Premier League – The Relegation Run-In
Aston Villa and Bournemouth breathed new life into the relegation race at the weekend as they held their nerve to pull off impressive home wins against Crystal Palace and Leicester.
Those result have lefts fans of Watford, West Ham and even Brighton breathing a little more uneasily but how do their respective run-ins shape up, and what are the current Premier League relegation odds suggesting?
We decided to take a look…
Premier League Relegation Odds
The Race For Survival
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
Current Position / Points: 15th / 36 points
Goal Difference: -16
Relegation Odds: 66/1
Final three fixtures: Southampton (a), Newcastle (h), Burnley (a)
Verdict: It would take a spectacular set of results to relegate the Seagulls, but their hardened fans will want to see safety wrapped up quickly with two fixtures coming up against sides with little left to play for.
In truth, a draw would probably do it, given that would leave at least one of Aston Villa or Bournemouth needing to win all three of their remaining games. Graham Potter will be frustrated the Seagulls have surrendered their goal difference after a bruising week against Liverpool and Man City, but survival is still comfortably in their own hands – not that Brighton fans will be banking on them doing things the easy way.
Current Position / Points: 16th / 34 points
Goal Difference: -15
Relegation Odds: 8/1
Final three fixtures: Watford (h), Man Utd (a), Aston Villa (h)
Verdict: The elation of sweeping Norwich’s side has given way to jitters again in East London, with some of West Ham’s good work soured by the sudden return to form of relegation spot occupants Bournemouth and Villa.
With Man Utd away a fixture hardly welcome on any side’s in-tray right now, David Moyes’ side simply have to win their huge six-pointer with Watford on Friday night to avoid the agony of a potential final day shoot-out against Aston Villa. Moyes will have some serious sleepless nights this week as he calculates whether playing for the draw is the safest option, given Watford’s remaining fixtures.
Current Position / Points: 16th / 34 points
Goal Difference: -21
Relegation Odds: 37/10
Final three fixtures: West Ham (a), Man City (h), Arsenal (a)
Verdict: Of all the sets of fans suffering a collective wave of nausea at Kasper Schmeichel’s calamitous 30 seconds on Sunday night, Watford fans probably had the reason to feel most queasy. Of the three catchable sides, the Hornets look to have the hardest path to safety if they take anything less than the full three points on offer on Friday night against rivals West Ham.
34 points might still be enough if Bournemouth and Aston Villa both return to type over the next few days, but Nigel Pearson won’t want to rely on other teams doing him a favour. Watford probably need to go for broke against West Ham, given that could mean the Hammers’ final-day fixture against Villa decides it.
Current Position / Points: 18th / 31 points
Goal Difference: -24
Relegation Odds: 1/10
Final three fixtures: Man City (a), Southampton (h), Everton (a)
Verdict: The Cherries were praying for a miracle after a tepid opening 45 minutes against Leicester. They got it. Every great escape has a ‘gamechanger’ moment, and Leicester’s stunning self-implosion could rank up there with the best if Bournemouth can somehow claw themselves out of trouble.
Sadly for Howe, it looks as if it’ll be a nail-biting final day fight at the very least, with the Cherries heading to rampant Man City in midweek.
A shock result at the Etihad would really put the cat amongst the pigeons for the clubs just above the water line, with Bournemouth’s final two fixtures not looking as daunting given Southampton and Everton could well be ‘on the beach’. However, their chances will largely rest on what the other sides above them do in midweek, given it looks unlikely they will move off 31 points before Sunday afternoon at the earliest.
We’ve seen the Cherries go on unlikely winning runs before. Can they do it once more this week to leave their rivals sweating?
Current Position / Points: 19th / 30 points
Goal Difference: -27
Relegation Odds: 7/50
Final three fixtures: Everton (a), Arsenal (h), West Ham (a)
Verdict: The last rites were being read, but Villa live to fight another day after finally notching their first post-lockdown win with a comfortable 2-0 win against a disinterested Crystal Palace. That always looked by far the easiest of their final four fixtures on paper, although Dean Smith will be keenly aware of Everton’s lack of application in recent games with the treading-water Toffees up next.
If Villa can sneak a win at Goodison Park, that would shake up the final week completely, potentially making the final day a winner-takes-all affair against West Ham. That’s before we even touch on the Villains’ home game against Arsenal sandwiched between those fixtures.
Smith will be praying it’s the off-key Brighton/Spurs version of Mikel Arteta’s side that turns up rather than the grittier Sheffield Utd/Southampton incarnations. Villa will need their next two opponents to be in a generous mood. However, this might not be the mission impossible everyone thinks it is – provided they can keep themselves with a puncher’s chance on that final day.
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.
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