It was a depressing weekend for the Premier League’s backside golf equipment, nevertheless it solely made one of the fascinating relegation battles in years extra intriguing.
The backside eight golf equipment are separated by simply 11 factors because the Premier League enters the ultimate stretch. For most sides, simply seven video games stay – seven probabilities to make sure survival on this planet’s best league.
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Making this race to the end much more thrilling is the historic nature of the golf equipment in strife.
It marks a major change from normal yo-young of groups between the primary and second tiers. For instance, this 12 months two of the promoted groups Fulham and Bournemouth had been again within the high flight after only one and two years out. Two of the groups they changed – Watford and Norwich City – had been each relegated after only one 12 months within the high flight.
This 12 months, issues could possibly be very totally different.
Rock-bottom Southampton has spent 11 consecutive seasons within the Premier League, however this one is nearly assured to be their final if they will’t discover a late-season miracle.
Second-last is Leicester, who gained the league in 2015-16 and completed fifth twice since then, in addition to lifting the FA Cup in 2021. They’ve been within the high flight since 2014-15 however now appear destined for the drop.
Another established membership prone to relegation is Seventeenth-placed Everton, a membership that has been in England’s high flight since 1954-55 – the second-longest stint within the first division behind Arsenal, who had been final relegated in 1912-13 and returned to the primary tier in 1919-20.
And within the hunt for survival is West Ham, additionally of their Eleventh straight season within the league however struggling a dramatic fall from grace after ending seventh final marketing campaign.
The historic nature of so most of the golf equipment on the backside finish of the desk has made this a relegation rumble for the ages.
Here’s the state of play as the house stretch approaches.
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12TH: CRYSTAL PALACE — 36 factors
It might sound weird to place a staff as excessive as twelfth in a relegation dialogue. But the one cause Palace isn’t in enormous hazard of being relegated is their immense type in latest weeks. The return of Roy Hodgson to the dugout has delivered an enormous bounce. Three straight wins, with 9 targets scored and simply two conceded. Yes, all three have been in opposition to backside sides (Leicester, Leeds, Southampton), however these relegation ‘six pointers’ have given Palace a vital enhance in factors in addition to confidence.
After three straight video games in opposition to fellow strugglers, their subsequent three matches are additionally in opposition to groups beneath them – Everton, Wolves, and West Ham.
Win these, they usually’ll be flying effectively away from hazard.
Lose, and their relegation fears might come again even stronger than earlier than. The most attention-grabbing a part of their remaining run of video games is their season-ender – internet hosting Nottingham Forest in a match that would have enormous implications for the presently second-bottom aspect.
Remaining video games: Everton (h), Wolves (a), West Ham (h), Tottenham (a), Bournemouth (h), Fulham (a), Nottingham Forest (h).
Roy Hodgson has Crystal Palace enjoying some beautiful stuff since returning to Selhurst Park. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
13TH: WOLVES — 34 factors
Despite sitting backside of the desk at Christmas, Wolves have climbed off the canvas and are sitting fairly in thirteenth.
Julen Lopetegui has overseen a outstanding reversal in fortunes at Molineux with spectacular wins over the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Brentford within the new 12 months.
Given Wolves have confirmed able to beating among the Premier League’s massive boys, it ought to give the aspect loads of confidence given they face 4 groups within the high seven earlier than the season is completed.
But in addition they encounter plenty of relegation rivals within the remaining stretch, giving them an opportunity to place additional distance between them and the dreaded drop.
Two wins is all it should take for Wolves to get to the magical 40-point mark and given among the groups they should face, it’s arduous to see them capitulating from this level onwards.
Remaining video games: Leicester (a), Crystal Palace (h), Brighton (a), Aston Villa (h), Man Utd (a), Everton (h), Arsenal (a)
Julen Lopetegui has introduced Wolves from the underside of the desk to thirteenth. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
14TH: BOURNEMOUTH — 33 factors
There’s rollercoaster seasons after which there’s Bournemouth’s 2022/23 marketing campaign.
The Cherries beat Aston Villa on the opening day of the season after which went on to lose their subsequent three video games, albeit they had been in opposition to Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool, with the latter a 9-0 defeat that price Scott Parker his job.
Gary O’Neil took over and guided Bournemouth to a six-game unbeaten run the place they rose as excessive as tenth, however they’d go on to tumble down the ladder with two wins from their subsequent 15 video games.
Sitting rock-bottom on the desk, many wouldn’t have been shocked if Bournemouth had no extra punches left to throw.
But O’Neil, who’s in his first managerial gig, has revived the Cherries as they’ve gained 4 of their final six video games.
Based on desk positions, Bournemouth have a particularly beneficial run to the tip of the season as they face only one staff within the high 10: Manchester United.
Bournemouth’s future may be very a lot in their very own arms and based mostly off their spectacular latest scalps of Liverpool, Fulham and Tottenham, the Cherries’ second wind may be sufficient to protect their Premier League standing for one more season.
Remaining video games: West Ham (h), Southampton (a), Leeds (h), Chelsea (h), Crystal Palace (a), Man Utd (h), Everton (a).
After a nightmare begin to the season, Bournemouth might find yourself being secure in any case. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)Source: AFP
15TH: WEST HAM — 31 factors
With the standard at their disposal – together with England midfielder Declan Rice – it’s immensely shocking to see the Hammers wrestle so badly this season.
Add to that the sort of gutsy effort they delivered on the weekend, combating again from two targets down to attract in opposition to league-leading Arsenal, and the Hammers really feel like a staff that needs to be comfortably within the top-half of the ladder.
Last 12 months they completed seventh within the league and earned qualification to the Europa Conference League – the third tier of continental competitors beneath the Champions and Europa leagues.
Balancing the extra minutes and journey of European competitors has confirmed a difficult process for a lot of groups, and that’s been the case for the Hammers this season.
Nevertheless, they continue to be alive in that competitors, and can subsequent journey to Gent for the second leg of their quarter-final this Friday morning AEST, with the rating presently 1-1 on mixture.
And their latest type within the league has been sturdy as effectively – two wins and two attracts from their final 5, plus a recreation in hand besides.
There have been robust moments, like when Newcastle put 5 previous them earlier this month.
But even together with these sorts of massive defeats, they’ve nonetheless conceded simply 41 targets this season – fewer than the likes of fifth-placed Tottenham or top-10 pair Brentford and Fulham.
After Bournemouth subsequent up, they’ve received a really tough run: the Reds, Palace, then City and United. Things might flip very regarding in a short time.
Their remaining two matches, in opposition to Leeds and Leicester, might simply find yourself being win-or-go-down encounters. Bring it on!
Remaining video games:Bournemouth (a), Liverpool (h), Crystal Palace (a), Man City (a), Man United (h), Brentford (a), Leeds (h), Leicester (a)
David Moyes should save the Hammers but once more. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
16TH: LEEDS UNITED — 29 factors
When legendary faculty soccer coach Bear Bryant coined the phrase “offence sells tickets, defence wins championships,” somebody evidently forgot to inform Leeds United.
Granted, the Yorkshire outfit aren’t gunning for the title, however Bryant’s quote continues to be related whenever you’re in a relegation dogfight and also you’ve simply shipped 11 targets in two video games.
Leeds’ midfield and backline had extra holes in it than a block of Swiss cheese as Crystal Palace and Liverpool ran riot in 5-1 and 6-1 victories respectively.
The losses additionally consigned Leeds to the worst defensive document within the league having conceded 60 targets all season lengthy.
Leeds additionally had the third-worst purpose distinction final season however had been saved by a last-day win in opposition to Brentford, so these issues on the again aren’t precisely an remoted incident.
Javi Gracia should discover a solution to tighten up the Premier League’s leakiest backline as they seek for their first clear sheet since a 1-0 win in opposition to last-placed Southampton on February 26.
That may be a tall ask given they face three groups within the high 5 within the remaining 4 video games of the season, but when they will no less than stem the tide of targets on the again, it’ll give them a combating probability.
Remaining video games: Fulham (a), Leicester (h), Bournemouth (a), Man City (a), Newcastle (h), West Ham (a), Tottenham (h)
Leeds’ defensive woes have been uncovered in alarming style not too long ago. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
17TH: EVERTON — 27 factors
The Toffees shipped three targets to Fulham on the weekend and appeared totally devoid of confidence.
Their subsequent three video games might outline their probabilities – they face the resurgent Palace earlier than Newcastle, earlier than an enormous conflict with Leicester. Last 12 months, they pulled off an amazing escape. Former Burnley boss Sean Dyche changed Frank Lampard in January in a bid to offer secure, no-nonsense management to the struggling Toffees.
But with Burnley already securing their promotion to the highest flight with a elegant Championship marketing campaign beneath Man City nice Vincent Kompany, it might effectively come at the price of Dyche’s Everton.
Failure to remain within the English high flight would imply Everton loses its membership card to an unique membership of groups to have by no means been relegated from the Premier League and that’s an honour, if you happen to can name it that, Dyche won’t need to be related to.
Remaining video games: Crystal Palace (a), Newcastle (h), Leicester (a), Brighton (a), Man City (h), Wolves (a), Bournemouth (h)
Sean Dyche is hoping to keep away from being the person to finish Everton’s spell within the Premier League. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
18TH: NOTTINGHAM FOREST — 27 factors
Ahead of this season, the promoted aspect made a splash within the switch window with a radical squad overhaul, bringing in a British-record 21 new gamers.
They adopted it up with much more transfers in January, taking them to over 30 arrivals since their promotion!
It was a excessive danger technique – however as Fulham found just a few years earlier, it may possibly have disastrous penalties.
Forest gained simply one in all their first 11 video games as their new-look squad did not gel collectively.
Manager Steve Cooper one way or the other survived the sack and Forest slowly discovered their ft to slowly climb out of the relegation zone and as much as thirteenth after stable performances between November and early February.
However, they’ve slipped proper again down after failing to win in ten video games since February 6. With a few of their relegation rivals having fun with a new-manager bounce after sacking their head coaches, Cooper as soon as once more seems on the point of the sack.
A trio of tough video games looms – Liverpool at Anfield, Brighton, then away to Brentford. Three losses would very doubtless see Cooper punted in a last-ditch bid for survival.
If he does keep round – and if he does hold the staff up – it will be a outstanding achievement.
As veteran coach Sam Allardyce advised the No Tippy Tappy Football podcast final month: “If Nottingham Forest survive relegation, Steve Cooper has positively accomplished one of the best job of all of the managers within the Premier League this season.
“What turns into troublesome when it comes to constructing staff spirit is having too many gamers. Most managers don’t have sufficient. What they don’t have sufficient of is high quality, and what they don’t need is amount.
“It’s counter-productive when you’ve gotten so many gamers. Not solely as a result of many of the gamers aren’t going to attain the heights that you just want, however you even have plenty of gamers that aren’t concerned within the squad that turn into antagonists and turn into your downside.”
Remaining video games: Liverpool (a), Brighton (h), Brentford (a), Southampton (h), Chelsea (a), Arsenal (h), Crystal Palace (a)
Steve Cooper could possibly be up for a managerial gong ought to he hold Nottingham Forest within the Premier League. (Photo by Darren Staples / AFP)Source: AFP
19TH: LEICESTER CITY — 25 factors
Leicester have bounced from woeful relegation locks, to secure and sound, and all the way in which again down into the crimson zone in a rollercoaster marketing campaign. They haven’t gained in 9 video games now, together with three since Brendan Rodgers was sacked. But they’ve received a vital few video games forward – dealing with Wolves, Leeds then Everton in a three-game run that would make or break their survival hopes.
With Fulham, Liverpool, and Newcastle after that – all top-half-teams – they could possibly be accomplished and dusted even earlier than juicy final-round conflict with Fifteenth-placed West Ham.
Considering the Foxes had been Premier League champions simply seven years in the past and made it to the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League final season, it will symbolize an almighty fall from grace.
Remaining video games: Wolves (h), Leeds (a), Everton (h), Fulham (a), Liverpool (h), Newcastle (a), West Ham (h).
20TH: SOUTHAMPTON — 23 factors
The Saints are winless in six, and have been rooted to the underside of the desk since Boxing Day final 12 months.
Using three totally different managers this season hasn’t appeared to resolve their issues – an absence of innovative up entrance and freely giving low cost targets on the different finish.
Their Eleventh-straight season within the Premier League may be their final.
Remaining video games: Arsenal (a), Bournemouth (h), Newcastle (a), Nottingham (a), Fulham (h), Brighton (a), Liverpool (h)
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