As we enter the final stages of the Premier League campaign, you may feel excited at the prospect of a thrilling season, the combination of an empty stadium, a packed schedule, and a fanatic pace seemed destined to take over the established order.
Edging closer to the end of the season, it turns out that Manchester City, with the best squad and the brightest coach, were the dominant force in the league and have gone clear of Manchester United.
At the other end of the table, Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion are going to compete in the Championship next season. All that remains to be decided is whether Fulham, Newcastle United, Burnley or Brighton will be joining them. At this point of competition, betting offers are getting very interesting especially with Fulham and Brighton battling it out and Burnley dropping down to join them.
Here’s a closer look at a few of the sides involved.
Fulham are now closer to relegation after being beaten 1-0 by Wolves courtesy of Adama Traore’s stoppage-time winner. Their hopes of remaining in the premier league were dealt a major blow, and they were unable to hold onto a lead against Arsenal in the subsequent fixture.
Fulham are now in 18th place six points behind Burnley seven behind Brighton, and eight behind Newcastle who have all played a match less.
Wolves themselves are on 41 points, 14 clear of Fulham, and surely now safe from getting dragged into the relegation zone.
Fulham now hope Burnley, Brighton, and Newcastle will perform poorly as that’s the only chance they have had to survive.
Newcastle United fans lost faith in owner Mike Ashley long ago, if they ever had any in the first place. Under Steve Bruce the team have gone on a downward spiral, and despite all the money spent in the summer they are sitting just above the relegation zone.
Injuries have played a significant role and could also be blamed for their current state, but that will serve as little excuse to the fanbase.
The supporters should be worried, having looked at the fixtures with eight games left. The Magpies will see that they are to face three of the so-called big six teams — Liverpool, Man City, and Arsenal — and face Fulham on the final day.
Brighton have suffered from incredibly thin margins this season and has consistently registered a higher expected goals return than their opponents. The Seagulls don’t appear to be the most likely to suffer relegation, but they can’t afford to let up.
The one-goal setback to Manchester United was respectable, and they outscored Southampton and Newcastle 5-1 in the two games before that.
Fixtures against Sheffield United, Leeds, Wolves, and West Ham from late April to mid-May will determine whether they are to complete a fourth season in the Premier League.
Considering the rest of the fixtures of all three sides in their respective form, one would suppose that Brighton will remain above the drop zone, which leaves Fulham, Burnley and Newcastle United in danger.
Newcastle is on a sinking trajectory with the pressure growing. Fulham on the other hand is the gutsy underdog that no one expected to have a chance of survival.
They enter the final stages with little pressure and that should pay dividends, although there’s no chance of any individual accolades and their scorers won’t be among the Premier League top scorers.
It appears that Newcastle has the least helpful fixtures too, and when the pressure of a final day fixture at Craven Cottage comes, it could be the end of both Bruce’s term and Newcastle’s latest stay in the Premier League.