Weekend Preview: Can Harry Redknapp Save Birmingham City?by Jack Kitson / 21 April 2017, 16:26Tweet
This week we witnessed quite possibly the final managerial change of the season after Harry Redknapp replaced Gianfranco Zola at Birmingham City. The former Tottenham boss will hope to save the troubled club from relegation in the space of just three games.
We’ll take a look at Redknapp below, along with the potential promotions and relegations that could occur this weekend.
Can ‘Arry save Birmingham?
In one of the more surprising appointments of the season Birmingham City revealed Harry Redknapp as Gianfranco Zola’s successor at St Andrew’s. The veteran gaffer, 70, has three matches to save the struggling Blues from the dreaded drop down to League One, starting with a spicy clash away to the club’s fierce rivals Aston Villa on Sunday.
The Midlands outfit currently sit just two placed and three points above the relegation zone following a woeful run of form under Zola, who left with his head bowed after registering just two wins from 24 games, and zero triumphs from his final nine matches at the helm.
Redknapp, who has not been in the dugout since February 2017, is working for free but will be handed a bonus if he keeps the club in the Championship. The Villa clash will be an intriguing one, while Brum must then lock horns with promotion-chasing Huddersfield (h), then relegation rivals Bristol City (a) on the final day.
Each game offers a different challenge, but the three-point cushion combined with Redknapp’s man management skills and wiliness should be enough them in the second-tier.
Promotion possibilities for Rafa Benitez and Phil Parkinson
Five managers have already achieved the feat of promotion this season - step forward Chris Hughton, Chris Wilder, Darren Ferguson, Derek Adams and Paul Cook - and a couple more can join the promotion party this weekend.
Newcastle, led by Champions League winning manager Rafa Benitez, were expected to steamroll the Championship, but while all has not gone entirely to plan, they have the chance to seal promotion on Monday.
The Toon can book their place in the Premier League with a victory over Preston, should Huddersfield lose and Reading fail to win over the weekend.
Then, down in League One, Phil Parkinson has the chance to lead Bolton up to the Championship at the first attempt, providing the Trotters win and rivals Fleetwood lose.
Doom and gloom for Graham Barrow, Luke Williams and Omer Riza?
Three managers could suffer the ignominy of relegation this weekend, one from each of the three divisions in the Football League.
Wigan, who are on their third manager of the season in Graham Barrrow, could suffer their third relegation in five seasons if they fail to beat mid-table Cardiff, Nottingham Forest win and Birmingham don’t lose, or if they lose and Forest win.
Swindon’s five-year spell in League One could come to an end should they they lose and their relegation rivals Bury avoid defeat. The Robins, who reached the play-off final in 2015, have endured a very poor season, with the elusive Tim Sherwood simply no where to be seen…great impact Tim.
Another club that could, well inevitably, be doomed is trigger-happy Leyton Orient who will definitely be down if they lose, or if Hartlepool grab a rare win.