Since our last review of the relegation run in, most results have gone pretty much as expected. However, some upsets have made life a little more interesting. 

The bottom of the league has stretched out a little. Villa remain bottom by a distance. 

This is how the league currently stands:
 

By way of reminder, for each team in trouble, we provide remaining fixtures. These are naturally divided into home and away. The fixtures are colour coded as to which level the opposition are in, CL, Europa, Relegation, colours equating to a traffic light system.

Projected totals are based on home win against lower teams, home draws against mid table teams and defeats away and against top teams at home. 

Compared with our system, most results have been in line with expectation. Last Saturday, Bournemouth gained a bonus point at Watford. Tuesday night saw West Brom gain an extra point at Leicester, Palace got a foot up at Sunderland whilst the Cherries won again at the Saints. Swansea won at the Emirates. 

Let’s see how this affects the clubs:



We thought
West Brom were close to safety. The draw at Leicester seems to confirm that Pulis has entered one of his end of season runs. Their 36 points may make them safe already but with winnable games, both home and away, there is surely nothing more to worry about.

 

A couple of months ago, Palace were nowhere near the drop zone. Pardew has reverted to long term type, with a massive 4 points out of 33, leaving him on the edge of disaster.

33 points should be enough at this stage especially since they were capable of picking up an away draw at the Stadium of Light but watch this space.

 

Eddie Howe’s is close to overtaking Pardew as the top placed English manager in the league. Armed with a supportive board who helped resolve striking problems, Howe had generated decent form that gained 3 wins and only 2 defeats in 7 games.


The arrival of Guidolin and 11 points from the last 7 games have given the Swans something of a cushion. The win at Arsenal was absolutely massive for them. The next two home games should provide wins and safety. 

Perhaps Swansea can act as a hint to Mike Ashley that a wily overseas coach can produce results where McClaren can not.


With 6 points from 4 games, Big Sam has given some signs that Sunderland could be stirring. Now out of the bottom 3, the mackems have one of the tougher ends to the campaign. The derby at St James’ Park will be a huge target for them.

 

With only 3 wins in the last 16 games and 1 point in the last 8, Norwich need inspiration from somewhere. The two winnable home games still seem tough with their North East competition having strengthened on the playing side.

Often losing through naivety this season, the relative inexperience of their young Scottish manager leads us to doubt they have enough to survive.


Remaining fixtures at home are critical to Newcastle’s prospects. If he is still in charge, McClaren can not afford to let Sunderland win their 7th local derby on the trot. With the worst goal difference, and the prospect of Man City as the game in hand, points on the board are critical.  The dull, negative approach against Stoke did little to inspire confidence in the manager. 

With only 4 home wins out of 14 so far, the rate simply has to go up to 4 wins in the next 6 if there is to be any chance of survival, although Norwich and Villa away could provide opportunities for mcClaren's successor.


We have been saying it is goodbye to Villa.There is, however, a nightmare scenario for the 3 teams above them.

The next 2 games against Premier League contenders look to be a bridge too far, yet there have been famous escapes, notably Leicester last season and West Ham when Curbishley took over from Pardew.

4 wins out of 6 against clubs who could have little to play for may provide a glimmer of hope.

Surely we can't be set for a relegation shoot out at Villa Park on 7th May? With Spurs as potential Champions at St James Park on the last day of the season, there could be a truly dramatic end to come.