As the end of the season draws near the neutral and general football/soccer appreciator alike become caught up in the title race (when there is one) and fascinated by the drop zone. If you are like me, then you will understand the desire to make predictions about who will be axed, who is in danger, and who might pull off the big escape. To have some speculative fun, let’s take a look at the relegation battle.
With the bottom 12 teams all having 7-9 matches left to play and an average of just a few points separating most it’s worth it to take a look at all their chances at the end of the season draws near. For my calculations teams will be awarded 0pts for matches with teams 4 or more places ahead of them, 1pt for matches against teams 3 places above and below them, and 3pts for teams 4 or more place below.
Haven’t had much of a notable season either way, just below average in 12th place on 37pts. Questions and expectation surround the team fronted by Marco Silva and backed by the numerous signings and big money spent to transform the blue Merseysiders into a competitive squad. With fairly strong opposition awaiting them as they finish the season, they will be looking at a tough end to the season.
Led by Rafa Benitez, Newcastle have been able to achieve more than you would expect. They are organized and play well as a squad considering what they have, with a recent bump of a couple of signings they continue to be a tricky side. With the turmoil and failed sale of the club, it could be an interesting offseason for the Tynesiders.
Palace has had an up and down season, one of those teams that fight it out until the end most matches no matter the opponent. With Roy Hodgson at the wheel you can expect they will keep playing hard, but being so reliant on Zaha they are limited. It will be interesting to see what the American owners do this summer.
*unlisted for postponement vs Tottenham
Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton is another one of these tenacious sides that prove to be tricky at times. With a squad of no real stars, they rely on being a collective to achieve their hard-won results. Shrewd business moves probably are what sustains the teams continued premier league status, you can expect more in the summer if they hang around.
*unlisted for postponement vs Cardiff & Chelsea
The Saints have had a turn of fortune since appointing Ralph Hasenhüttl, which has lifted them out of the bottom 3 in recent weeks. Coming off a big win at Spurs it is not far fetched to think things really might get moving for them. It’ll be interesting to see if the club tries to overhaul the roster in the summer should they survive the drop.
*unlisted for postponement vs Watford
The side at turf moor has had a rough season after overachieving last year. Sean Dyche has his men in order most matches and they always put up a fight, however, mistakes and dull performances have been sprinkled over the course of their campaign. This has left them in a low position heading toward the end of the season.
The only Welsh club in Premier League has had a rollercoaster season. Achieving some big results and proving to be more than most expected to see from them. Neil Warnock has led his squad through the tragedy of losing their record signing Emiliano Sala, and being the only Welsh side in the Premier League after Swansea dropped last year, many are rooting for them to beat the odds.
*unlisted for postponement vs Brighton & Man city
After spending 100 million in the summer to bolster their retention status, Fulham had underperformed massively this season. After sacking 2 managers, Jokanović & Ranieri, they are set with interim manager Scott Parker. Things haven’t been able to be organized at the back all year for the cottagers, and nothing seems to be changing anytime soon. The chances Fulham are plying their trade in the Premier League next season are dismal at best.
*unlisted for postponement vs Watford
The plucky Yorkshire side is all but assured of going down, adrift at the bottom most of the season and having parted ways with David Wagner. Jan Siewert has taken the reins but has failed to get the players to overcome their prior results although the performances have been more competitive. They were a spot of joy last year and I’m sure many will wish them the best of luck in the championship next year.
12- Everton 45pts
13- Newcastle 42pts
14- Crystal Palace 42pts
15- Brighton 36pts
16- Southampton 35pts
17- Burnley 31pts
18- Cardiff 31pts
19- Fulham 18pts
20- Huddersfield 14pts
Not much really changes by my estimation, however with the varying form of the teams and fixture congestion the final results could prove to be shifty. In some cases, the final team to drop might be due to goal differential (which in my simulation Cardiff is relegated by estimated goal differential with more matches against top 6 sides  assuming larger deficit losses). The end of the season could be interesting when it comes to that last spot and who knows maybe there will be a miraculous escape!