Which Premier League team will end up getting relegated? So far this season’s relegation battle has been a relatively close one and there are seven teams that you could put in the category of being in danger.
The interesting thing with the relegation battle is that it is a mostly fluid thing that can change from week to week; for now anyway. In the coming weeks these changes will become more and more static as the table begins to take more shape.
The past few seasons has seen a lot more competition at the bottom of the table. With the TV rights money steadily increasing it is no wonder that teams want to stay in the Premier League.
Last season at this point, 25 matches in, the bottom three clubs were Sunderland, Cardiff City, and Fulham. Their points tallies were 24, 22, and 20. Just above them were West Bromwich Albion on 24 and Norwich City with 25.
By the end of the season Sunderland had skyrocketed up the table into 14th place with 38 points while Norwich City dropped into 18th with 33 points. Fulham and Cardiff swapped places and finished 19th and 20th with 32 and 30 points.
As it stands now the 2014-15 Premier League table has Aston Villa, Burnley, and Leicester City in the bottom three with 22, 21, and 17 points. Queens Park Rangers are level with Villa on points with 22, but their -17 goal difference is better than the Villans -22.
Just above those four are Hull City at 23 points and Sunderland with 24. You could look a little further into the 12-15 range with Everton and Crystal Palace at 27 and West Bromwich Albion on 26 points.
With 13 matches remaining there are plenty of chances for these teams at the bottom to pull themselves up the table. Then again, there are plenty more chances for them to continuing faltering.
In looking over the remaining fixtures, Burnley certainly has the more difficult schedule remaining which includes traveling to Chelsea, Liverpool, Southampton, and West Ham United. There’s also a very good chance that their final match, away to Aston Villa, could decide the fate of at least one or both teams.
Still, none of the other teams have a schedule that looks much better. Aston Villa have a nearly equally difficult set of fixtures in having to face away matches against Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, and Southampton. Mixed in there are key games against Leicester City, West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland, Queens Park Rangers and their final match against Burnley.
There is also the phenomenon each season of one team that goes on a run at the end of the year and pulls themselves out of the bottom (Sunderland last season) while another team completely falls apart and gets relegated (Norwich City). Who will take up these roles this season?
At the start of the season I got at least part of my preseason relegation predictions wrong when I predicted the bottom three as: West Ham, West Brom, and Burnley.
West Ham are well and truly safe while West Bromwich will need to completely lose it to drop out. Burnley looked fairly nailed on as relegation fodder and Leicester City will need to go on an epic run to pull themselves out, but it is still entirely possible for both of them to do so.
As it stands it is looking like the race for the final place is down to four teams: Aston Villa, Queens Park Rangers, Hull City, and Sunderland.
At the moment Hull City and Sunderland are making some strides in moving up the table while even QPR may turn things around after Harry Redknapp’s resignation. Aston Villa have followed their lead by relieving manager Paul Lambert of his duties following their 10th consecutive winless EPL game.
At this point I’m predicting the bottom three will be
18: Queens Park Rangers
19: Leicester City
Of these three Queens Park Rangers are the most likely to turn things around. In their place could easily be Aston Villa or Sunderland. While the likes of West Brom, Everton, or Crystal Palace could get sucked down to the relegation battle, there are other teams much worse than them this year.
If teams like Aston Villa (12 goals), Leicester (22 goals), Sunderland (22 goals), and Hull (23 goals) really want to get out, they absolutely need to start scoring goals. It’s possible, but so far they have done little to prove that they can do so, considering they are the bottom four.
Whichever teams do get relegated this year, they will be pushing hard to make a return to the extremely lucrative Premier League. It is never an easy thing to do and very likely teams like Leicester and Burnley will be losing key players to make it even more difficult.