With the title pretty much sewn up by Manchester City, there are two particularly interesting races that people are still keeping an eye on in England’s top league. Of course, the battle to finish in the top four is as close as ever with many teams vying for a shot at the big time of the Champions League. Manchester United seem secure in second but below them, it is very close and quite hard to tell who is going to join the Red Devils and Manchester City in the other two places.
The other area where the fight for spaces is interesting is down the bottom. However, in that case, it is the battle not to occupy a particular place with the bottom three clubs facing relegation and at least a season in the wilderness of the Championship. With Sunderland facing back to back relegations we can see just how important staying in the league is.
It is a race that, to some extent, has punters puzzled. It is quite clear that West Brom are heading down but other than that finding value in the market and getting the right bet is tough. This has led many to turn to SBAT predictions, who have expert inside tips on the drop race along with many other interesting tips on other leagues and races ranging from the Champions League to the close title race in Serie A.
The race to be playing Premier League football again next season is so tough because there are so many protagonists battling it out to not end up eighteenth or nineteenth. Twentieth looks to be West Brom’s but there are, realistically, still ten teams who could be caught up in the relegation scrap and will be hoping to return from the international break with a bang and climb up the table.
Watford and Bournemouth look the safest as they both sit eight points away from Southampton. This should be enough and if they win two more games they will make it to the magical forty point mark and be safe for another season. They have to keep their eye on the ball, however, they should be ok when push comes to shove.
A little further down, we find Brighton and Newcastle who are both more than three points from Southampton meaning they can lose a game and still stay comfortably out of the relegation zone. Again neither look like they will have too much trouble and it will be a surprise if they are not safe comes the season’s end.
It is the teams who are just out of the zone right now who need to be more worried, Swansea, Huddersfield and Crystal Palace as well as West Ham are all in danger and will be aiming to make sure they do not fail to win on their first games back and drop into the relegation zone.
Southampton, while in the bottom three now, actually should be ok with Mark Hughes at the helm. He is a calm and reassuring presence. Stoke, struggling West Ham and West Brom, I feel, will likely be the teams to feel the pain of the drop.