Here’s how the Premier League relegation battle is shaping up
With just five weeks of the season remaining, the Premier League relegation battle is reaching a fierce crescendo.
Odds are still available for nine sides to go down, but that doesn’t feature West Brom. Our traders have pulled the plug on the Baggies staying up.
So, who could join them in the Championship next term? We run you through all the crucial info, stats, fixtures and odds…
Newcastle United – Pts 38 / Pld 32 / Odds 150/1
With the board refusing to offer much in the way of recruitment, Rafa Benitez must be lauded for the job he’s done on Tyneside.
The Magpies beat Leicester City 2-1 on Saturday to claim their third straight win and all-but secure safety.
They sit 10 points clear of the drop, and boast a far better goal difference than any side around them.
Newcastle still have to play Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, but a win at home to West Brom at the end of April would seal the deal for the Toon Army.
Bournemouth – Pts 38 / Pld 33 / Odds 200/1
A solid 18 of Bournemouth’s 38 points this season have been won from losing positions.
That pretty much says it all about the attitude of Eddie Howe’s men, who are now surely heading towards another year in the Premier League.
The Cherries have lost only one of their last six to move themselves away from trouble.
Games against Liverpool and Manchester United are next, but after that, the Dean Court club finish against Southampton, Swansea City and Burnley. A point or three from that trio will secure their safety.
Watford – Pts 37 / Pld 33 / Odds 100/1
Watford fans will rightly wonder just how an early-season push for the top-four turned into a nervy relegation scrap.
The Hornets saw Burnley come from behind to take the spoils on Saturday, leaving Javi Gracia’s men with one point from four games.
They really should be safe, given they’re nine points clear, but the Hertfordshire side will want to grab something against Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace in their next two games.
Brighton & Hove Albion – Pts 35 / Pld 32 / Odds 14/1
Chris Hughton has done a sensational job on the south coast, but Brighton still have work to do.
The Seagulls have claimed one point from three games, and are one of the lowest scorers in the division.
And they’ll be concerned that they still have to play Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Man United in their remaining six games.
Brighton’s other two fixtures are away to Crystal Palace and Burnley. Hughton’s men could stay up without gaining another point, but they’d rather not do it that way.
West Ham United – Pts 34 / Pld 32 / Odds 16/1
David Moyes will have been delighted to see his side pick up a point at Chelsea on Sunday. The Hammers are six points clear of the drop zone, but have a tricky run-in.
The Irons host Stoke City in their next game, and it’s one they’ll be going all out to win. A final day home tie versus Everton also offers a potential win, but in-between that the Hammers must face Arsenal and both Manchester sides.
Beat either Stoke or Everton and they should be safe.
Swansea City – Pts 32 / Pld 32 / Odds 5/1
Swansea love to blow hot and cold. The Welsh side flew through January and February, but have now won just one of their last five.
They still need another six points to hit that magical 38, but they’ve got plenty of chances to get them.
Four of their final six games see them play Everton, Bournemouth, Southampton and Stoke.
Only the Cherries game is away from home so there’s a real chance the Swans could end the season on a high – and well above the bottom three.
Huddersfield – Pts 32 / Pld 33 / Odds 6/5
The weekly grind of Premier League football has taken its toll on Huddersfield, and slowly but surely they’ve slipped down the table.
David Wagner’s men have won only two of their last 15 games, and have failed to score far too frequently.
The worrying thing is that they’ve taken just two points from their last five games. And four of those have been against Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Swansea and Brighton.
The Terriers will need another result or two to be safe, most likely. They host Watford and Everton in their next two matches, and those games could decide their fate.
Fail to collect something from that, and Wagner may need more than one result against Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea in May.
Crystal Palace – Pts 31 / Pld 33 / Odds 7/1
Given they failed to score a single point from their first seven games, it’s remarkable that Crystal Palace are still in with a shout of survival.
Roy Hodgson has turned the Eagles around, although they have only won three of their last 15.
That said, there are plenty of goals in this Palace team, and that should be their key to safety.
What’s more, unlike the sides around them, the South Londoners play only one top-half side in their remaining games, and that’s at home to Leicester. So expect a late-season sprint from the Eagles.
Southampton – Pts 28 / Pld 32 / Odds Evens
Southampton’s game in hand is the thing keeping most sides sweating. The Saints thought they’d earned a point at Arsenal on Sunday, so conceding Danny Welbeck’s late goal will hurt.
Mark Hughes has never been relegated as a player or manager, but Sparky must regroup his side quickly.
The Saints have failed to win 19 of their last 20 league games, but they aren’t doomed just yet. They’re still to play Bournemouth, Everton and Swansea. Win all three and the relegation picture changes complete.
Stoke – Pts 27 / Pld 33 / Odds 1/5
It’s been a fun 10 seasons, but Stoke City’s spell in the Premier League is seemingly coming to an end.
The Potters have been lacklustre all season, and new boss Paul Lambert hasn’t sparked an improvement.
One win in 14 is relegation form, but the Potters have a better run-in than most.
Stoke are still to play West Ham, Burnley, Crystal Palace and Swansea, but they’ve got to realistically win at least three of those.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication