The battle to beat the drop in the Premier League is heating up with just six games to go; five teams all fighting for survival and just one spot left to fight for. With Reading and QPR now as good as relegated, the battle to beat the drop couldn’t be more intense with; Norwich, Stoke City, Aston Villa, Sunderland and Wigan all in the relegation battle. But who will be relegated in May?
Chris Hughton’s team has not looked in danger until recent weeks when their strikers have struggled to score. And with a battling draw against Swansea last week they shown the fight and passion they need to avoid relegation. Norwich’s home games against Reading and Villa crucial if they want to avoid relegation. Norwich can’t afford to leave themselves needing a win against Man City away on the last game of the season to avoid relegation.
Remaining fixtures: Apr 13 Arsenal (a) Apr 20 Reading (h) Apr 27 Stoke (a) May 4 Villa (h) May 12 West Brom (h) May 19 Man City (a)
Predicted position; 14th
Stoke were eleven points clear of relegation during Christmas but in 2013 the team have struggled having just picked up one win in thirteen games which seen the Potteries club dragged into a relegation battle. Stoke form is the worse in the league currently and they need to pick their form up quickly. With this seasons expected Champions, Man United visiting the Britannia Stadium on Sunday a third successive defeat could be on the cards for Stoke which will dent the confidence of the Potteries further. They need to find four points out their next six games to avoid relegation which is tough considering they only managed to pick up three points out the possible thirty nine. Stoke need to get something in their home game against Tottenham and all three points in their home against Norwich if they get anything less they could be threatened with relegation with tough home game against Southampton on the last day of the season.
Remaining fixtures; Apr 14 Man Utd (h) Apr 20 QPR (a) Apr 27 Norwich (h) May 4 Sunderland (a) May 12 Tottenham (h) May 19 Southampton (a)
Predicted finish; 15th
Aston Villa have found their form at the right time with a crucial win at the Britannia Stadium which saw them move out the bottom three but with tough away game at Old Trafford and home to Chelsea, Paul Lambert’s side will have to fight to the wire for their Premier League safety. But Chrisian Bentenke goal scoring form will always give Villa a chance to avoid relegation, if they keep him fit and firing then Villa might just survive.
Remaining fixtures: Apr 13 Fulham (h) 22 April Manchester United (a) Apr 29 Sunderland (h) May 4 Norwich (a) May 12 Chelsea (h) May 19 Wigan (a)
Predicted finish; 16th
Can Di Canio inspire a group of players short of confidence and belief to Premier League safety? Looking at their fixtures, Di Canio will have a tough job on his hands with games away at Villa and home to Stoke which be crucial fixtures for their Premier League safety, if they can get something out of those then he may just keep Sunderland up.
Remaining fixtures: Apr 14 Newcastle (a) Apr 20 Everton (h) Apr 29 Villa (a) May 4 Stoke (h) May 12 Southampton (h) May 19 Tottenham (a)
Predicted finish; 18th
If there is one team who have the experience of Premier League survival its Wigan who time after time seem to avoid relegation. But unlike previous seasons Wigan have the possibility of a FA Cup final which could be an unwelcome distraction for Martinez. The fixture list doesn’t favor Wigan but with their track record in previous seasons of avoiding relegation, they could pull another “Great Escape” of again this season with wins against Swansea and Aston Villa on the last day of the season.
Remaining fixtures: Apr 17 Man City (a) Apr 20 West Ham (a) Apr 27 Tottenham (h) May 4 West Brom (a) May 7 Swansea (h) May 12 Arsenal (a) May 19 Aston Villa (h)
Predicted finish; 17th
[by our contributor: James Bayley]