For a neutral, the final three games of the Premier League will undoubtedly be a spectacle to enjoy. With European places still up for grabs and the relegation battle igniting once more, the final few games of the season certainly won’t lack any drama. Today, for All Out Football, I’ll assess every team still in the relegation dogfight, as well as give an overview on who I think will be relegated this season (excluding Norwich, who have already been relegated from the Premier league following their 4-0 defeat to West Ham United).
Brighton – 15th – 36 points
The Seagulls, whilst still lacking mathematical safety, are almost certain to stay up this season. Distancing themselves from the relegation zone with vital wins against Arsenal and Norwich, as well as a well earned point against Champions League chasing Leicester, they currently sit on top of what you can call the ‘bottom six mini league’ on 36 points.
The South Coast outfit relished their extended break from football, having last won in late December before their first game back against an underperforming Arsenal side. Brighton can look forward to what can be considered the easiest run in compared to the rest of the bottom six on top of this, coming up against fellow South Coast side Southampton as well as Newcastle and Burnley.
West Ham – 16th – 34 points
It’s been another lacklustre and disappointing season for the hammers. The East London outfit have been a lower mid table ever present this season, occasionally dropping into the bottom three. The irons have had two managers this season, replacing former Premier league winner Manuel Pellegrini with Scotsman David Moyes, his second stint at the club.
Becoming manager on the 29th of December, Moyes’ return to East London has been a mixed affair. Post-restart victories against Champions League hopefuls Chelsea, and doomed to relegation Norwich, have seen West Ham into 16th position with three games remaining, above Watford on goal difference.
Despite these victories, however, Moyes’ hammers have been inconsistent and poor at times. Pre-lockdown, Moyes had only won 2 league games out of 10, their inconsistency makes them unpredictable, and from a West Ham point of view, their next game against fellow strugglers Watford is an absolute must win. West Ham come up against two of the bottom 6 in their final 3 games, coming in the form of Watford and Villa, and will be looking for victory in both to ensure another season in the Premier league is confirmed.
Watford – 17th – 34 points
The 2019/2020 season has been a wild but extremely disappointing one for the hornets. Starting the season in extremely poor form, Watford would not win a league game until early November, coming in the form of a 0-2 victory against a then 19th placed Norwich. Watford had sat rock bottom of the Premier League for half of the season, with hope for a 6th successive top flight campaign dwindling rapidly.
It was the introduction of Englishman Nigel Pearson, however, that would see Watford finally hit some form. Before Pearson took over the helm in Hertfordshire, the Hornets sat six points adrift of 17th, with only 9 points to their name. Now, with only 3 games remaining, the yellows sit on 34 points, 3 points clear of the relegation zone.
It is no doubt that Nigel Pearson has done an exceptional job at the hornets, propelling them out of the relegation zone whilst picking up impressive victories along the way, including a home match vs Liverpool that needs no introduction. Despite this, the hornets have been relatively poor of late, winning only one game in 12 before defeating Norwich and Newcastle in a slight turn around of fortunes.
Watford’s final 3 games come in the form of West Ham, Man City, and Arsenal. With an extremely tough two games facing them, the hornets will feel that they must beat West Ham United this coming Friday, or relegation to the Championship could beckon them, should Bournemouth and/or Villa produce some fine victories in their upcoming games.
Bournemouth – 18th – 31 points
The 2019/20 season has seen Bournemouth in their first real relegation struggle since promotion, similar to their fellow struggling counterpart Watford. Starting the season in fairly good form, Bournemouth’s decline since October has been extremely notable, with Bournemouth only picking up a few wins across the following parts of the season.
Their struggles can be pinned down to their defensive woes. Bournemouth, despite a shock 4-1 hammering of champions league hopefuls Leicester, became the first Premier League side to concede 60+ goals in 5 consecutive seasons. This season, Bournemouth also have had the 3rd worst defence in the league, only coming behind fellow relegation zone occupants Villa and Norwich.
The Cherries’ final 3 games sees them face Manchester City, Southampton, and Everton. With Watford facing an extremely tough final 2 games, Bournemouth will be looking for vital victories against South Coast rivals Southampton and an ‘on the beach’ Everton, which could see them perform a great escape as they hope to continue their remarkable PL journey.
Aston Villa – 19th – 30 points
Aston Villa, in a similar fashion to the majority of the teams fighting for survival, have had an extremely poor season. Despite spending over £100 million this summer, the Villains have been flirting with relegation for the majority of the campaign, occupying a relegation spot almost all season.
Their problems could come down to an over reliance on their star man and captain, Jack Grealish. A fairly controversial figure in football, Grealish has excelled in the Premier League, despite his sides poor form. Looking at Villa’s sqaud, it is somewhat apparent to why they are in this dogfight, with the majority of their key men just not being good enough to face the elite.
Villa’s final 3 games see them come up against Everton, Arsenal, and West Ham. Villa must be looking for maximum points from their ties against the toffees and hammers, as anything less than 4 points in those 2 games will not be good enough. Arsenal’s mixed form could spur Villa onto an unexpected result aswell, but they will have to be at their best.
With every side from 19th to 16th winning their games in the last week, calling the final table now is still extremely tough, despite the lack of games remaining. Watford appear to have the hardest run in out of the bottom 6, and will have to achieve victory against West Ham this Friday, or Premier League relegation could be inevitable.
The most likely of the two relegation zone occupants left who can escape will be Bournemouth, who can leapfrog Watford with potential victories against Southampton and Everton. Brighton are, in a sense, already safe, and West Ham will be hoping to beat Watford and Villa to distance themselves from the relegation zone before the end of the season.
15th – Brighton – 40 points
16th – West Ham – 38 points
17th – Watford – 35 points (Better GD)
18th – Bournemouth – 35 points (Worse GD)
19th – Aston Villa – 31 points
20th – Norwich – 21 points
How do you reckon the table will end up? Comment below!