The race for Premier League survival: Who are the candidates?
11 March 2019, 14:45
The race for Premier League survival: Who are the candidates?

There are 24 points left to play for in the Premier League season and the relegation race has plenty of questions. Six teams have a legitimate chance to go down to the Championship and lose out on the riches of the English top-flight.

What we do know right now is Huddersfield are practically relegated. The Terriers have just 14 points and sit 16 from safety. Although they could secure safety still, it is highly unlikely as they would need to win six of their final eight games at the very least.

Fulham are 13 points adrift, and like Huddersfield, are all but officially relegated. The Cottagers are on their third manager of the season. They have given up the league’s most goals (68) and have lost their last six matches.

Of the three teams currently occupying the relegation positions, Cardiff City are the most likely to achieve survival. The Bluebirds defeated an ineffective West Ham at home over the weekend, 2-0. Cardiff are now two points from safety. Their win came at the right time as Burnley, who are two points ahead of Cardiff, lost for a third straight game.

Perhaps the biggest winner of gameweek 30 was Southampton. Ralph Hassenhuttl’s team shocked Tottenham 2-1. The win moves them level on points with Burnley (30) but ahead due to goal difference (-16). Since Hassenhuttl took over in early December, Southampton have gained points in nine of 16 matches.

Brighton have caught form at the right time. Chris Hughton’s Seagulls have won back to back matches. They sit three points ahead of Southampton (33). Brighton had been in a bit of a freefall in recent weeks, but consecutive wins have bolstered their bid for survival.

Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace are level with Brighton on 33 points. The Eagles are hit and miss and it is difficult to tell which side will show up on matchday.

Crystal Palace are difficult to beat thanks to a strong defence and entertaining attack featuring Wilfried Zaha, Michy Batshuayi, and Andros Townsend. But inconsistency has hurt them. Crystal Palace are in the FA Cup quarterfinals and focus on the competition could see them slip up in the league.

Newcastle United are six points from the relegation zone and look the strongest of the candidates for survival. Rafael Benitez’s team has won three of their last four games. Despite having limited playing talent, Benitez has got the best out of his players since Christmas.

So, which Premier League team is going down this season? Of course, that is the big question and there are caveats to the answer. For one, Crystal Palace could be sucked into the bottom three due to the FA Cup. Win or lose in the quarterfinals and they could lose focus on Premier League safety. Burnley could continue to slip and ship goals. They have allowed the second most scores this term. Meanwhile, Cardiff could leapfrog Burnely as the two sides play on April 13th.

Looking at the fixture list, it seems Cardiff have the most unenviable schedule. Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Manchester United must be played. There are also six-point matches against Brighton, Fulham, Burnley, and Crystal Palace. With eight games to go, the horizon looks bleak for Cardiff. But there is still a lot of football to play.

Predictions for Premier League

Home team - Away team Tip
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FulhamManchester City
30/03/2019 12:30
2
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BrightonSouthampton
30/03/2019 15:00
1
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BurnleyWolverhampton
30/03/2019 15:00
2
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Crystal PalaceHuddersfield
30/03/2019 15:00
1

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