If you support Middlesbrough, Sunderland or Hull then last weekend was one to forget. The trio did little to help their chances of Premier League survival, and the latest odds indicate they’ve now left it too late.
All three sides failed to win, while victories for Crystal Palace, Leicester and Bournemouth all eased their respective relegation concerns.
Sunderland could only muster a drab 0-0 result at home to Burnley, a game they really needed to win if they were to launch some sort of escape plan as in recent seasons.
The Black Cats have now occupied a spot in the bottom three for six straight months, have failed to score in six of their last seven matches and haven’t won any of their six home games.
But while the Wearsiders have been headed for the drop all season, the situation over in Teesside has been far more surprising.
On Christmas day Middlesbrough were still a fairly unlikely 6/1 to go down. Having spent well in the summer, it was widely regarded that the Riverside outfit would settle into mid-table.
But tensions have grown throughout the campaign and the club sacked Aitor Karanka last week. Caretaker boss Steve Agnew could do little to stop Boro losing 3-1 to Manchester United on Sunday.
It means Boro’s winless run has grown to 11 games, and no side has won as few as their four fixtures this season. What’s more, two of those four wins have come against the other sides in the drop zone.
In summary, it means that 6/1 price on December 25 has tumbled into 1/4 for the Reds to make an instant return to the second tier.
And though Hull are the most likely survivors out of the three at 4/11, and they have been much improved since Marco Silva succeeded Mike Phelan.
They are unbeaten in five at home, and must still welcome both Middlesbrough and Sunderland to the East Riding of Yorkshire in the closing weeks of the campaign.
But the 4-0 capitulation at Everton on Saturday suggested Hull still have a long way to go, and a measly tally of just five points collected on the road may prove their undoing.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing