Once again, the Premier League relegation battle is going down to the wire. It also happens to be one of the most thrilling relegation battles in recent years, as no less than six teams are fighting to avoid the drop. Unlike at the top of the table where teams do have some games in hand over the competitors, most of the clubs at the bottom have four matches left. Everton’s draw with Leicester City on Monday night has ensured a thrilling end to the campaign for as many as six teams.
The Premier League odds for the relegation battle also seem to suggest the same.
- Southampton – 1/66 (1.015)
- Leeds United – 8/15 (1.53)
- Everton – 4/6 (1.66)
- Nottingham Forest – 5/6 (1.83)
- Leicester City – 7/4 (2.75)
- West Ham – 25/1 (26.00)
- Wolves – 250/1 (251.00)
- Chelsea – 500/1 (501.00)
Wolves are seven points above the drop zone with four games left. The Midlands outfit will be going up against three of the top seven teams in these matches. The games against Manchester United, Arsenal, and Aston Villa could be the most testing for Wolves, but they also have a match against relegation rivals Everton. However, one victory could be sufficient for Wolves to stay up.
Chelsea are on an incredible six-game losing streak in all competitions. The Blues are just nine points away from the relegation zone. Everything which can go wrong seems to be happening at Chelsea, but the club do have six games in hand. Further, the expensively assembled squad should be able to take their points required to keep themselves away from relegation trouble.
Teams which can Escape the Drop
West Ham have a very good squad that alone is not a criterion for staying up, as many games with good squad have been relegated in the past. The Hammers have only picked up nine victories so far this season and the lack of threat going forward is likely to be a big problem for the West Ham team in the remaining five games of the campaign. West Ham still have to face Manchester United, while they also have games against Leeds and Leicester. However, two of these crucial three matches will be at home.
Leicester City’s failure to beat Everton is a big blow in terms of staying up, but the Foxes to have some favourable fixtures coming up. The matches against West Ham and Fulham are games that will be targeted by Leicester, as they are up against Europe-chasing opponents – Liverpool and Fulham – in the other 2 games. The Foxes do have a favourable goal difference compared to their rivals and this would effectively count as a point in the remaining four games.
After having struggled with away performances throughout the campaign, Nottingham Forest will be finishing the campaign with a relatively easy run of matches that should help them stay up in the division. The home games against Southampton and Arsenal are likely to yield some points – especially if the Gunners are out of the title race by the time the game kicks off. The away matches against Chelsea and Crystal Palace should also not pose much of a problem with the respective home teams not having much to play for in the remainder of the campaign.
Teams Doomed for Relegation
Leeds United have gone for a late managerial change in the hope of staying up and the arrival of Sam Allardyce is likely to kindle some hope into the team. However, Leeds might have left themselves with too much to do and they have a very tough into the campaign with games against the top seven teams in the remaining three matches. The away match against West Ham offers one of the few opportunities to try and pick up points, while the club also have a very poor goal difference.
Everton might have shown some kind of promise about staying up in the league when Sean Dyche was brought in as the replacement for Frank Lampard. The former Burnley manager started well at the Merseyside outfit but recent performances from the Toffees have turned sour once again. Everton are without a victory in the recent seven matches. The toffees are faced with a tricky run in the remaining four matches, but they could end up saving themselves since the fixture list is relatively easier compared to the rivals. Everton are up against Brighton, Wolves, and Bournemouth apart from a game against Manchester City.
Southampton have been stuck at the bottom of the table for the best part of the year. Even after multiple managerial changes, the Saints have been unable to improve their fortunes. The club are now languishing six points away from safety and it is very likely that the relegation will be confirmed for Southampton well before the final matches of the season. The Saints are going up against Nottingham Forest, Fulham, Brighton, and Liverpool. The game against the Merseyside outfit will be the final match of the campaign, but Southampton may very well be done by the time this game kicks off.