The battle at the bottom of the Premier League

The battle at the bottom of the Premier League

This weekend’s Manchester derby will obviously take the headlines, with many sharing the opinion that should the blue side of the city take the three points on Sunday, the title race could be as good as over.

It isn’t the only derby this weekend, as Everton travel to Anfield in the Merseyside derby, to face a currently-rampant Liverpool.

Those two games, however, are surely going to overshadow three fixtures that are of a paramount importance at the other end of the table.

Swansea, Huddersfield and Crystal Palace are all at home on Saturday and take on opponents that they will realistically see as beatable.

Swansea vs West Brom isn’t quite as appetising as the Old Trafford clash this weekend, but it is a huge game for both of these clubs.

Paul Clement saved the Swans last season, but this campaign has proved to be a much tougher one – his side have taken just one point from their last seven outings in the league.

West Brom have been doomed by draws, the Baggies haven’t won in their last 14 games, but have drawn seven of those.

It is guaranteed to be a close encounter at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon, and it is a game where any outcome wouldn’t be a real surprise.

Clement’s side have conceded the fewest of the bottom six – it is at the other end of the pitch that they have struggled.

Goals have been hard to come by for Swansea, they have found the net just once in their last 5 matches and against a West Brom side that prides itself on being tough to break down, the hosts will have to be at the races on Saturday.

Crystal Palace have seen a slight turn in their fortune as of late, and whilst they have only won one of the last five, they have also only lost one of the last five – a narrow 1-0 defeat against Tottenham.

Roy Hodgson takes his side into the clash against Bournemouth on the back of successive goalless draws, but whilst Bournenouth’s defence has admittedly improved this season, the Palace manager will be expecting his side to find the net for sure.

The Cherries have been a breath of fresh air since their promotion in 2015 – Eddie Howe employs exciting football that the neutral football fan will find enjoyable.

This won’t be an easy one for the Eagles by no means, you’d expect it to be a far more open game than the clash between Swansea and West Brom – both these sides like to attack and have pace at the top end at their disposal.

Brighton have been a welcomed addition to the Premier League, they were amongst the favourites for relegation prior to the season but those odds will have been slashed without a doubt.

Chris Hughton’s side travel to a struggling Huddersfield side and this is a match the Terriers need to take something from.

It is a game for David Wagner’s men against familiar opposition, a side they have played numerous times in the past.

Brighton will be a tough test for them on Saturday, they have shown they are more than capable on the road this season and have adapted to the top flight better than their fellow new boys it is fair to say.

That said, confidence won’t be at its peak amongst Huddersfield’s opponents – they come into this clash on the back of a 1-5 thumping against Liverpool last time out.

The jubilant atmosphere inside Huddersfield’s stadium has been a real secret weapon for them and has unquestionably helped them get to where they are today.

‘Electric’ is how commentators have described it before, against Manchester City the atmosphere really was something you’d associate with foreign clubs.

Whilst this game might not be one the Terriers’ faithful will be looking forward to as eagerly as others, that hostile feel they create in the ground is something their side will need come 3pm Saturday afternoon, it can get the players going and ultimately get them over the line in games.

Brighton will come to frustrate and kill that buzz that the 12th man create, so an early goal could be key for the hosts.