The Premier League is coming into a crucial phase with Portsmouth almost guaranteed Championship football for next season, in 20th place after a poor season.
Beset by financial problems, the involuntary selling of players, and—to add insult to injury—the deduction of nine points for going into administration. They are 10 points adrift of Burnley on 14 points.
The Clarets are sitting one place above Pompey in 19th, on 24 points. Their manager, Brian Laws, has only managed one victory since he arrived at Turf Moor three months ago, a victory over relegation rivals West Ham, and they are still looking for their first away points under Laws.
The Tigers are currently in 18th position on 27 points, a single point behind West Ham but with a goal difference that is almost twice as bad as the Londoners.
However, with a game in hand new Hull City manager Iain Dowie will be hoping that his team will be able to rein in his old club and climb out of the relegation zone.
West Ham's Gianfranco Zola has had a torrid time of it recently as his Hammers have slipped farther and farther down the table to their current 17th place. It has gotten so bad for the little Italian that new West Ham Owner David Gold came out and said his job was safe after fans called for him to be fired.
For Wigan Athletic it has been a tempestuous spell with only one victory over Burnley since they beat Wolves on January 16th. Roberto Martinez sees his side sitting in 16th place, three points above West Ham on 31 points, but with the Premiership's third worst goal difference of -34.
Just above Wigan sit Owen Coyle's Bolton Wanderers and Mick McCarthy's Wolverhampton Wanderers, on 32 points. Both managers will be hoping that one more win will see them safe from relegation for another season, but with both sides having very tough fixtures to come they are still well and truly in the mix.