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Premier League run-in: Relegation focus narrows its targets

Newcastle is buzzing, Fulham confounding, Burnley uneasy, and West Brom brought back to earth.

Funny what just one or two weeks can do for a team’s outlook on the season.

The Premier League run-in is here and the business end of the season will provide plenty of drama, as always, during the countdown to the final day on May 23.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ] 

When it comes to preserving Premier League status for another year, who needs what? Which teams will be scrapping away in the final seven games of the season?

Our weekly series, the run-in, keeps you fully up to date on all of the different battles going on up and down the Premier League.

Premier League relegation battle: The run-in analysis

Sheffield United has been relegated thanks to Newcastle’s win over West Ham and Brighton has improved its lot with a draw at Chelsea (though losing Ben White to a suspension is not ideal).

That Newcastle win makes seven points from nine for the Magpies, three of which sank the hopes of Burnley a bit, too. The

But while West Brom’s Matheus Pereira-led offensive outburst may have engineered six points and some hope for Sam Allardyce’s Baggies, they took a big hit with a 3-0 loss to Leicester City which keeps them nine points back of safety with six matches left.

The schedule makers have built quite the run-in for the five teams facing the highest potential to go down, but things are looking pretty straight forward. Five Thirty Eight’s simulations have this pretty straight-forward:

  • West Brom goes down in more than 99 percent of their simulations
  • Fulham is at 82 percent
  • Burnley is fourth with seven percent
  • Newcastle’s next with 4 percent
  • Brighton only heads to the Championship in less than 1 percent of simulations

It’s easy to see why the most extreme cases are so: Brighton’s a good-performing and unlucky team with points left on the docket (though leaving it late is a bad idea). West Brom likely has to collect at least 14 of 18 points from a fixture list with two teams sixth or higher.

In Fulham’s case, the Cottagers got a point from Arsenal, a bonus, but have one fewer game than the field and still face Chelsea and Liverpool. Lose those and Scott Parker’s men would need to win the other three and hope Burnley takes no more than three or Brighton four (and Brighton may find itself all but safe with a win at Bramall Lane this weekend).

Newcastle seems likely to either seal their safety with its next result, though the path is fraught for a few weeks before the final two fixtures versus Sheffield United and Fulham.

Burnley? Still the wild card for tears in beers at The Royal Dyche, if only because they can still give three points to Fulham and have been beaten by Newcastle and Southampton while drawing West Brom and Fulham across their last eight matches.

Wolves (A)
West Ham (H)
Fulham (A)
Leeds (H)
Liverpool (H)
Sheffield United (A)

Sheffield United (A)
Leeds (H)
Wolves (A)
West Ham (H)
Man City (A)
Arsenal (H)

Liverpool (A)
Arsenal (H)
Leicester City (A)
Man City (H)
Sheffield United (H)
Fulham (A)

Chelsea (A)
Burnley (H)
Southampton (A)
Man United (A)
Newcastle (H)

West Bromwich Albion
Aston Villa (A)
Wolves (H)
Arsenal (A)
Liverpool (H)
West Ham (H)
Leeds (A)

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