OPINION | Premier League relegation battle. Who goes down?

The final international break of the season is almost over, and it’s nearly time for clubs at the bottom end of the Premier League to get down to business. 

West Brom can be considered dead and buried, but who will join them in falling through the trap door and into the Sky Bet Championship?

Stoke City

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Paul Lambert’s Stoke City are currently sat second bottom, three points adrift from safety. 

The Potters haven’t won a Premier League game since they beat Huddersfield in January, and they have only won three of their last 21 league outings.

It is looking bleak for a side that still have Arsenal, Tottenham and the rampant Liverpool to play, however they still have huge games to come against relegation rivals West Ham, Crystal Palace and Swansea.

Southampton

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Southampton currently occupy the final relegation spot as they sit two points behind West Ham. 

The Saints appointed Mark Hughes as manager earlier this month, a man who was sacked by relegation rival Stoke City this season. Hughes won his first game in charge of Southampton against Wigan in the FA Cup, and he will be hoping that provides some confidence as they enter the final stretch of the 2017/18 season. 

Southampton have some winnable games during their run in as they will come up against West Ham, Leicester, Bournemouth and Everton. Those are the games they will be targeting to pick up points.

West Ham United

wes ham

West Ham are a club in turmoil both on and off the pitch at the moment. They are outside of the bottom three as it stands, however if they carry on this current form they could easily be dragged into danger. 

The Hammers have conceded 14 times in their last five Premier League games and in their last match against Burnley, fans entered the field of play and caused chaos in the stands in protest of the club’s directors.

This can’t help the players as they go into a crucial part of the season, negative energy from the stands will only make life harder. I understand why the fans are frustrated, but their problems will be worsened if the club suffers relegation from the Premier League.

Crystal Palace

Selhurst-Park

Palace, a club that have been blighted by injuries this season, have done fantastically well to recover from their disastrous start to the season under Frank de Boer. 

Roy Hodgson joined the club in September, an appointment questioned by many, including myself. He changed the club’s results instantly and he has done really well so far in the rescue mission.

The Eagles are two points above the drop zone, however with Wilfried Zaha back and terrorising defences, I think they will be fine.

Huddersfield Town

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This has been Huddersfield’s first ever appearance in the Premier League, and they will be delighted with where they are currently sat in the league standings. David Wagner worked miracles getting the club into the top flight, and the fact that they could be remaining there is astonishing.

The West Yorkshire side currently has 31 points from 31 games, and that is a fantastic return. They have a tough run in, having to face Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal. However, there are also some winnable games thrown in.

If the Terriers can average a point a game, and reach the 38 points mark, I think they will stay up.

Swansea City

swansea

Many people, including myself, were dumbfounded when Carlos Carvalhal was appointed the manager of Swansea City, not long after being sacked by Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.

However, Carvalhal has proved a lot of people wrong as Swansea have only lost two of their last ten Premier League games under the guidance of the Portuguese coach. 

If the Swans carry on this impressive form, and they have some winnable games coming up, they will be absolutely fine. 

Newcastle United

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Another side promoted from the Championship last season, Newcastle have given themselves a great chance of survival as they’re four points above the drop zone.

Like Swansea, Newcastle have also lost just twice in their last ten league games, so carrying on this form would secure Premier League survival. 

Rafa Benitez has been patient and he has done a good job at Newcastle this season, despite the off the field uncertainties that have surrounded the club.

Brighton & Hove Albion

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Brighton have been the best out of the three clubs who joined the top flight this season, although they have all done well in fairness. 

Chris Hughton has done a fantastic job at Brighton and one more win could do the job in securing Premier League survival. 

They sit six points above the drop zone, and I can’t see the gap between them and the clubs in the bottom three being reduced.

 

So after analysing the teams who are at risk of dropping out of the top-flight, who will suffer relegation?

In my opinion, I think it’ll be West Brom, Stoke City and West Ham United who will play their football in the Championship next season. West Brom are already down, Stoke are in what can only be considered as relegation form (And a serious case of it) and West Ham are a club in turmoil both on and off the pitch and that will have an impact on how the players perform.

 

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