Premier League Recap: Relegation Predictions 201813th Apr 2018 |
The Premier League has moved into the business end of the season with just 5 game weeks remaining before the summer break. It’s a good time to cast an eye over things and see how it might all pan out over the remaining fixtures of the 2017/18 season.
When Will City Win The League?
Even before Christmas, it was becoming obvious that Manchester City was unstoppable and on their way to being crowned champions well before the season was done and dusted.
They were all set to take the title with victory in the best way possible, at home in the Manchester derby. However, despite a healthy 2-0 lead at halftime the red half of Manchester would not be silenced and the match was turned around in the most dramatic style to a 2-3 loss.
That result has put the champagne on ice for now. Whilst it’s still mathematically possible for Man Utd or Tottenham to win the title, it’s a mighty stretch to see City losing all of their remaining matches.
However, a quick return to form is needed from Pep Guardiola’s men after losing their last 3 games if you include Champions League results. It’s also a concern for City that they’ve conceded 8 goals in total during those games.
Technically City need just 6 points from their remaining 6 games to secure the title given the current 13 point lead at the top of the table. It’s hard to see this not happening but if Manchester United keep on winning then the title celebrations could be postponed until May.
Who’s Going Down? Relegation Predictions 2018
Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the table, the battle for Premier League survival is becoming ever more fierce. Things are still super tight with only 10 points separating 10th and 19th positions in the table so you could argue that anyone south of 9th placed Everton are at risk.
That said, it’s now difficult to see Newcastle, Bournemouth or Watford going down so, we’ll focus on the teams placed just below them. Let’s take a look at who’s in serious contention for playing Championship football next season.
Brighton & Hove Albion (13th, Pld: 32, Pts: 35)
Seven points above the drop zone and with a game in hand over some of the teams below them, Brighton look likely to survive the drop.
However, they have a tough run of games ahead with Tottenham Hotspur (17th April), Manchester United (5th May), Liverpool (13th May) and Manchester City (date TBA).
The shock victory over Arsenal on 4th March was their last win in the Premier League with the energy and pace of the team looking to be running low. This dip in form is coming at a bad time for the Seagulls, especially when you consider the tough fixture run ahead.
West Ham United (14th, Pld: 32, Pts: 34)
West Ham has reasons to be optimistic too with four of their final six games of the season being played at home. It’s also positive for the Hammers that they’ve picked up four points from their previous two games, managing to hold Chelsea to an unexpected 1-1 draw last Sunday.
However, they too have a tough run-in at the tail end of the season with matches against an in-form Arsenal (22nd April), Manchester City (29th April) and second-placed United (10th May).
The return of their playmaker Manuel Lanzini should give the Hammers a boost but they are going to have to fight all the way to the finish to ensure Premier League football at the London Stadium next season.
They’ll also be hoping that issues off the pitch don’t disrupt any more of their games like they did at the 3-0 defeat to Burnley in March.
Swansea City (15th, Pld: 32, Pts: 32)
Since Carlos Carvalhal took over at the end of December Swansea have only lost once at home but have often been less impressive on the road. They’ve lost 2, drawn 2 and won 1 in their last 4 matches in the league and will need to start scoring a few more goals if they want to stay above the drop zone.
Only 4 points separate them from 18th placed Southampton at the moment. With home games against Everton (14th April), Southampton (8th May) and Stoke City (13th May), who have all suffered poor form on the road, the Swans will be looking secure the points they desperately need to stay up.
They’ll just need to stay solid against Manchester City (April 22nd) and Chelsea (28th April) in two very testing back to back games.
Huddersfield Town (16th, Pld: 33, Pts: 32)
Currently sitting 4 points above the drop zone, Huddersfield’s first season in the top flight might just be their only one since the 1970’s. Only Stoke have a worse goal difference at the moment wich will play a big factor if they end up tied on points with any of the other bottom teams.
Crunch games against Watford (14th April) and Everton (28th April) could well decide their fate and the Terriers will need to be on top form to enjoy the Premier League for another season. They’ve not won a match since beating West Brom on 24th February and are in desperate need of a win.
It could all be too much to ask with their final three games being against Manchester City (6th May), Chelsea (9th May) and Arsenal (13th May).
Crystal Palace (17th, Pld: 33, Pts: 31)
Sitting right on top of the drop zone with a game less to play than Southampton below them, Palace are in a very precarious position indeed. Despite Roy Hodgson’s best efforts, a string of narrow defeats in 2018 coupled with a lengthy injury list have his team precariously close to the foot of the table.
Avoiding the drop would indeed be a great escape given the devastating 7 straight losses incurred at the start of the season. The Eagles will take heart from the fact that they have none of the top-six sides left to play, unlike the teams around them.
Upcoming home games against Brighton (14th April), who have a poor away form, Leicester (28th April), who they beat 3-0 in December and West Brom (13th May) could secure the points needed.
Southampton (18th, Pld: 32, Pts: 28)
The plucky display against Arsenal last Sunday will have given the Saints a boost and shows that they can muster a true fighting spirit when needed. That loss has left them in the drop zone, 3 points below 17th placed Palace but with a game in hand.
The tight run of fixtures in April may, however, be their undoing. Having to play Chelsea two weekends on the bounce with a game against Leicester City might just be too much for the Saints.
It would be a cruel twist of fate indeed if Mark Hughes team lifted the FA Cup only to get relegated from the Premier League. It would be hard to see him continuing as manager unless top flight football is guaranteed next season.
The fate of the Saints might just come down to how many points the teams around them pick up or drop in the remain matches. There are sure to be a few fans hoping for Huddersfield to slip up more than once.
Stoke City (19th, Pld: 33, Pts: 27)
A point below Southampton we find a struggling Stoke who have not won a game since Paul Lambert came in to replace the sacked Mark Hughes. That last victory was at home to Huddersfield on 20th January and 3 points are now needed more than ever.
Apart from the game against an in-form Liverpool (28th April) at home, there are possibilities to pick up those much-needed points. Eric Choupo-Moting should be back from injury for at least the final two games of the season, including a crunch clash against Crystal Palace on the 5th May.
West Bromwich Albion (20th, Pld: 33, Pts: 21)
Currently ten points from safety with only five matches left to play it’s not looking good for ailing West Brom. Caretaker manager Darren Moore managed a 1-1 draw in his first game in charge but many pundits think it’s too late to turn the ship around.
Hurt by an eight-game losing streak previous to Moore’s arrival, the Baggies have some tough fixtures against Man Utd at home (14th April), Liverpool (22nd April) and Spurs (5th May).
Even with the return of Daniel Sturridge this coming weekend, it’s going to be the greatest of escapes if Premier League football is still being played at The Hawthorns next season.
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