As we enter the final quarter of the 20/21 campaign the bottom seven are battling it out for Premier League survival…
Who will be relegated from the Premier League this season?
Although we are unable to enjoy the thrill of a title race stretching to the final day of the season, the fight to avoid the drop is always a spectacle to behold. That is, unless, your team is amongst those attempting to pull off a great escape.
Southampton, Burnley and Brighton have been left anxiously looking over their shoulder, meanwhile Newcastle and Fulham are separated by just two points in seventeenth and eighteenth place. West Brom and Sheffield United are both faced with huge mountains to climb.
Sporting Ferret focuses in on the bottom seven, analysing their current form as well as their run-ins, whilst casting our vote on who we feel will be breathing a sigh of relief as the season draws to a close.
Games played: 29
Southampton’s fall from grace has been a rather remarkable one to witness.
The Saints sat top of the Premier League for the first time in their history in November, but currently find themselves seven points from safety with nine games remaining.
Since beating Liverpool in January, Ralph Hasenhuttl and his players have gone on a dismal run which has seen them lose 10 of their last 12 league outings, including a humiliating 9-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Despite this, out of the seven sides it is Southampton who arguably have the easiest of run-ins alongside Newcastle. Away trips to Tottenham and Liverpool as well as Leicester City’s visit to St Mary’s remain Southampton’s final three games against sides in the top half of the table.
Hasenhuttl will look to six of their remaining nine games against teams in the bottom half of the table as a clear opportunity to drag his players out of a relegation battle.
Danny Ings’ anticipated return after the international break will provide a timely boost for Southampton, who will be hoping their main man will be able to add to his eight league goals and three assists so far this season.
Working towards the weekend 👊
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) March 17, 2021
Games played: 29
Burnley have continued to maintain their Premier League status with limited resources, and will be looking to secure a fifth successive top-flight campaign.
Sean Dyche’s men hauled themselves out of the bottom-three in December after a poor start to the season, and as strong as they are in defence with Nick Pope in goal and the formidable partnership of Ben Mee and James Tarkowski, it is there attack which remains a cause for concern.
Only Sheffield United and West Brom have scored fewer goals than Burnley’s 22, and the Clarets will know they will have to improve on their clinical side if they are to keep their Premier League status intact.
Nevertheless, after their 4-0 defeat to Spurs just over a fortnight ago, Burnley have rallied on to draw against Leicester and Arsenal before an impressive away win against Everton last Saturday.
Manchester United, West Ham and Liverpool remain Burnley’s hardest tests in their run-in, but with their proven ability to pick up points against the big six, Sean Dyche will be feeling quietly confident about seeing his side over the line.
HIGHLIGHTS | All the key moments from tonight's great win at Everton, including this worldie from Dwight McNeil! 📺😍
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) March 13, 2021
Games played: 29
Brighton have suffered from incredibly fine margins this season, and have consistently registered a higher expected goals total than their opponents, only to waste chance after chance in securing three points when it matters most.
Last Sunday’s victory at St Mary’s marked a vital three points for Graham Potter’s side, who will hope they can use the win as a means of building momentum as they head into the final quarter of the campaign.
Prior to victory at Southampton, The Seagulls conceded late on against Leicester to continue their wretched run at home with just a single win at the AMEX all season.
The Seagulls defeat away to West Brom a week earlier included two missed penalties, as well as a goal controversially chalked off for offside.
Their 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in late February involved the Eagles scoring with both of their two shots on goal in the entire game.
United, Chelsea, City and Arsenal pose as tough tests for Brighton, but they will look to impressive victories against Leeds, Liverpool and Spurs as motivation to move towards the coveted 40-point safety net.
Fixtures against Sheffield United, Leeds, Wolves and West Ham from late April to mid-May will prove vital if they are to complete a fourth season in the Premier League.
5️⃣4️⃣ – Mesut Ozil
2️⃣8️⃣ – Leroy Sane
2️⃣2️⃣ – Dietmar Hamann
2️⃣0️⃣ – Pascal Gross pic.twitter.com/qXnBniAbxP
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 15, 2021
Games played: 29
With as many points as games played this season, the Newcastle faithful have had little to cheer about.
Since the turn of the year The Magpies have managed only two league victories, however their 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa last Friday made it three games undefeated for Steve Bruce’s men. This however was followed by a dismal 3-0 defeat to fellow relegation neighbours Brighton.
With a favourable run-in, Newcastle will be looking to capitalise and avoid closest rivals Fulham leapfrogging them above the relegation zone. Burnley, Sheffield United and the Cottagers will all be fixtures they will be looking to use as a means of distancing themselves from the bottom three.
Goals have been a problem for the Toon side all season, with only Burnley, Fulham, West Brom and Sheffield United failing to score more than their 28.
Injuries to key-players however, have not helped Newcastle’s fortunes this season and with their attacking trio of Callum Wilson, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin all scheduled to return from layoffs in April, they will hope to hit the ground running after the international break.
🗣 "I have got a game in mind that I'm aiming to get back for and that's my motivation."@CallumWilson 👊
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) March 16, 2021
Games played: 30
Despite Fulham’s 3-0 defeat at home to runaway champions Manchester City last Saturday, recent form suggests the Cottagers are well up for the relegation battle, and pose as no easy fixture for any Premier League side to come up against right now.
Scott Parker and his players will use their famous win at Anfield as fuel for the fire going into their last eight league outings with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and United still to play.
Games against Wolves, Burnley and Southampton will prove crucial, and they will have to find a way to improve their cutting edge in the final third if they are to turn positive possession and stats into goals.
Their 11 draws this season is more than any other side in the league, and the inability to transfer some of these results into three points is why they find themselves with an uphill battle to drag themselves out of the bottom three.
Nevertheless, they are steadily clocking points on the board and a tantalising final day showdown at home to Newcastle could prove to be the decider.
Keeping it Cottage.
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) March 16, 2021
Games played: 29
With West Brom 10 points adrift of safety with only nine games left to play, it seems a major, and surprising, turnaround is unlikely for the Baggies.
Sam Allardyce has been unable to inspire a change of fortunes at The Hawthorns since his appointment in mid-December, with his side picking up just five points from his first 10 league games in charge, shipping a staggering 28 goals.
There is no-doubt that the veteran was faced with an up-hill battle when taking over the reins, the fact only Matheus Pereira started West Brom’s 0-0 draw against Newcastle on March 7th out of their seven summer signings, underlines the below-par pre-season recruitment.
Despite this, January signings Mbaye Diagne, Okay Yokuslu and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have played a significant role in lifting the squad and played influential roles in improving results, including a series of recent hard-fought draws.
Despite a glimpse of change in fortunes, the fact West Brom face six teams in the top half of the table in their final nine league outings leaves us feeling that it is too little too late for Big Sam and his men.
Games played: 29
‘Second season syndrome’ would be an accurate way to describe the Blades’ 20/21 Premier League campaign.
As brilliant as Chris Wilder’s men were throughout last season which eventually lead to a top ten finish, fortunes have not favoured the Yorkshire side this time round, and they have remained routed to the bottom of the league for the majority of the season.
Injuries played their part, with defensive rock Jack O’Connell’s ongoing knee issue ruling him out for the majority of the campaign, whilst centre back John Egan and Chris Basham also faced lengthy spells on the side lines.
United have only managed to muster four wins so far this season, and last week’s news that the club would be parting ways with Wilder-the boyhood fan who guided the Blades back to the top tier from league one, will do no favours in providing reassurance to the Sheffield faithful about the clubs uncertain future.
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) March 17, 2021
Unfortunately for the Premier League’s bottom two teams, Sheffield United and West Brom- with nine games remaining the two sides are left with far too much to do, and it is only a matter of time before their relegation to the Championship will be mathematically confirmed.
We see it as a straight out battle between Fulham and Newcastle for the final relegation spot, and with the two sides set to face each other on the final day of the season- it really could go down to the wire.
Fulham have enjoyed a change of fortunes in recent weeks, and spirited displays from the Cottagers contrasts significantly with a stalling Newcastle side.
Despite The Magpies favourable run-in, the Cottagers have proven they can beat sides in the top half of the table, and we believe the growing confidence within the side will be enough for Parker and his men to look forward to a second successive season in England’s top division.
The Premier League form table for the last 6 games has Newcastle down the bottom with Sheffield United. Newcastle have conceded 10 goals & a -7 goal difference acorss those games. But their run of games now gets even tougher.#ffc pic.twitter.com/A9pF2SmHRn
— Fulham Focus (@Fulham_Focus) March 20, 2021
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