The relegation battle is one of the most captivating elements of the Premier League season, and with four games of the season left (or five if you’re lucky), this year’s battle is very much alive. Let’s take a look at the relegation candidates; who they are, who they’ve got left to play and their chances of survival.
Current position: 13th
Games left: Man Utd (A), Newcastle (A), Chelsea (H), Arsenal (A)
One wouldn’t think that the Baggies were in danger of the drop; after all, they’re in 13th and being managed by Tony Pulis, but with three of their last four games against teams from the top four, West Brom must beat Newcastle to be safe. Which, given Newcastle’s catastrophic form of late, makes the Baggies’ chances of survival very high.
Current position: 14th
Games left: Leicester (A), West Brom (H), QPR (A), West Ham (H)
Newcastle are in dire form right now, and whilst it seems unlikely that they will be relegated, they haven’t exactly been giving any reason for their fans to be optimistic. With three ‘six pointers’ against fellow relegation fodder, the Magpies will be on the knife edge. Win one or two of those and they’re safe; lose all three and they could be a genuine chance of going down.
Current position: 15th
Games left: Everton (H), West Ham (H), Southampton (A), Burnley (H)
Villa have been buoyed by Tim Sherwood in the last few months, and with three games against teams without much to play for, it seems likely that Villa will escape to fight another season. With the FA Cup final to look forward to, the players must focus on Premier League survival before worrying about their clash with Arsenal on May 30th.
Current position: 16th
Games left: Liverpool (H), Arsenal (H), Burnley (H), Tottenham (A), Man Utd (H)
Hull’s chances of remaining in the division received a boost on Saturday as Steve Bruce’s side scored twice to beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, but the Tigers face two massively challenging visits from Arsenal and Liverpool before a real showdown against fellow strugglers Burnley. One would think that Hull will need at least two wins from their final five games, and with home wins against Liverpool, Arsenal and United unlikely, a lot rides on their results against Burnley and Spurs.
Current position: 17th
Games left: Chelsea (H), Newcastle (H), Southampton (H), Sunderland (A), QPR (H)
The Foxes exited the bottom three for the first time since November on Saturday after beating fellow strugglers Burnley, but the job is definitely not over for Nigel Pearson’s side. Games against Chelsea and Southampton will be hard enough, but it’s the games against Sunderland, QPR and Newcastle which will be the most telling. Lose a couple of those, and it’s good night Leicester.
Current position: 18th
Games left: Southampton (H), Everton (A), Leicester (H), Arsenal (A), Chelsea (A)
The Black Cats now face a very tall order if they are to remain in the Premier League. With their last two games daunting visits to the Emirates and Stamford Bridge, Sunderland need to win their next three games, end of story. The chances of that happening? Slim.
Current position: 19th
Games left: Liverpool (A), Man City (A), Newcastle (H), Leicester (A)
If you want my opinion, QPR are as good as gone. I can’t see them getting anything out of their visits to Liverpool and Manchester, which gives them a maximum of 33 points. Mathematically that might still be possible, but it seems unlikely that it will be enough when push comes to shove.
Current position: 20th
Games left: West Ham (A), Hull (A), Stoke (H), Aston Villa (A)
Burnley are another side that are almost certainly relegated, and given their meagre investment last summer it’s not a massive surprise. I can see them losing at Hull and Villa and dropping three points at home to Stoke, which means that even if they beat West Ham, they’ll be playing Championship football next season.