Friday, March 24, 2017

The fight for Premier League survival now very tight

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 5 Feb 2017

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Marco Silva has made a very good start to his Hull career and will be hoping to keep the Tigers in the top-flight

Premier League football is strange. Often it is the fight to survive relegation that is far more intriguing than the fight for the Premier League title.

This is usually because there is a team that break clear at the top of the table, just as Leicester did last season.

Chelsea look to be doing the same this season. However, the fight for survival is now very tight. There is just two points separating bottom-place Sunderland to 15th place Middlesbrough in the table.

Swansea and Leicester still to play

The situation could change again later today, as Swansea visit Manchester City, while Leicester host Manchester United at the King Power Stadium. Both sides look up against it to gain any points from their clashes with their Mancunian opponents.

Swansea visit the Etihad Stadium having picked up three wins from their last four top-flight outings. The Swans are unlikely to be easy opponents for City. However, the home side seems to be heading back into form following some unconvincing displays.

Reigning champions Leicester have been in terrible form of late. However, United have stalled slightly of late in the top-flight drawing their last three league games. Confidence is low at the champions and this is a difficult challenge.

United are also desperate for the win, as they attempt to catch the teams above them. The Red Devils also have to hold off the challenge from below of in-form Everton, who are now just two points behind them.

If either Leicester or Swansea pick up points from their weekend games, then they could prove crucial because of the tight nature of the Premier League table.

Six teams in the mix

A few weeks ago it seemed it may just be Hull, Swansea, Sunderland and Crystal Palace battling to avoid the drop. However, poor runs for Middlesbrough and Leicester have seen the pair right in the thick of the fight for survival. The pair are now just one point above the relegation zone.

What is worrying for the likes of Leicester and Boro is the fact that other clubs with new bosses at the bottom of the table have improved immensely.

Former Derby boss Paul Clement has had a positive effect at Swansea. He has re-instilled confidence in the team. Suddenly the Welsh side look like they can stay in the top-flight, after looking like a team heading to the Championship for much of the campaign.

Hull are the other side whose fortunes have been turned by a new boss in Marco Silva. The Portuguese boss has reshaped his squad in January. It seems to have had an instant effect at the Humberside club. On Saturday the Tigers pulled off a 2-0 home win over Liverpool to improve their survival chances.

The revivals may be good for the two clubs. However, it could prove to be very bad news for the teams above them.

With plenty of time to go in the season, the likes of Bournemouth and Southampton could still get dragged into the relegation battle. The two south coast clubs should have enough points and quality to survive this season, though.

Who are the favourites to go down?

Sunderland, Hull and Crystal Palace are favourites to go down with the bookmakers at the moment, with Middlesbrough next in the betting at odds of 11/8 to go down.

However, the unpredictability of the Premier League could mean any of the current bottom-six could be relegated this season. At the moment no team is cut adrift at the bottom and every team still has a chance of saving themselves from the drop this season.

There is bound to be many more twists and turns in the fight for Premier League survival. There are at least six sets of fans hoping that their side are not relegated from the top-flight this season.

At this stage of the campaign, the fight for survival is so tight that it is hard to predict. As usual, the battle to stay in the top-flight is highly intriguing and could very well go down to the wire.

Who will be relegated from the Premier League this season?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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