The table as of 02 May 15:
Let's have a look at the run-ins...
14. Aston Villa - 35
Sat 09 May, 15:00 - West Ham (a)
Sat 16 May, 12:45 - Southampton (a) (BT Sport 1)
Sun 24 May, 15:00 - Burnley (h)
Sherwood's side are in form and in their last three games have beat both Everton and Tottenham, as well as giving Man City a tough game in a 2-3 loss. They'll be fine.
15. Newcastle Un-united - 35
Sat 09 May, 15:00 - West Brom (h)
Sat 16 May, 15:00 - QPR (a)
Sun 24 May, 15:00 - West Ham (h)
On paper that's not too bad, but given our recent displays, Carver openly accusing players of getting sent off on purpose, being down to one fit defender who doesn't even want to be here, etc., I don't see us earning a single point. West Brom always seem to get the better of us, especially when it matters. QPR will actually be fighting for their lives. Big Sam's West Ham will take pleasure in tearing apart whatever shambolic eleven we throw out there and happily send us down.
16. Hull City - 34
Mon 04 May, 20:00 - Arsenal (h) (Sky Sports 1)
Sat 09 May, 15:00 - Burnley (h)
Sat 16 May, 15:00 - Tottenham (a)
Sun 24 May, 15:00 - Man Utd (h)
A very tough run-in, Burnley aside, but this is a Hull City which just won back-to-back games against Palace and Liverpool. They only need to better us by a point, I can easily see them doing that. Both Tottenham and Man Utd have been in questionable form of late, but that could be a different case in 2-3 weeks.
17. Leicester City - 34
Sat 09 May, 15:00 - Southampton (h)
Sat 16 May, 15:00 - Sunderland (a)
Sun 24 May, 15:00 - QPR (h)
They've won five of their last six, and were leading at half-time before losing to Chelsea for that blemish on their record. Two relegation six-pointers (after that one against us as well) and a match against a floundering Southampton, they're definitely getting more than a point more than us.
18. Sunderland - 33
Sat 09 May, 12:45 - Everton (a) (BT Sport 1)
Sat 16 May, 15:00 - Leicester (h)
Sat 20 May, 15:00 - Arsenal (h) (Sky Sports 1)
Sun 24 May, 15:00 - Chelsea (a)
This is the one that really matters, and not because of the whole rivalry thing. Sunderland are the pace setters in the relegation zone, and ultimately the gatekeepers to the Championship; their point tally will decide whether it's themselves or one of the three above them that go down, and given the forecast for Hull and Leicester, that would likely be us. After a dire run of form, although not outdoing our own, they've now begun to pick up points again, winning two of their last four, with a draw and a loss thrown in. In their next four they face an Everton side with nothing to play for, an in-form Leicester trying to create a safety cushion, a seemingly unstoppable Arsenal, and round it off with an away game against the almost certain champions.
Unless Chelsea and Arsenal take it easy once the title is decided, Sunderland's fate will likely be decided in the next two matches. I can see them winning either game and probably drawing the other, but the truth is that they'll likely only need two draws to better us. I would entertain the idea of goal difference separating the sides in our favour if they got ravaged by the two London sides, but it's not as if we're going to be keeping any clean sheets. It doesn't look good.
19. QPR - 27
Sun 10 May, 13:30 - Man City (a) (Sky Sports 1)
Sat 16 May, 15:00 - Newcastle (h)
Sun 24 May, 15:00 - Leicester (a)
Short of a miracle in Manchester, which the side below them recently pulled off, they're as good as down. However as long as it's mathematically possible they should continue to fight, and what better way to end the season than back-to-back six pointers to keep the dream alive? They'd need to win all three games to overtake us, which I don't see happening.
20. Burnley - 26
Sat 09 May, 15:00 - Hull City (a)
Sat 16 May, 15:00 - Stoke City (h)
Sun 24 May, 15:00 - Aston Villa (a)
Despite the easy run-in, I don't see a Burnley side with as many wins in 2015 as Carver's carved up Newcastle, that being two, stringing together three in a row. Even if they get the two and have the dream of survival dangled in front of them, Villa will likely shut that down.