The Premier League is as competitive as ever. With large focus on the top, Leah Langley flips to the other end of the table and assesses this years relegation battle!
The Premier League is the top level of the English football league system and is contested by 20 clubs. This year’s league has looked a little different due to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the relegation battle is now in full swing. The bottom five spots of the table are currently held by Brighton and Hove Albion, Newcastle United, Fulham, West Bromwich, and Sheffield United with each trying to remain out of the bottom three.
Brighton and Hove Albion have received much criticism throughout the season as they have been finishing below their usual average, and they have been repeated labelled “unlucky” throughout the tournament. Their remaining fixtures are against Everton, Chelsea, Sheffield United, Leeds, Wolves, West Ham, Man City, and Arsenal in what is said to be one of the tougher relegation schedules. Providing they keep playing at the same level they should be safe from relegation.
Newcastle United have seen a huge drop in their form since the beginning of the year and they have received much criticism for their defensive approach which is being blamed for the dip in their performance. Their remaining fixtures are against Burnley, West Ham, Liverpool, Leicester, Man City, Sheffield United, and Fulham in one of the more average timetables the teams are facing.
Fulham are looking to be the only team that are capable of avoiding relegation as they have undergone an incremental improvement over the season. They have a rather tough schedule with their remaining fixtures against Wolves, Arsenal, Chelsea, Burnley, Southampton, Man United, and Newcastle being some of the most challenging. If they can maintain their momentum, then they should be safe from relegation.
West Bromwich Albion are lucky that they are not at the bottom of the table as they have had a rather dire season. Their remaining fixtures are against Southampton, Leicester, Aston Villa, Arsenal, West Ham, and Leeds. This is the toughest fixture list on paper and so they have a battle ahead of them to stay in the league.
Sheffield United are currently at the bottom of the table and are 12 points away from safety. They have failed to find their momentum this season and have also had many of their key players missing due to injury. They do have a favourable schedule with their remaining fixtures being against Arsenal, Wolves, Brighton, Spurs, Crystal Palace, Everton, Newcastle, and Burnley. Hopefully the favourable schedule will play to their advantage.
Whilst the bottom five could switch positions several times over the coming weeks, I think that Fulham, West Bromwich Albion, and Sheffield United may be the unfortunate teams that face relegation this time.
Edited by: Lois George
Header by: Annabel Smith