Has the Football League’s fixture computer been chatted up by Metal Mickey?

Has it been fed some ‘Atomic Thunderbusters’ as the silver-bodied 1980s children’s favourite used to call them?

Because, as Mickey would say, it appears to have gone all ‘boogie boogie’.

And Dean Saunders is not at all amused. He feels not so much short-circuited with the Easter programme, as short-changed.

The reason? Birmingham City’s 21-and-a-half hours extra rest ahead of Monday’s crucial St Andrew’s derby.

Blues are away at Palace – one of five Championship clashes tomorrow – a day earlier than Wolves kick-off at home to Middlesbrough.

And Saunders smells a rat.

“I’m a bit annoyed really,” he said. “Birmingham are playing on Friday night and we are playing on Saturday which is a bit unfair. Obviously that was done before I arrived.”

Saunders will assess individuals’ fitness over the weekend before deciding whether an already injury-hit squad can allow players playing twice in 48 hours.

“It is always a dilemma – especially if you win the first game,” he said.

“So I have to judge it, how they look as they come out of that first game.

“I’ll get them in on Sunday and see how we go on Sunday morning, speak to a few of them, and try and get the freshest team I can on the pitch – because they (Birmingham) get a day’s more rest than us, which is unfair at this stage.

“I just don’t know how it’s happened. I’m not going to hammer anyone though.”

A win for Blues on Monday would banish any lingering relegation fears with a healthy seven-point advantage over their West Midlands neighbours.

A defeat could haul them back into the mire in a division that is tighter than a pair of Simon Cowell’s trousers.

Seven points is all that separates 12 teams from 23rd placed Wolves to 11th placed Burnley

“It’s amazing, isn’t it? The Chairman was telling me Leicester went down with 52 points,” said Saunders.

“But how many points did the teams below them have?”

Scunthorpe finished on 46 points and Colchester on 38 points in 2007/08, a season where Albion won the title with a relatively meagre 81 points.

“It has never been as tight as it is now, with every team on 40 points or near enough. There’s normally some team on 15 or 16 points now,” Saunders added.

“Financial Fair Play will be coming in soon so you have to have one eye on that when you are signing people – that’s a long way in the future but right now eight games left and we’ve got to win four of them, I think. So if we can get two wins in these two games now you’ll see a difference in the league table.

“The teams around us are playing each other. Sheffield Wednesday are playing Barnsley (on Saturday) – there’s a few of them playing each other.

“There’ll be a couple of teams down there who don’t win out of these two games, so if you can win two you can pull away from a couple of them.”