We find ourselves at the business end of the Premier League season and there are three teams who are looking at the possibility of having a worst season than Man Utd. Now I know that sounds pretty hard to believe because come on, Utd suck, but three teams will be plying their trade in the Championship next year and they will actually have had a worst season than the Moyes Boys (trademark of bm23sportsreviews).
The big question that everyone wants to know is who is going to drop the ball and fall to the unholy depths of the Football League and which teams will scrape through with only their panties intact. Well we here at bm23sportsreviews are going to tell you exactly who is going down and exactly why. In case you are wondering the good people at bm23sportsreviews don’t just go into things willy nilly, with silly guesses or random choices, we employ techniques to come to our ever popular and well respected opinions. So you know it’s gonna be some good shit!
Prior to the start of the season I had Palace finishing bottom, Hull finishing second bottom and Stoke finishing third bottom. I changed that after the transfer window closed to Palace bottom, Hull second bottom and Sunderland third bottom. Now things change during the season, managers come and go, and so do players, however that is no longer the case, it is now highly unlikely that any major changes will happen at any of the clubs in the relegation mire and it should allow for a fairly accurate judgement on how things are going to go. For instance I very much doubt that Hull will go down now, partially because they outperformed their squad (which was the second worst at the start of the season) early in the season, but also made good signings in January. Stoke on the other hand have just been better than I had expected, after all usually when Mark Hughes is managing your club they go backwards, but I digress. Palace under Holloway had not only the worst squad in the league by a mile but also were too easy to beat, that is no longer the case under Tony Pulis. Sunderland had a loon in charge, and although that is still sort of the case, this one isn’t quite as bad.
Anyway enough of my incoherent rambling and more of writing who is going to be relegated at the end of the season. There are nine (yes 9) teams within six points of the relegation places, that is very high and it means that essentially you could make an argument for nine teams still going down (I feel Villa and Stoke are too far away, so aren’t in the mix). So here’s each of these teams broken down in alphabetical order.
Cardiff currently find themselves sitting in the relegation zone with 25 points and with 8 games left. They have Liverpool H (home), West Brom A (away), Palace H, Southampton A, Stoke H, Sunderland A, Newcastle A and Chelsea H. Straight off the bat you can almost eliminate the Chelsea and Liverpool games as potential points, now I know Cardiff have done very well against the big teams at home this season, but I don’t see points being picked up here. The good news for them is that the other six games are all very winnable. They have three games against teams around about them and three games against mid table teams who have nothing left to play for, so not too bad. The only problem is that Cardiff don’t look like a team that looks like they can do it. Potentially they could score 18 points from these fixtures, but I think that they are more likely to score at very best 13, which would give them 38 points. I doubt they’ll get as many as that though, and see it being more in the 9 points bracket, which would give them 34 points.
Palace find themselves on 28 points, just three above the relegation zone and with 9 games still to play. They have Newcastle A, Chelsea H, Cardiff A, Villa H, Everton A, West Ham A, City H, Liverpool H and Fulham A. Similar to with Cardiff you can almost discard the Chelsea, Liverpool, City and Everton games, because it is highly unlikely that they will get a result in any of those. They have three games against teams in a similar position and two against teams who are mid table. The major problem for Palace is that the games they have a chance in are mainly away from home (all but one against Villa). Palace are a team which has a strong resilience about them under Tony Pulis, but despite the fact that they are able to grind out clean sheets on a decent basis, they are still the worst squad in the league. They started the season with the wrong type of manager and they signed the wrong type of players in the summer, the things they have done well have just came a bit too late. They could get 15 points out of the fixtures they have left but I think it is more likely that they will get at best 12, which would give them 40 points. I doubt they will get as many as that and 10 is more likely, which would give them 38.
Fulham find themselves holding the bottom of the table up on 24 points with 8 games to go. They have City A, Everton H, Villa A, Norwich H, Spurs A, Hull H, Stoke A and Palace H. Let’s discard the Spurs and City games as being unlikely to get results from. Which leaves three games against relegation struggles and three against mid table teams. The problem with Fulham is that you don’t go through a season where you change your manager twice and generally have success. They also wasted a lot of time and money on players that the new manager seems unwilling to play. When I wrote my transfer window review I commented that I thought Fulham may struggle if they got dragged into a relegation fight because they have an old team, and that is exactly what has ended up happening. The team just don’t look interested, and I thought prior to this weekend that they were dead and buried, they surprised me with a nice win against Newcastle (who I think will bomb the rest of the season) but I don’t think they have enough. Look at their goal difference of -35 and the fact that they have conceded 13 more goals than anyone else in the league and you can see where this is going. I can’t see them getting more than 9 points, and I think it is more likely to be 7, which would give them 31 points and you don’t have to be a genius to figure out that that isn’t enough.
Hull are sitting on 30 points (5 points clear of 18th) and have 9 games left to play. They have West Brom H, West Ham A, Stoke A, Swansea H, Arsenal H, Fulham A, Villa A, Utd A and Everton H. Before looking at the fixtures I thought Hull would be fine, after looking at those fixtures I can now see that maybe I jumped the gun. If Hull get too excited about their FA Cup semi final, they could find themselves in serious trouble. Look at their last five fixtures, that’s Arsenal at home followed by three away games and then Everton at home to finish the season. Now I’m not saying that I think they can’t get points against Villa or Fulham away but if they find themselves in the scrap at the bottom then these games all of a sudden get much much harder to win. Nonetheless I think Hull will get about 10 points from those fixtures, which would put them on 40 at the end of the season.
Norwich are on 29 points and have 8 games left to play this season. They are against Sunderland H, Swansea A, West Brom H, Fulham A, Liverpool H, Utd A, Chelsea A and Arsenal H. I’ll give you a moment to process that all sixteen of the Norwich’s support, pretty much you need to make up about 7-9 points in your first four games or you’re done. I don’t know who drew up the fixture list, but it’s safe to say that they are not a Norwich fan. Luckily for the worlds handful of Norwich fans they are all winnable, the problem is that Norwich are shit. At best Norwich get 9 points, I think they’re more likely to get 5 though, which would put them on 34 points to end the season.
Sunderland currently sit in the relegation zone on 25 points but with a massive 11 games still to play. They are against Norwich A, Liverpool A, West Ham H, Spurs A, Everton H, City A, Chelsea A, Cardiff H, Utd A, West Brom H and Swansea H. You can pretty much discard their four away games against Chelsea, City, Utd and Spurs (which is a very hard travel schedule) but the positives of this is that they have all their important games after this weekend at home, this is a huge bonus for Sunderland. However there are also big negatives to this as well, they have at least two games more to play (sometimes three) than the teams around them and those games will be squeezed into the same timescale, which will mean it will be hard on the squad. Sunderland are too good to go down, that doesn’t mean they can rest on their laurels, but I think that they’ll pick up about 14 points, which will put them on 39.
Swansea find themselves on 29 points with 9 games left to play. They are against Everton A, Arsenal A, Norwich H, Hull A, Chelsea H, Newcastle A, Villa H, Southampton H and Sunderland A. Similarly to Sunderland Swansea are too good to go down, but they have struggled since winning the League Cup last year. You could blame the Europa League for their poor form this year, but it’s just an excuse for a team which has failed to perform to the level that they should have. They’re currently 4 points clear of relegation but if they lose their next two games like I think they will, they’ll be right in it. I do still think they are too good to go down, but Swansea have no divine right to think they belong in this league. I think they’re likely to pick up about 11 points which would leave them on 40 to finish the season.
West Brom sit on 28 points (3 above relegation zone) with 9 games left to play. These consist of Hull A, Cardiff H, Norwich A, Spurs H, City A, West Ham H, Arsenal A, Sunderland A and Stoke H. You can discard the two away games against City and Arsenal, leaving you with seven games to make up the points they require. If I was a West Brom fan I would be incredibly concerned with my team’s lack of ability to win games and score goals. West Brom have drawn a league high 13 games and have won a league low 5 games, that quite simply isn’t good enough. The biggest mistake that West Brom made this season was to sack Steve Clarke and then they also did not sign a capable striker to replace Lukaku, which is why they find themselves in this situation. Personally I think that West Brom probably have too much to go down, and I am quite surprised that they are in this position. Anyway I think West Brom are looking at getting about 10 points from those games, which would give them 38 points to finish the season.
West Ham currently sit on 31 points and have 9 games left in the season. They are against Utd H, Hull H, Sunderland A, Liverpool H, Arsenal A, Palace H, West Brom A, Spurs H and City A. I personally don’t feel like West Ham are really in the relegation mire as much as the teams which have proceeded them, but when you look at their fixtures they do have five against the top clubs which could be tricky. West Ham do however have four very winnable games against teams in the relegation dog fight. I would be very surprised if West Ham find themselves in the bottom three by the team the final game has been played. I think West Ham are likely to get around 10 points which would leave them on 41 to finish the season.
This isn’t how I think the table will necessarily end, but it will show us how many points I think each team will finish on and who the three bottom teams are likely to be:
West Ham 41
West Brom 38
So there you have it, bad news I’m afraid for Cardiff, Norwich and Fulham fans. To be fair this shouldn’t really come as a surprise for fans of these clubs; Cardiff are a club in turmoil with an owner who seems to be determined to be the next manager, Norwich have been threatening to be relegated for seasons now and sadly for Fulham fans you don’t change your manager twice within the season and expect to have success.
By no means is this a definitive I’ve said you’re going down so that’s that, because I’m sure in going through these fixtures I’ve doubled booked certain teams and one of these teams will cause an upset over one of the big teams that nobody has seen coming. That’s what is great about the Premier League; it is an incredibly unpredictable league.
So what do you think about the predictions for the teams who will be relegated? Are you thinking this guy is a genius! Better get to the bookies! Or I hate this guy! What does he know!?!? Well leave a comment and let everyone know. Plus find all the latest bm23sportsreviews updates on Facebook and Twitter.