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Just one relegation place left to fill in the Premier League

Stoke are in the fight for survival, as Tony Pulis' side welcome Manchester United to the Britannia Stadium later today

Stoke are in the fight for survival, as Tony Pulis’ side welcome Manchester United to the Britannia Stadium later today

None of the teams in the battle for survival did themselves any good in yesterday’s Premier League games.

The bottom two teams QPR and Reading failed to win must games, while fellow strugglers Villa drew at home with Fulham and Norwich threw away a lead at Arsenal to lose.

Doomed     

The bottom two teams in the Premier League Reading and QPR have looked doomed for a couple of weeks now.

Yesterday’s results just added to their woes at the basement of the Premier League.

A 0-0 draw at home to Liverpool may not sound like an awful result for Reading. However, the Royals are in a situation where they simply had to win the game to keep alive any slim hopes of surviving. I think those hopes are now dead.

Reading could still mathematically stay in the top flight, but it is now impossible to see them escaping the drop with so few games remaining.

QPR are in a similar position. The Hoops were beaten 2-0 at in-form Everton yesterday. In truth, I do not think many people expected Harry Redknapp’s team to win at Goodison, but a win may have kept hopes of survival alive for another week.

Instead, the R’s are one-step closer to the Championship next season. Former-boss Mark Hughes is being slated for the mistakes he made at Loftus Road and receiving the majority of the blame for Rangers plight.

However, Harry Redknapp has had enough time in charge to take a slice of the blame. QPR have a squad of some very decent individuals. As a team, they are poor. One of Harry’s main strengths as a boss is supposed to be man-management.

Surely the former-Spurs boss should have done a better job than he has done and gained more points in his time at Loftus Road?

Derby

The north east derby between Newcastle and Sunderland in progress could have a big bearing on the race for survival. Should Newcastle claim victory over their Wearside neighbours then I believe that the Magpies will be nearly safe for another season.

If Sunderland wins, it could change the whole complexion of the battle for survival. A Sunderland win would mean Newcastle would very much be back in the battle.

Safe

I do believe that the likes of West Ham and Southampton will survive with few problems. The pair has enough quality and games to secure their Premier League status this season. I also think that Newcastle will survive this season, regardless of the derby result.

Trouble

Norwich, Stoke and Sunderland are in terrible runs of form. Villa has been inconsistent this season and Wigan is mounting their usual late run for survival. One of those four teams will join Reading and QPR in the Championship next season.

Run

One of those five will more than likely put together a run of form to escape the drop. I would not back against Wigan being that team. The Latics have games in-hand on all their rivals for that 18th place position.

Although, Wigan have to face the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham they do have some very winnable games still to play this season. The race for survival could go to the wire this season and the Latics host rivals Aston Villa on the last day of the season.

Exciting

In recent seasons the race for survival has been an exciting one. This season’s battle for survival will not be any different. There is even more at stake financially to stay in the Premier League this season with the television revenue increasing from next season.

One team will not be around to enjoy those greater riches next season. Who that will be will be anybody’s guess, because now race for survival is just too close to call.

Who will be relegated to the Championship this season?

Sun 14 April, 2013
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