With Manchester City being crowned champions on Sunday, things are settled at the top of the Premier League table. But there is still plenty of intrigue at the other end, with only seven points between 14th and 19th places.
With just a handful of matches remaining, the teams at the bottom will be fighting to secure their Premier League survival and the financial benefits that come with competing in England’s top flight.
In the Relegation Zone
West Bromwich Albion (24 points)
Remaining Schedule: vs Liverpool, at Newcastle, vs Tottenham, at Crystal Palace
It would take nothing short of a miracle for the Baggies to survive now. They shocked everyone by beating Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend, but even that did little to help what’s been a dismal campaign. West Brom has to win out just to give themselves a chance at staying up.
Stoke City (28 points)
Remaining Schedule: vs Burnley, at Liverpool, vs Crystal Palace, at Swansea
Stoke haven’t won a game since January, and despite a talented squad find themselves mired in a fight to earn their 11th successive season in the Premier League. They allowed a heartbreaking late goal against West Ham on Monday night to concede a 1-1 draw, but the Potters have to start getting wins. They need maximum points from matches against Crystal Palace and Swansea if they want to survive.
Southampton (28 points)
Remaining Schedule: at Leicester, vs Bournemouth, at Everton, at Swansea, vs Manchester City
The Saints have a match in hand on many of the teams around them, and the only top six opponent they have yet to face is a Manchester City team who won’t need anything on the final day of the season. Southampton also have an FA Cup semifinal against Chelsea to navigate, which could give them crucial momentum heading into a vital run-in of matches against beatable opponents. They won’t survive, though, unless they patch up a defence that’s allowed 3 goals in each of its last 4 Premier League games.
Just Above the Red Line
Swansea City (33 points)
Remaining Schedule: at Manchester City, vs Chelsea, at Bournemouth, vs Southampton, vs Stoke
Swansea have a five point cushion between themselves and the drop zone, and they too have a game in hand on many of their fellow strugglers. The Swans’ last two matches at home to Southampton and Stoke could shape up to be classic relegation six-pointers. If they can win just one of those, it would likely be enough to secure their Premier League status for another year.
Crystal Palace (34 points)
Remaining Schedule: at Watford, vs Leicester, at Stoke, vs West Brom
Palace have developed a bad habit of dropping points from winning positions late, and teams that do that usually find themselves in the thick of things at the bottom of the table. Despite a disastrous start to the season, Roy Hodgson has managed to steady the ship in South London and Palace has shown real quality in inconsistent spurts. They have a forgiving run of games left and one more win, especially over Stoke or West Brom, should see them stay up.
Huddersfield Town (35 points)
Remaining Schedule: vs Everton, at Manchester City, at Chelsea, vs Arsenal
The Terriers have a very difficult schedule left, and it is possible that they won’t pick up points from any of their four remaining matches. Any that they can get would be gravy for David Wagner’s side, who have struggled at times but by and large impressed in their first ever season in the Premier League.
West Ham United (35 points)
Remaining Schedule: at Arsenal, vs Manchester City, at Leicester, vs Manchester United, vs Everton
The East Londoners looked in real trouble a few weeks ago when a riot nearly broke out during a 3-0 loss to Burnley at the London Stadium. But they have responded surprisingly well, beating Southampton and drawing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Those points seem even more valuable when you look at the fixtures the Hammers have in front of them, but they’ve shown themselves to be capable of nicking a point off the top teams. Their extra match and recent uptick in form should help them just survive.
When it’s all said and done, the three teams currently in the relegation zone look the most likely to go down this season. West Brom are a near definite, and Stoke haven’t given the impression that they can close the five-point gap between themselves and Swansea. Southampton still have a fighting chance, and the match against Swansea will be the decider. Lose that match and the Saints will be headed to the Championship.
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