The race for Barclays Premier League survival looks set to go to the wire with seven clubs involved in the scrap. We analyse the run-in...
Remaining games: Hull (Saturday, A), Stoke (May 16, H), Villa (May 24, A)
Analysis: The Clarets are eight points from safety with just nine to play for and will be relegated if they fail to beat Hull on Saturday. A swift return to the Sky Bet Championship looks inevitable despite Sean Dyche’s side earning plaudits for their battling displays despite little spending. One win in 14 games though has almost sealed their fate and the Clarets have failed to score in their last six outings.
Remaining games: Manchester City (Sunday, A), Newcastle (May 16, H), Leicester (May 24, A)
Analysis: Rangers’ season has been another tale of woe as they again fail to consolidate in the Barclays Premier League. They will be relegated if they lose to Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday and are seven points from safety with nine to play for. Chris Ramsey has won just twice since replacing Harry Redknapp, who quit in February, and they are on course for a swift return to the Sky Bet Championship. An over reliance on 17-goal striker Charlie Austin has been one of their major issues.
Remaining games: Everton (Saturday, A), Leicester (May 16, H), Arsenal (May 20, A), Chelsea (A, May 24)
Analysis: Saturday’s surprise 2-1 win over Southampton kept Sunderland’s survival hopes alive and left them just one point from the safety line. Home thrashings by Aston Villa and Crystal Palace recently have underlined their fragility and their home clash with Leicester looks set to prove crucial. They have been boosted by Newcastle’s struggles as their rivals slip to within two points following eight straight defeats but Sunderland’s run-in should prove too much for them to survive.
Remaining games: Burnley (Saturday, H), Tottenham (May 16, A), Manchester United (May 24, H)
Analysis: The 3-1 defeat to Arsenal halted the Tigers’ mini revival after wins over Liverpool and Crystal Palace. They are only a point above the relegation zone but will be heartened by their second half performance against the Gunners. A win over Burnley on Saturday would further boost their chances of beating the drop and Steve Bruce’s side should have just enough to keep their heads above water.
Remaining games: Southampton (Saturday, H), Sunderland (May 16, A), QPR (May 24, H)
Analysis: Written off five weeks ago Nigel Pearson’s side have won five of their last six games, including Saturday’s 3-0 cruise over Newcastle.
Despite their form the Foxes are only a point above the bottom three and still in serious danger if they slip up. Nigel Pearson’s ostrich outburst took the focus off his team but they have fought for their manager with incredible passion. And with a trip to Sunderland and a finale at home to QPR in their last two games Leicester’s fate is in their own hands.
Remaining games: West Brom (Saturday, H), QPR (May 16, A), West Ham (May 24, H)
Analysis: The free-falling Magpies are in disarray despite the club insisting John Carver will remain boss until the end of the season. Carver’s astonishing accusation that Mike Williamson deliberately got himself sent off in Saturday’s loss at Leicester, something which the defender denied, highlights the rifts at the club. Eight straight defeats have left them two points above the relegation zone and in serious danger of sleepwalking to relegation.
Despite all their problems the Magpies still have the ability – and a small cushion – to survive and can crawl across the line. But it remains to be seen if they still have the passion and Saturday’s visit of West Brom is vital.
Verdict: Safe (just)
Remaining games: West Ham (Saturday, H), Southampton (May 16, A), Burnley (May 24, H)
Analysis: Tim Sherwood has overseen a turnaround at Villa Park since replacing Paul Lambert in February. Villa were sinking and had slipped into the bottom three following a 2-0 defeat at Hull which spelled the end for Lambert.
They are still just two points above the relegation zone but have a new found belief and with Christian Benteke scoring 11 goals in nine games Sherwood’s side have the firepower and momentum to keep away from danger.