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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
David Maddock & David McDonnell & James Nursey

Premier League relegation battle: Why 9 clubs fighting for survival will stay up or go down

Going into the international break, the top 11 teams in the Premier League are as good as safe and will be playing top-flight football next season.

But the nine teams below them are all in the relegation battle, one of the tightest in Premier League history, with only four points separating Crystal Palace in 12th from bottom club Southampton. It is going to be a titanic struggle to survive and likely to go to the last kick of the season.

David McDonnell, David Maddock and James Nursey look at the nine candidates for the drop and offer a reason why each will survive and a reason why they won’t.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Who do you think will be relegated from the Premier League this season? Join the discussion in the comments section.

Crystal Palace

Why they will stay up:

Palace are still to play all eight of the teams below them, and their record in this ‘mini league’ is by far the best, taking 16 points from their eight matches against these relegation-threatened clubs so far.

Why they will go down:

New manager bounce could be a plus, especially as Roy Hodgson knows his players and relegation scraps. But he’s 75 and been retired for a year after taking Watford down in this situation, so ominous.

Remaining fixtures: Apr 1 Leicester (h), Apr 9 Leeds (a), Apr 15 Southampton (a), Apr 22 Everton (h), Apr 25 Wolves (a), Apr 29 West Ham (h), May 6 Tottenham (a), May 13 Bournemouth (h), May 20 Fulham (a), May 28 Nottingham Forest (h).

Crystal Palace have gone back to Roy Hodgson after sacking Patrick Vieira (Getty Images)


Why they will stay up:

Boss Julen Lopetegui is shrewd and vastly experienced along with top senior pros like Craig Dawson, Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves. Plus Pedro Neto is finally fit again.

Why they will go down:

Wanderers are the joint lowest scorers in the Premier League and their strikers have been consistently struggling for goals for months, the cause of their lowly position.

Remaining fixtures: Apr 1 Nottingham Forest (a), Apr 8 Chelsea (h), Apr 15 Brentford (h), Apr 22 Leicester (a), Apr 25 Crystal Palace (h), Apr 29 Brighton (a), May 6 Aston Villa (h), May 13 Manchester United (a), May 20 Everton (h), May 28 Arsenal (a).

Leeds beat Wolves in a vital thriller in the relegation race last weekend (MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


Why they will stay up:

With six of their final 11 league games at home Leeds can secure survival if they take advantage at Elland Road. Seven points from 12 under newly-appointed boss Javi Gracia also suggests they have picked up momentum.

Why they will go down:

Two wins in 14 league games is relegation form and there are some seriously difficult encounters on the horizon. Leeds also have to go to Arsenal and Manchester City, as well as hosting Liverpool and Newcastle.

Remaining fixtures: Apr 1 Arsenal (a), Apr 4 Nottingham Forest (h), Apr 9 Crystal Palace (h), Apr 17 Liverpool (h), Apr 22 Fulham (a), Apr 25 Leicester (h), Apr 30 Bournemouth (a), May 6 Manchester City (a), May 13 Newcastle (h), May 20 West Ham (a), May 28 Tottenham (h).

Everton have enjoyed an upturn in form since the arrival of Sean Dyche (Getty Images)


Why they will stay up:

Easy. Sean Dyche has visibly restored a resilience in an Everton side that previously had none, to deliver results with a much improved, solid defensive base and the power of Goodison Park.

Why they will go down:

Scored the least amount of goals from open play in the whole of the Premier League, and with Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s injury woes seemingly open-ended, still question mark over where goals will come from.

Remaining fixtures : Apr 3 Tottenham (h), Apr 8 Manchester United (a), Apr 15 Fulham (h), Apr 22 Crystal Palace (a), Apr 27 Newcastle (h), May 1 Leicester (a), May 6 Brighton (a), May 13 Manchester City (h), May 20 Wolves (a), May 28 Bournemouth (h).

Nottingham Forest have blown hot and cold during their first year back in the top flight (MI News/NurPhoto/REX/Shutterstock)

Nottingham Forest

Why they will stay up:

Steve Cooper’s side boast a very strong home record after losing just once since September at the City Ground in the League, where they still have Wolves and Southampton to come.

Why they will go down:

By contrast Forest struggle badly away from home and six of their final 11 games are on the road where they have just six points from a possible 39. Improve that or face the drop.

Remaining fixtures: Apr 1 Wolves (h), Apr 4 Leeds (a), Apr 8 Aston Villa (a), Apr 16 Manchester United (h), Apr 22 Liverpool (a), Apr 26 Brighton (h), Apr 29 Brentford (a), May 6 Southampton (h), May 13 Chelsea (a), May 20 Arsenal (h), May 28 Crystal Palace (a).

Leicester City have slid down the league under Brendan Rodgers in recent seasons (PA)


Why they will stay up:

If Leicester can tighten up at the back, they should have enough firepower and creativity with the likes of James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy.

Why they will go down:

Boss Brendan Rodgers is facing mounting dissent from a section of unhappy fans and that rarely helps a team improve their form. With each passing week, that pressure mounts.

Remaining fixtures: Apr 1 Crystal Palace (a), Apr 4 Aston villa (h), Apr 8 Bournemouth (h), Apr 15 Manchester City (a), Apr 22 Wolves (h), Apr 25 Leeds (a), May 1 Everton (h), May 6 Fulham (a), May 13 Liverpool (h), May 20 Newcastle (a), May 28 West Ham (h).

West Ham United had a European run last season but are now embroiled in a relegation scrap (Jane Stokes/ProSports/REX/Shutterstock)

West Ham

Why they will stay up:

Signing Danny Ings in January was a shrewd move from West Ham, given their lack of goals, and he could ultimately prove to be the man who keeps them up.

Why they will go down:

The Europa Conference League is a major distraction for West Ham, for whom Premier League survival is the priority. A meagre return of 24 goals from 26 league games is not enough and just two clean sheets in 14 league games is a problem.

Remaining fixtures: Apr 2 Southampton (h), Apr 5 Newcastle (h), Apr 8 Fulham (a), Apr 16 Arsenal (h), Apr 23 Bournemouth (a), Apr 26 Liverpool (h), Apr 29 Crystal Palace (a), May 6 Manchester United (h), May 13 Brentford (a), May 20 Leeds (h), May 28 Leicester (a), TBA Manchester City (a).

Bournemouth stunned Liverpool through Philip Billing's goal earlier this month (Robin Jones/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)


Why they will stay up:

Only team in the bottom nine to have played City and Arsenal twice, and still have six matches left at home, including some key relegation battles. Can beat anyone, as Liverpool win illustrates.

Why they will go down:

Can lose to anyone, largely because of the worst defensive record in the Premier League, which has delivered the worst goal difference and third highest number of defeats.

Remaining fixtures: Apr 1 Fulham (h), Apr 4 Brighton (h), Apr 8 Leicester (a), Apr 15 Tottenham (a), Apr 23 West Ham (h), Apr 27 Southampton (a), Apr 30 Leeds (h), May 6 Chelsea (h), May 13 Crystal Palace (a), May 20 Manchester United (h), May 28 Everton (a).

Southampton battled back for a 3-3 draw against Tottenham at the weekend (Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)


Why they will stay up:

Saints showed they are up for the fight for survival by coming from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 against Tottenham. They were also impressive at Manchester United, drawing 0-0, and showed they can play their way to safety if they stick to the attacking philosophy of Ruben Selles.

Why they will go down:

Bottom of the table for 11 of the last 12 weeks. Only two of the nine teams under threat of relegation have a worse goal difference than Saints, which is ultimately what the fight for survival may come down to.

Remaining fixtures: Apr 2 West Ham (a), Apr 8 Manchester City (h), Apr 15 Crystal Palace (h), Apr 21 Arsenal (a), Apr 27 Bournemouth (h), Apr 30 Newcastle (a), May 6 Nottingham Forest (a), May 13 Fulham (h), May 20 Brighton (a), May 28 Liverpool (h)

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