It is known worldwide that the English Premier League is up there with the top leagues in world football. Arguably, it is the most exciting and probably most competitive league in the world. Now nobody is negating the obvious quality of numerous foreign teams (namely the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich etc). However, in terms of their leagues, the competitiveness just can’t be compared. The Spanish division (La Liga) is typically won by one of Barcelona, Real Madrid (and occasionally Atletico Madrid) every season, and these teams typically don’t lose often, only to each other. The Premier League can see an ‘in-form’ Manchester City suddenly lose 4-2 to rock bottom Norwich City. Chelsea with their mega team might lose 1-0 to Wolverhampton Wanderers. It’s the constant unpredictability that makes the league as exciting as it is.
This leads us on to the main point of this article. With 8/9 games to spare, it is looking tight at the bottom end of the table. Nottingham Forest currently sit in the relegation zone on 27 points, while Wolves all the way up in 12th only sit on 31 points. The fact that 4 points separate 12th and 18th place is crazy. What’s even crazier is that 13th placed West Ham are only 3 points ahead of 18th placed Forest, meaning one win and a loss could change the whole dynamic of the table.
So out of all these teams… who is in the most danger? Let’s find out.
It has to be said that Southampton are certainly in the most danger. Their side has already seen their manager be replaced this season, while they have a terrible goal difference of -29, having scored 24 goals this term. Unfortunately in a league like this, 6 wins out of a possible 30 doesn’t put you in good stead for safety. It appears that Southampton’s 11 year stay in the Premier League is coming to an end.
Brendan Rodgers was fired by Leicester on Sunday after their 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace, but the move did not help the team upset Aston Villa. With nine games left, the Foxes are two points outside of safety after losing 2-1 to another late goal. Their final four games are against teams fighting for relegation. We’re not sure Leicester have the quality, or stamina, to survive this one.
After losing at relegation-rival Leeds on Tuesday, and now Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest are winless in their previous nine games, and manager Steve Cooper is under increasing pressure. They now face tough fixtures away at Liverpool, at home to in-form Brighton and away at Brentford. Tricky fixtures.
Following his arrival at Goodison Park, Sean Dyche quickly gained the support of the crowd by defeating Arsenal, Leeds, and Brentford three times at home. Since then, they have fought valiantly to get crucial draws against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and Tottenham at home.
a fervent Goodison can serve as Everton’s 12th man throughout the final stretch; it undoubtedly helped the Toffees’ successful attempt to stay up last season. If the Toffees are to stay up, you can anticipate that the majority of their points will come from the five home games still to play.
Leeds rebounded from their 4-1 loss at league-leaders Arsenal on Tuesday with a significant victory against relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest in the first of six key games. In a crucial month, Javi Gracia’s team plays four of their relegation opponents. Approaching some must-win games, it looks like Leeds may just edge relegation this year.
Bournemouth’s 2-1 comeback victory over Fulham at home lifted the Cherries out of the bottom three, but Everton’s draw with Tottenham and Tuesday’s loss to Brighton put them back there going into the weekend. After a very successful 1-0 victory over fellow strugglers Leicester, Bournemouth are on track to avoid the drop.
Crystal Palace has already had a challenging season as Brighton, a rival, strives for a place in Europe while they languish in mid-table mediocrity. But after winning his first game in command against Leicester to bring them four points clear of the relegation zone, Roy Hodgson, who returned to take over for Patrick Vieira, has started off brightly. Today they face fellow relegation rivals Leeds in a must-win.
Wednesday night’s devastating 5-1 home loss to Newcastle has increased the pressure on West Ham manager David Moyes. An intriguing aspect of their league predicament relates to their Europa Conference League campaign, which gets underway on April 13 when they play Gent in Belgium in the first leg of their quarterfinal. If a run in that competition produced a 17th-place result, would Hammers supporters accept it? Perhaps. Though it has to be said that maybe their focus lies elsewhere?
Due of Wolves’ uneven recent play, it is impossible to predict which version of Julen Lopetegui’s team will show up each week. Who will win or lose at Anfield—the team that defeats Tottenham? The team that defeats fellow relegation candidates Leeds by four goals or comes back against Southampton with 10 men? They just beat star-studded Chelsea! We do believe they’ll survive, but change needs to be evident next season.