noble, Nolan, Collison
Cole Vaz Te
No holding midfielder, straight forward 4-4-2, Taylor bombing forward on the left, Collison pulling inside, Nolan getting forward as often as possible. If we're staying down, let's stay down fighting!