Southampton and West Ham United could still fall through the trap door. Yet unless they lose all five games, and everyone else wins three of their last five games, they aren’t going down. So I am looking from Newcastle United downwards for teams who could still face the drop.
This is part one of three, where I am looking at teams from 13th to 16th in the league.
After the heroics of last year did we ever expect them to be this low down? There shocking form has come as a shock to some, yet with a small squad and many players out with injury maybe it is not so much of a surprise. Survival would make it a successful year all in all, as the Tyne side club reached the quarter finals of Europa League.
With only two home ties against the inconsistent Liverpool and a final day game against the romping Arsenal make worrying reading. Instead their three away games against West Brom, West Ham and QPR; all look the easier but away from home nobody knows what is going to happen.
I would expect them to at least pick up another six or seven points; but only one win should see them safe and reach the 39 point mark.
Falling like a stone Norwich continue to be in free-fall; they have only won one game since Decembers that was a 2-1 against Everton. Yet they have managed to draw three of their last six. When they faced Wigan two weeks ago, Norwich looked defeated. There is none special who can really ignite their survival hopes.
At the weekend they looked to be doing it as they were leading 1-0 with five minutes to go at the Emirates against Arsenal. Then they fell to pieces and lost 3-1, will that spark them to continue their drop?
They have the easiest run in out of most of the clubs down the bottom. Games against Reading, Stoke City and Aston Villa all in quick succession could prove to be vital. Winning two of those games would take them to 41 points. That could be their safety sown up with two games to go against West Brom and a final day game against Manchester City. They will want it done before then.
Few believed Paulo Di Canio would do anything with Sunderland. I felt that it was a silly idea to sign him personally, a risk that they shouldn’t have taken. Yet from two games in charge the man has picked up three points and turned the attitude of the players.
Everton up next at the Stadium of light will be a tough one, and Everton are more than likely going to be too strong for them. Following that though a team which has really underachieved this season, have a chance to make it right with games against Aston Villa and Stoke City. Win those two and hit 40 point.
That would leave two games against Southampton and Tottenham to spare if they needed to win any more games. There are nine points there which this Sunderland team defiantly could win, will they be able to take them?
None ever saw this coming from Stoke City. The dependable solid team of Stoke are always safe, you just have to wait and here Tony Pulis to say that it we have hit 40 points, and then you don’t have to worry as a Stoke fan.
The problem for Stoke is, they can’t score. None of their players looks like bagging a goal or two and they just seem to keep dropping close and closer to the trap door this season. Is there anyone who really can save them? I don’t think so.
Even there good fixture list may not save them this year. QPR, Norwich City, Sunderland and Southampton they all have to face, and all will be out to beat them. To stay up Stoke will need to win at least two of those games, and I can’t see them winning any of them.