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Race to the Championship: Predicting the Premier League relegation run-in…

Race to the Championship: Predicting the Premier League relegation run-in…

29/03/2018 at 18:03Updated 31/03/2018 at 13:38

It’s the question on everyone’s (not strictly true) lips: who is getting relegated from the Premier League? We’ve completed an online soothsayer course to ensure we’re qualified to predict, with 100% accuracy, who is dropping into the Championship next season...

With seven gameweeks remaining – plus a bonus midweek round for a few clubs – it is already shaping into one of the closest relegation scraps in top-flight history. A whopping 11 teams are yet to reach the fabled 40-point barrier and just five points separate 13th from 19th.

Since the turn of the millennium, teams have stayed up with 39 or more points on all but two occasions – and given there are so many teams involved in this scrap, it is practically inevitable that three will fall below this mark. So the Eurosport survival quota is 39 points.

Firstly, both Bournemouth and Watford (on 36 points) have enough kind fixtures to survive comfortably, so there’s no need to suck them unnecessarily into our article. Brighton (34 points) aren’t quite as deserving of our kindness and are included. Oh, and to save us having to predict exact scores, teams level on points will be listed in joint positions – fortunately goal difference doesn’t affect our final standings.

Anyway, let’s get cracking. Best of luck to Brighton, Newcastle, Swansea, Huddersfield, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Stoke. Commiserations in advance to West Brom.

CURRENT STATE OF PLAY

Relegation battle

Gameweek 32: March 31 & April 1

  • Crystal Palace v Liverpool: Liverpool win
  • Brighton v Leicester: Brighton win
  • Manchester United v Swansea: United win
  • Newcastle v Huddersfield: Newcastle win
  • West Brom v Burnley: Burnley win
  • West Ham v Southampton: Southampton win
  • Arsenal v Stoke: Arsenal win
Position Club Played Points
12th Brighton 31 37
13th Newcastle 31 35
14th= Swansea 31 31
14th= Huddersfield 32 31
14th= Southampton 31 31
17th= Crystal Palace 32 30
17th= West Ham 31 30
19th Stoke City 32 27
20th West Brom 32 20

Brighton close on the magical 39-point barrier, Mark Hughes marks his Southampton arrival with victory at a fuming London Stadium and West Brom… well... actually, let’s just relegate them right now. They don’t have a prayer. Happy for us to issue them 20th place? Good. West Brom are relegated.

Gameweek 33: April 7 & 8

  • Bournemouth v Crystal Palace: Draw
  • Brighton v Huddersfield: Brighton win
  • Leicester v Newcastle: Leicester win
  • Stoke v Tottenham: Spurs win
  • West Brom v Swansea: Draw
  • Arsenal v Southampton: Arsenal win
  • Chelsea v West Ham: Chelsea win
Position Club Played Points
12th Brighton 32 40
13th Newcastle 32 35
14th Swansea 32 32
15th= Huddersfield 33 31
15th= Southampton 32 31
15th= Crystal Palace 33 31
18th West Ham 32 30
19th Stoke City 33 27

Roll out the confetti (almost certainly not an actual phrase)… Brighton are staying in the Premier League! Their second straight victory – a winning run absolutely not fixed to reduce the amount of predictions needed – sees them hit 40 points.

Brighton's English defender Lewis Dunk (C) celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Arsenal at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on March

Brighton's English defender Lewis Dunk (C) celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Arsenal at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on MarchGetty Images

Gameweek 34: April 14-16

  • Southampton v Chelsea: Draw
  • Crystal Palace v Brighton: Palace win
  • Huddersfield v Watford: Huddersfield win
  • Swansea v Everton: Draw
  • Newcastle v Arsenal: Arsenal win
  • West Ham v Stoke: West Ham win
Position Club Played Points
13th Newcastle 33 35
14th= Huddersfield 34 34
14th= Crystal Palace 34 34
16th= Swansea 33 33
16th= West Ham 33 33
18th Southampton 33 32
19th Stoke City 34 27

Crazy scenes! The gap between 13th and 18th is sliced to just three points, with Southampton dropping into the relegation zone. Stoke’s situation is properly desperate – they need to win all their remaining games just to hit the industry-recognised Eurosport survival quota of 39 points.

Gameweek 35: April 19-23

  • Leicester v Southampton: Southampton win
  • Watford v Crystal Palace: Draw
  • Arsenal v West Ham: Arsenal win
  • Stoke v Burnley: Stoke win
  • Manchester City v Swansea: Man City win
  • Everton v Newcastle: Draw

N.B. Huddersfield don't have a game

Position Club Played Points
13th Newcastle 34 36
14th= Crystal Palace 35 35
14th= Southampton 34 35
16th Huddersfield 34 34
17th= Swansea 34 33
17th= West Ham 34 33
19th Stoke City 35 30

Stop it, Stoke! Paul Lambert's men (unbelievably, he's still in a job) tick off the first of four required victories, downing Burnley at the atrociously-named bet365 Stadium. Southampton climb into a share of 14th, meaning it's West Ham who finish a bumper weekend in the most turmoil after a pasting at Arsenal.

Bonus catch-up week: April 24 & 25

  • Chelsea v Huddersfield: Chelsea win
  • Swansea v Southampton: Draw
  • Tottenham v Newcastle: Spurs win
  • West Ham v Manchester United: West Ham win

N.B. Fixtures are not yet confirmed - but this is one available slot. Crystal Palace and Stoke City don't have games

Position Club Played Points
13th= Newcastle 35 36
13th= Southampton 35 36
13th= West Ham 35 36
16th Crystal Palace 35 35
17th= Huddersfield 35 34
17th= Swansea 35 34
19th Stoke City 35 30

No good predictions article is complete without a shock Manchester United defeat – rage incoming in the comments section in 3, 2, 1... – with West Ham proving the not-quite-giant-slayers on this occasion. The 18th position merry-go-round sees Huddersfield and Swansea claim joint honours. Only two points split 13th and 18th. What. A. Finish.

Gameweek 36: April 28 & 29

  • Liverpool v Stoke: Draw
  • Crystal Palace v Leicester: Draw
  • Huddersfield v Everton: Draw
  • Newcastle v West Brom: Newcastle win
  • Southampton v Bournemouth: Southampton win
  • Swansea v Chelsea: Chelsea win
  • West Ham v Manchester City: Man City win
Position Club Played Points
13th= Newcastle 36 39
13th= Southampton 36 39
15th= West Ham 36 36
15th= Crystal Palace 36 36
17th Huddersfield 36 35
18th Swansea 36 34
19th Stoke City 36 31

Stoke's quest for survival sees them earn a valiant point at Liverpool, but their top-flight dream is almost over as fans long for the glory days of Pulis and Delap. A wave of euphoria spreads across Newcastle and Southampton as they hear news that 39 is the new 40 and, according to us (and not pure mathematics), their Premier League status is confirmed for another year.

Newcastle United supporters celebrate

Newcastle United supporters celebrateGetty Images

Gameweek 37: May 5

  • Bournemouth v Swansea: Bournemouth win
  • Leicester v West Ham: West Ham win
  • Manchester City v Huddersfield: Man City win
  • Stoke v Crystal Palace: Palace win
Position Club Played Points
15th= West Ham 37 39
15th= Crystal Palace 37 39
17th Huddersfield 37 35
18th Swansea 37 34
19th Stoke City 37 31

DRAMA! West Ham and Crystal Palace retain their Premier League status as Huddersfield and Swansea both lose. The latter duo are left in a final day shootout as Stoke’s sorry season is finally signed off with a big ‘R’ for relegation.

Gameweek 38: May 13

  • Huddersfield v Arsenal: Arsenal win
  • Swansea v Stoke: Swansea win
17th Swansea 38 37
18th - RELEGATED Huddersfield 38 35
19th - RELEGATED Stoke City 38 31
20th - RELEGATED West Brom 38 20 (...probably)

It’s official: Huddersfield, Stoke and West Brom will be playing Championship football next season. It's heartbreak for the Terriers, who succumb to the bottom three at the final hurdle, as Swansea leapfrog them with victory over already-relegated Stoke. West Brom carry their consistency through to the end of the season, with their perfectly choreographed form reading: LLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

TL;DR

Dip your grubby hand into your pocket, take out your loose change and stick it on Huddersfield, Stoke and West Brom to get relegated from the Premier League. It's free money.

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