With Liverpool clinching their elusive Premier League title following Manchester City’s loss to Chelsea, this season’s title race has come to an expected early finish. Attention will now turn to this year’s relegation battle.
Six fantastic clubs aim to preserve their place in the English top-flight, as football fans’ eyes are now firmly placed on the remaining seven fixtures.
But what does it mean for these struggling sides entering the ‘dogfight’?
How will the Premier League Season’s Relegation Battle Play Out?
The Canaries currently occupy last place and are highly tipped to be relegated into next seasons EFL Championship. It is not looking good for Daniel Farke’s side, who have just 21 points.
Failure to muster up something special like his German counterpart and close friend Jurgen Klopp did at Liverpool, Farke and his side find themselves rooted at the bottom of the table in 20th place and are somewhat praying for certain results to go their way.
The Canaries, who were 10/11 favourites to go down at the start of the season, will find it very difficult to salvage Premier League football for next season.
Upcoming games against fellow strugglers West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion will prove crucial. However, with fixtures against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City still to go, all hope may be lost for the Carrow Road faithful.
Just like Norwich, Villa are another recently promoted side scrapping it out for survival, in an aim to maintain Premier League status for the upcoming season.
The phenomenal talent that is Jack Grealish, is more than capable of pulling off something spectacular on his day, rescuing his side from any situation. however, certain players can only bring you so far.
The trouble lies in Aston Villa’s defence, where the Dean Smith’s side possess the worst defensive record in the league conceding 60 goals so far.
What goes up, must come down, and this Aston Villa side poised on 27 points, will do all it takes to reclaim Premier League football next season.
From the Midlands, we go to the South Coast, where we see another Premier League side enthralled in a relegation battle, also poised on 27 points.
Bournemouth, unlike most of the clubs around them, were not expecting to be in this predicament at the beginning of the season.
Their no-nonsense manager Eddie Howe has done a fantastic job in retaining Premier League football for the Cherries since their first-ever top-flight promotion in 2015.
Ultimately, it might be this season that sends the Seasiders up and packing, after punching above their weight for so-long.
Complete underachievers due to the strength their side possesses, featuring esteemed international footballers including Nathan Ake, Harry Wilson and Ryan Fraser, Bournemouth, have disappointed massively this season.
Two consecutive losses to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Crystal Palace just added insult to injury, and with games against Manchester United, Spurs, Leicester City and Manchester City in-a-row, things are looking concerning at the Vitality Stadium.
West Ham United
The final of the three sides on 27 points, West Ham sit just outside the relegation zone in 17th place on goal difference.
After bringing back former manager David Moyes in December to steer the Hammers away from the relegation zone, he said: “I’m here to get West Ham wins and get them away from the bottom three.”
This has not been the case, with the Hammers again dubbed a side who have under-performed, just like seasons of the past.
However, this season the real potential of relegation looms ahead.
The club are looking to the 2006/07 season, when a run of six wins in eight games led to West Ham’s miraculous survival.
Just one point ahead of the three previous competitors on 28 points.
Watford have no doubt felt somewhat of a renaissance since the arrival of their third manager this season, a certain Nigel Pearson in December.
Hammering Liverpool 3-0 at Vicarage Road in what was the Reds’ first Premier League defeat in 44 games, gave the Hornets a surge of confidence.
Something which they have certainly carried into Project Restart, especially in their 1-1 draw with third place Leicester City.
However, a 1-0 defeat to Burnley at Turf Moor has brought Pearson’s side down a notch, with the potential of their third Premier League relegation still looming large.
Still, to play Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal like many of the teams in this dogfight, the salvation of their season will undoubtedly take place against Norwich on July 7th, and in what could be a season definer against West Ham on July 15th.
Star player Gerard Deulofeu is a doubt for season close, which proves another setback.
Although, with Deeney back in the goals, Pearson’s men will believe they can stay up this season.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton are another team in this years Premier League relegation battle.
Project Restart has proved really good for the seagulls, being the only bottom-six side to record a win in this initial recommencement of the Premier League season with a 2-1 victory against Arsenal.
Brighton have since held third placed Leicester City to a 0-0, bringing them to a total of 33 points. It showed how important every fixture is in the Premier League season.
The issue lies in the fact Brighton may be too close for comfort.
Graham Potter’s side must still play out the remainder of their games, which includes giants Liverpool, United and City, plus a mammoth tie against Norwich on July 4th.
Two defeats could easily land Brighton in hot-water.
But, Potters man-management, especially over up-and-coming talent like Aaron Connolly, may prove pivotal in the grand scheme of things, as Brighton remain confident of survival.
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