Are the bottom three doomed?
With just two months of the season to go there is still a lot to be decided – especially at the lower end of the Premier League. Many believe that the bottom three as it stands will be the ones going down come May, but can any of them avoid the drop?
Great escapes have been performed in the past but and with so many sides still nervously looking over their shoulders; no-one in the bottom six (at least) can count themselves safe quite yet.
Sunderland are in the most perilous position. Bottom of the league for the majority of the season – and not out of the bottom three since September - the odd good result has been dwarfed by the amount of defeats the Black Cats have experienced. In today’s footballing climate it is a surprise that David Moyes has kept his job as pundits have tipped his side to go down all year. All games look tough for Sunderland at this stage and it is looking very unlikely that they will be in the top flight next season.
Although they still have the goal difference of a mid-table side, Middlesbrough’s alarming drop in form coupled with an inability to score goals has seen them plummet into the relegation scrap. Chairman Steve Gibson has decided enough is enough and sacked Aitor Karanka hoping to give the club a much needed boost before Easter.
Hull are another club scrapping for every point available. They decided to bring in a new manager a while ago and Marco Silva’s influence has seemed to rub off on the players, picking up some valuable victories in the last few months. Matches against fellow relegation strugglers at the end of season will be key to whether the Tigers can stay up.
Not out of it yet
Crystal Palace may have looked to Sam Allardyce to use his experience of getting clubs out of trouble but they are still firmly involved in a relegation scrap. A tough run in will hamper their chances but after a dismal drop in form from October right through into the New Year, the Eagles have started to turn it around recently to give their fans some hope.
Swansea will be happy with the sliver of daylight between themselves and the bottom three but will know that they cannot afford to be complacent as the season draws to a close. The improved form – and goals – of striker Fernando Llorente under the leadership of Paul Clement since the start of the year has meant they are looking more likely to stay up.
Current champions Leicester City caught a lot of flak for getting rid of Claudio Ranieri after last season’s incredible achievement but the move seems to have paid off with the Foxes picking up some important points. They are still involved in the Champions League as well so will be hoping that those big nights on the European stage won’t completely obscure the fact that they still have a relegation battle on their hands.
Three out of six
With so many clubs still with a chance of being dragged into that bottom three it is impossible to say that the relegation spots have already been decided. Only Sunderland look likely to be playing in the Championship next season but if Jermain Defoe can score enough goals then they might have a chance.
With the title virtually already on its way to west London it looks like it will be at the bottom of the table where all the action is as we go into the last months of the season.