Date: 25th March 2008 at 5:32pm
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Well, it’s fast approaching the ‘business end’ of the Championship season and it’s getting close at the bottom.

Despite being one of the form teams of the clubs battling against relegation, Wednesday currently sit in the bottom three of the Championship with eight games to go, although Brian Laws’ men have two games in hand on most of the teams around them.

So we thought it time we had a look at the goings-on of the teams in and around us.

Of course, our fate is in our own hands, and we wouldn’t want to have to rely on results of other teams, but we have to admit that it’d ease the pressure to see results go our way in other matches.

For the first of our special features ‘Relegation Rivals’, we have a look at Southampton, one of the teams that hasn’t really been mentioned as a relegation candidate, but are now one of the favourites for the drop.

The Saints have arguably the toughest run-in of the teams around the bottom of the Championship, with tough trips to Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic and West Brom all to come, as well as tough home games against promotion-hopefuls Bristol City and Burnley on the cards.

And there could be a first at Hillsborough on the final day of the season, with the possibility of Wednesday fans cheering on the red and white side of the city as Kevin Blackwell takes his Sheffield United troops to St Mary’s on the final day.

It’s not just the fact that Nigel Pearson’s Saints have a tough run-in on the cards, but the Saints have been arguably the worst team in the Championship, at least on paper, since the turn of the year, with just two league wins to their name in 2008, both over relegation rivals Leicester City.

Southampton have also shown the inability to beat their relegation rivals on home soil, with a 0-0 stalemate against Coventry City at the weekend not doing them any favours, while a 5-0 thumping at Hull City the last time on their travels can’t have done their confidence any good.

It’s not just on the field where things haven’t been going well for the Saints, with problems off the pitch also concerning fans of the south coast club.

Bradley Wright-Phillips and winger Nathan Dyer had been detained by police on Tuesday following an investigation into allegations of theft at the Bar Blu nightclub in Portsmouth, with the duo facing questioning.

So all is far from rosey on the south coast, and although their near-neighbours Portsmouth will be looking to bag an FA Cup trophy to their cabinet this year, Saints’ success from now on in will be just to survive what is surely the toughest run-in of the relegation candidates.