The Premier League relegation battle with 10 games to go, (Or 9 for some!!)
Despite Liverpool’s recent slip-up against Watford, the top of the table has been decided for some time, but the battle to stay in the top-flight is much closer and as things stand, seven teams have Premier League Relegation odds of 5/1 or shorter. With 10 games left in the season, there’s all to play for. As teams battle for their lives, let’s take a look at the contenders that are looking to avoid the drop.
Of course we should be relieved that Arsenal have reached the traditional 40 point mark!!
Norwich City: 21 points
The Canaries find themselves cut-adrift at the foot of the table, despite winning their last match against Leicester City – some six points behind both West Ham and Watford who also won at the weekend, as well as Bournemouth on 27 points. Daniel Farke’s side have won just one away game all season, and points on the road don’t look likely, when they have to travel to Sheffield United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City. Teemu Pukki’s goalscoring exploits have not been as prolific as they were in the Championship and Norwich are the Premier League’s second-lowest scorers, with 25 goals scored. For those two reasons alone, their survival looks in doubt.
Aston Villa: 25 points
Villa’s recent EFL Cup final performance against Manchester City showed they have enough fight to try and beat the drop – and Dean Smith’s side have a game in hand over their rivals, albeit against high-flying Sheffield United. Their record against teams in the bottom half of the table is reasonable, handy considering they face Newcastle, Crystal Palace and West Ham in their upcoming fixtures. However, they’ve only secured one point against the ‘big six’ and are yet to face many teams battling for a place in Europe. They have the Premier League’s leakiest defence, with 52 goals conceded thus far, and that’s often a sure-fire reason for relegation.
Bournemouth: 27 points
Football puritans will be hoping the fairy tale of Bournemouth’s tenure in the top-flight doesn’t come to an end, but the harsh reality of it is that Eddie Howe’s men are the second-worst form team in the Premier League in 2020. They’ve failed to keep a clean sheet since the middle of December and it’s the first time since their arrival to the top-flight that the Cherries have found themselves sucked into a relegation battle with 10 games remaining. It’s two terrifying months with fixtures against Liverpool, Wolverhampton Wanderers, both Manchester clubs, and Leicester – and unfamiliar territory too. But will the south-coast club be well enough equipped to deal with the situation?
Watford: 27 points
Buoyed by their big win over Liverpool, despite being their first victory in six matches, Watford will no doubt go into their forthcoming matches with fire in their belly, desperate to avoid the drop. Away form has been their downfall this campaign, with just one win away from home in nearly four months. The Hornets face fellow strugglers West Ham on the road, as well as tough trips to Stamford Bridge and the Emirates. While the pressure may be on for Nigel Pearson’s side to pick up points at home, they face enough teams in and around the table’s lower reaches to potentially secure safety. Watford simply aren’t scoring enough goals, but if Ismaïla Sarr carries on from where he left off at the weekend, safety should be assured.
West Ham: 27 points
The stats are backed against the Hammers – they have dropped 22 points from winning positions this season, more than any other club, and notably held a one-goal lead over Liverpool before losing the match 3-2. They’re also among the highest conceders in the Premier League and haven’t kept a clean sheet for over two months. Facing Norwich, Watford and Aston Villa in their final four games could either be their saving grace, or the final nail in the coffin. However, David Moyes is an experienced head and two years ago, he masterminded their survival, after the Hammers had sat in the drop zone under Slaven Bilić, so anything’s possible.
On 28 and 32 points respectively, neither Brighton nor Newcastle are out of the mire just yet. At a push, Southampton, in 13th and with 34 points to their name could well get sucked into the battle too. As the campaign reaches its crescendo, for those at the bottom of the table, it’s definitely squeaky bum time – and time is running out.