Preamble

Phew! So we escaped an apocalypse. But it may well feel like the end of the world for Blues fans today if they only draw or lose and results elsewhere go against them. If Birmingham do go down there's a natural successor for the failed Christian doomsday prophet, Harold Camping. Paul Doyle predicted that Blues were plodding towards relegation back in December, when they were mid-table and enjoying their run towards Carling Cup success.

Birmingham are where they are in the league (17th) because they have been a shambles in front of goal all season. No team has scored less than Blues' pitiful 36 goals – less than one a game. Nikola Zigic's injuries and general oafishness in front of goal haven't helped matters and allied to that impotence has been a leakiness at the back that hasn't allowed them to pick up the 1-0 wins of seasons gone by.

A question for Birmingham fans: Would you undo Obafami Martins' Wembley winner and give up the Carling Cup to avoid relegation today? It's a stupid question, but I always feel that people gloss over how much winning things actually means to fans and put too much emphasis on the slog to finish in a respectable league position.

Spurs may actually have real motivation today too. Their victory over Liverpool last week has put them in pole position for fifth, and while the Europa League may seem about as appealing as a three-day-old warmed up kebab, unless Spurs finish fifth they may end up in the qualification rounds for the competition by virtue of 'fair play' which, ludicrously, begin in a little over four weeks. So they could save themselves a tedious 8,678 matches if they qualify outright.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Birmingham City

And I have Wigan and Birmingham being relegated with Blackpool surviving on goal difference after a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

I'll be back shortly. In the meantime, feel free to email me to tell me how wrong I am.

3.24pm: This Manchester United team may put a smile on Birmingham fans' faces: Van der Sar, Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Scholes, Anderson, Nani, Park, Berbatov.

3.32pm: An email: "As a Spurs fan I can't give much encouragement to Birmingham fans as it's so hard to call this one," says John Willoughby.
"Birmingham have so much riding on it, and it's hard to tell if Spurs have anything riding on it. On one hand, they really wouldn't like to be back playing competitively in four weeks for the Europa plasticware, the defence played wonderfully against Liverpool last week, and I can't see Birmingham scoring past them. On the other hand as per most of the season, they won't be interested in beating Birmingham (because they're not in the top third of the table) and so are unlikely to turn up. Perhaps the key thing is - if Harry plays his disaffected XI as opposed to his starting XI, they might well see this game as a last advertisement to other clubs for their services and play up a storm. Who knows?"

3.33pm: More good news for Birmingham. "I had a surprisingly good sleep," says Alex McLeish. His players mightn't have got many Zzzzzs mind.

3.41pm: "Good atmosphere at WHL today?" asks Matthew_McEvoy. I wouldn't know as there's no coverage on Sky yet, but there's much mumbling around Guardian Towers.

The teams

Spurs: Carlo Cudicini, Younes Kaboul, Michael Dawson, Ledley King, Danny Rose, Aaron Lennon, Tom Huddlestone, Sandro, Luka Modric, Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe. Subs: Heurelho Gomes, Jermaine Jenas, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Wilson Palacios, Niko Kranjcar, Vedran Corluka, Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

Birmingham: Ben Foster, Stephen Carr (C), Roger Johnson, Curtis Davies, Liam Ridgewell, Seb Larsson, Barry Ferguson, Keith Fahey, Craig Gardner, Jean Beausejour, Cameron Jerome. Subs: Colin Doyle, Matt Derbyshire, Akwasi Asante, Nathan Redmond, Jordon Mutch, David Murphy, Enric Valles.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

3.48pm: "I think your predicted goal from Blues is optimistic," sobs Daren Palmer. "But I still expect my team to do the walk of shame along with Blackpool (pity). I predict Wigan to win 2-0 and Wolves/Blackburn a convenient draw. Grieving in Australia ..."

3.54pm: Looking at the team selections it looks like Birmingham are going to try and wrestle control of midfield with five players packed in there. Seb Larsson may be the most likely outlet as he will perhaps try to test the young Spurs left-back, Danny Rose. Nullifying Modric must be their priority. He's been wonderful this season. Hard to pick up and fantastic at threading passes through the tiniest gaps. He ran the show in the first half last week at Anfield.

3.55pm: "Gregg, tweeting? Really?" asks a puzzled John Willoughby. "Are you going to have time to translate as you go? I for one do not easily understand messages like "Erf Brmnhm R usg dis lng balls up fr zig 2mch km? Prbbly." I got dragged into the future last week, John. It's a cold, perplexing place.

3.56pm: I finally have some coverage of this match. A good 3,000 Blues fans have made the trip to White Hart Lane. Many of them are in fancy dress(or perhaps red-and-white Where's Wally? clobber is the trend in the West Midlands these days).

3.58pm: "Luckily enough it's a weekend game so Defoe can play," writes Kieran Kelleher. "He gets Thursdays off apparently." He won't be there next season will he?

1 min: Peep! Matthew_McEvoy will be interested to know that there's a good atmosphere at White Hart Lane as the game gets underway. Spurs are shooting from right to left on my TV. Spurs in white, Birmingham in blue. Paint that picture in your mind if you can be bothered.

2 min: Crouch links up well with Defoe, who sprints down the right wing and tries to get Lennon away on the overlap, but Ridgewell deflects the pass out for a corner.

3 min: The corner is played in much too deep and Birmingham clear. They struggle to keep possession and play the ball long. Spurs goal-kick.

4 min: "We're all going on a European tour," sing the Blues fans. They may also be going to such places as Doncaster, Burnley and Ipswich next season too. But nice to see that they're positive about 2011-12.

6 min: It's all very bitty in the opening exchanges. A very overcrowded midfield is making it difficult for either side to play any successful passes. Rose has a couple of encouraging runs up the left wing for Spurs but Carr uses all his experience, watching the ball carefully and blocking his two attempted crosses.

8 min: Rose wins a corner after another burst forwards (he looks very quick). Modric plays it short and receives the ball back at a more open angle, he curls a cross to the back post. Crouch wins the header, but it goes straight up in the air and Foster leaps highest to collect.

11 min: Spurs are starting to dominate. Crouch controls with his back to goal and slides a great ball through to Sandro who is rushing into the box in the inside-right channel. With a narrowing angle, he cuts inside and drives at Foster's near-post, forcing the keeper into a save with his left foot. From the resulting corner Modric finds Huddlestone on the edge of the box, but his volley is blocked by someone's unfortunate backside. I reckon a Huddlestone drive is the noisiest shot in football. There's a real thump to it.

13 min: Birmingham are being forced deeper and deeper. Modric, who is growing in influence with Huddlestone winning the ball and playing it to him at every opportunity, finds Sandro with a square pass on the left-hand side of the penalty area. Sandro turns sharply and drives at goal, but it is very central and Foster tips over the bar comfortably. Nowt to report from Modric's corner.

16 min: Birmingham are being given no room to breathe in midfield. They get squeezed back and Johnson is forced to wallop the ball up to Jerome, whose first touch makes his second touch a tackle, which he loses.

17 min: Jerome chases a lost cause down the left wing and gains possession ahead of Kaboul. He turns sharply inside and out and tries to find Beausejour in the penalty area, but his cross is cut out by King.

19 min: In the absence of any other emails I'll publish this one: "Ladies and gentlemen of the sporting press. I announce the arrival of your payslips." Woo! Spurs are back in possession. Modric cuts a wonderful pass back into Crouch's feet on the edge of the area. The big man uses his awkward frame to turn his defender, but alas, his shot is lame.

21 min: Modric (who else?) sends Rose away down the left wing. Without taking a touch, Rose plays a fantastic ball into the corridor-of-uncertainty which Crouch doesn't anticipate. He could have knocked that in with any part of his anatomy, such was the quality of the ball into the box.

23 min: The volume rises at White Hart Lane as news filters through to the 3,000 Blues fans that Park has given Man Utd the lead against Blackpool. Apparently, Blackburn are a goal up against Wolves too. What does that mean? Well, here's the live table, in which Birmingham are safe in 17th. But it's early days, so don't get too excited Blues fans.

26 min: Peter Crouch has just taken a whack on the cheek bone from Curtis Davies. That might affect his good looks.

28 min: Curtis Davies makes a fantastic tackle on Aaron Lennon as the winger hurtles into the box at full throttle, sliding in with his right leg outstretched and doing that nice Bobby-Mooresque thing of hooking the ball away and then clambering to his feet and playing a neat pass out of defence. I know referencing Bobby Moore with any description of Curtis Davies defending is absurd, but it was very good.

32 min: Birmingham don't appear to have a player on the pitch with the ability to put his foot on the ball and bring others into the game. At his best Ferguson could just about do that job, but not any longer. The Spurs fans half-heartedly cheer, presumably at news that Villa are a goal up against their main contenders for fifth, Liverpool.

34 min: Carr shows Rose the inside channel and looks surprised as the youngster bursts into it thank-you-very-much and whacks a shot at goal. Beausejour throws himself at it and blocks brilliantly. That was dangerous defending from Carr.

36 min: Spurs are working themselves up to the edge of the box and finding a wall of blue shirts lined up against them. A Sandro shot is blocked in much the same way as many of the other efforts from Tottenham's attackers. Birmingham are playing a dangerous game sitting so deep in my humble opinion.

39 min: Crouch, who took a nasty bash on the cheekbone earlier, is replaced by Pavlyuchenko.

41 min: The final-day rollercoaster is picking up pace. Wolves have gone 2-0 down against Blackburn. And Blackpool's Charlie Adam has scored a wonderful goal at Old Trafford to make it 1-1. That means Wolves would go down and Birmingham would be 17th, just.

43 min: Foster makes a smart save low down to his left-hand side. If Pavlyuchenko were a little more alert, he could have sneaked in and scored off the rebound, but he looks like his head's on holiday already as the ball rolls out in front of him.

45 min: The match is playing out like a bit of a sideshow. Spurs are just keeping possession comfortably in front of the Birmingham defence, going from side to side quite predictably.

45+1min: Modric attempts to liven things up a bit with a pop from 25 yards. It's powerful enough, but doesn't trouble Foster, landing safely in his midriff. And that's that for the half.

Half-time

I've got a feeling Birmingham will go down if they carry on playing this wooden, ugly style of football. They need to push forwards and give Tottenham no time on the ball. If they allow Spurs as much possession as they have done in the first half, they'll score eventually. Much like Luke Skywalker's ability to find the tiny weak spot in the Death Star's shield (stick with me), Luka Modric has the ability to pinpoint Birmingham's equivalent (probably Roger Johnson). I'm not saying modric has Jedi-like mind-trickery, just a very good range of passes. Someone please email!

45 min: There's dancing and general japery going on among the Blues fans. It's nice to see, but a tad premature I think. One Wigan goal will poop the party.

46 min: Danny Rose has looked very assured for Spurs so far. It's a pity he's got Bale and Ekotto ahead of him in the pecking order. Other teams would kill to have such an array of talent on the left side of the pitch. Free-kick to Spurs 35 yards from goal. It's played into Defoe's feet. He spins and shoots at goal but it's blocked again.

Goal! Spurs 1-0 Birmingham (Pavlyuchenko 49 min) That Blues party is pooped already. Danny Rose is allowed far too much room to drift inside from the left wing. Stephen Carr allowed him to do something similar in the first half. He pings a pass at Pavlyuchenko's feet, 30 yards from goal in a central position. The tall striker's touch is brilliant, shifting the ball to his right in one move before opening his body up and curling a fantastic shot into the top-right hand corner. Birmingham are going down as it stands.

52 min: Birmingham have no choice but to attack. They should have been more offensive earlier in the game but they seemed content to sit back and wait to see what their destiny might be. Perhaps they are lucky to concede so early in the second half so they can at least try to influence the game and stay up.

54 min: Defoe cuts inside Johnson and looks for the top-right-hand corner, but his effort hits Davies and scoots out for a throw-in. Birmingham cannot keep hold of the ball. It's beyond them. Their best pass is a hopeful one into the channel.

56 min: Crumbs! Blackpool are 2-1 up against Manchester United. Those Birmingham fans who decided to wear fancy dress will probably be regretting doing so right now.

59 min: Spurs continue to be the dominant force in this game, keeping possession at will and choosing when to up the pace and attack down the flanks or more intricately through the middle. Spurs fan Michael Aston isn't impressed, mind: "Modric's last game for Spurs? Only wish it were Redknapp's too ..." Some people will never be happy.

62 min: Birmingham win a free-kick 40 yards from goal and send everyone up for it. Larsson swings a dangerous ball into the back post towards Ridgewell, but King leaps highest and clears for a corner.

63 min: It's 2-2 at Old Trafford. Birmingham almost take advantage of the news as Johnson gets his head on to Larsson's ball into the box and powers a header just wide of the goal. Somehow Ridgewell keeps the ball in play and zips a cross back into the area, but Spurs boot it clear. This is more positive by Blues, if not exactly pretty to watch.

65 min: Suddenly Birmingham are trying to play football. They work their way up to the edge of the Spurs box with a few neat passes into feet, but Fahey's final ball lacks accuracy and squirts away ahead of Jerome and out for a goal-kick.

67 min: "Lack of emails probably reflects the quite bizarre decision to MBM (just verb-ed it, yes) this fixture," chides Michael Butler, who is at least kind enough to email me. "As a Spurs fan, I'd have preferred the gory details of the Wolves-Blackburn scrap to the repeated empirical confirmation of 'we-need-a-striker-we-need-a-striker-we-need-a-striker-we-need- ...' I can tell you without any equivocation that Birmingham need-a-striker-need-a-striker-need-a-striker. They're still playing five in midfield.

69 min: "SPAIN COLUMN, pasted and attached. Cheers," writes Sid Lowe. Thanks Sid. Alex McLeish waves his arms around like a crazy scarecrow as his side struggle to play the most simple passes. Modric sets Defoe on his way, he turns to his right and releases Lennon into the box. His cross is clipped back to Huddlestone on the edge of the box, but his strike is weak and wide of the left post by a couple of yards.

73 min: An almighty roar goes up as Carr wins a corner on the right for Birmingham. Larsson fails to beat the first man, which is unforgivable when you have so many big men in the box.

74 min: McLeish drags Larsson off after that poor corner. On in his stead is the striker Matt Derbyshire. He should have made that change 20 minutes ago. United have gone 3-2 up at Old Trafford. So as it stands Birmingham and Blackpool go down.

77 min: Derbyshire wins a corner with his first run forwards.

Goal! Spurs 1-1 Birmingham (Gardner 78 min) The Birmingham fan scores to give Blues hope of staying up. The corner was no better than Larsson's as it was played into the box, but Spurs failed to clear it properly and Gardner collected the ball with one touch off his left thigh and hammered a shot into the left-hand corner of the goal past Cudicini's outstretched arm. But what's this ...

80 min: ... Wigan have equalised against Stoke, so I think, Blues are still just about staying up as it stands. Blackpool are 4-2 down so they look to be tumbling into the Championship. Gardner almost gives Birmingham the lead with a dipping 30-yard strike. The positive change made belatedly by McLeish has worked.

83 min: "Rose is looking one hell of a player, isn't he?" writes Martin O'Connor, seeming completely uninterested in relegation matters. "If Bale continues at left wing, Rose is a useful understudy to both him and Assou-Ekotto. With Kyle Walker coming back from loan, the full-back positions look quite strong next season. Need a striker though!"

84 min: Defoe is an inch away from knocking Birmingham back into the drop-zone. Lennon shifts the ball quickly to his right and lifts the ball back to Defoe on the edge of the six-yard box, but the ball is slightly behind the striker and he can't connect on the full toss and slices wide.

86 min: Drama! Wolves have scored. Birmingham will go down on goal difference as it is.

87 min: Kranjcar for Huddlestone. I don't think Brum have got another goal in them. That one-goal-a-game average is gonna do for them I reckon.

88 min: Birmingham are doing all the defending. Johnson throws himself into a tackle on Defoe after Modric had waved his wand and slipped a lovely little pass through two players to the striker.

89 min: Fahey attempts a hopeful cross from the left, but bladders the ball into Kaboul's hefty body. McLeish looks exasperated. He'll have to rely on something happening elsewhere as his team look clueless.

90min: Birmingham have three minutes to save themselves from relegation.

90+2 min: Birmingham win a corner. Ben Foster comes up for it.

90+2 min: Beausejour plays a good ball in but it falls just too far in front of Johnson on the back post.

Goal! Spurs 2-1 Birmingham City (Pavlyuchenko 90+3min) And that's that for Brum. The Russian takes advantage of Blues' desperate search for a winner. The ball arrives at his feet after a Spurs break forwards, and he rifles the ball home and consigns Birmingham to the second tier.

Full time

Well, my prediction of 2-1 was correct today and Paul Doyle was right in December when he predicted Birmingham would go down too. And his reasons for their fall into the Championship were borne out today. Birmingham were too predictable, hopelessly short of ideas and any players, except Craig Gardner perhaps, with the ability to create. They were playing a very good Tottenham team, but those same limitations have been exposed against lesser teams this season. So Birmingham join Blackpool and West Ham in the Championship, with Blackburn, Wolves and Wigan staying up. Thanks for your emails. Ta ra.