If the outcome of the Friday night game between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur effectively handed Chelsea the Premier League title, the results on Saturday were a complete game changer in the context of the relegation battle. Things are getting complicated at the bottom of the table but we have the Premier League Relegation Battled Decoded for you.
This is how the table looked before the ball was kicked on Saturday.
Despite back-to-back home defeats to Spurs and Burnley, Crystal Palace sat 6 points above the relegation zone. Draws for Hull City and Swansea City last weekend meant the two clubs continued to remain separated by just 2 points on the table with the latter still occupying a place in the dreaded zone. A point earned by Middlesbrough from their hard-fought stalemate with Manchester City had just about kept them in the fray to avoid the drop. However, Saturday’s results might have just produced the one final twist in this fight to stay afloat in the Premier League.
Results from Last Night
Defeats for Crystal Palace and Hull City and a narrow win for Swansea City over Everton yesterday have certainly turned the tables in the relegation dogfight. While the Eagles still remain stuck at 16th place, the gap between them and the relegation zone has now cut down to 4 points. Swansea City have now swapped places with Hull City to move a point ahead of the Tigers into 17th place. Hull, who came out of the bottom three exactly a month ago with a win over Middlesbrough, now again find themselves in the midst of the relegation mire just at the worst possible time.
These results have indirectly impacted Middlesbrough’s hopes of Premier League survival too as they now need to win each of their remaining three matches in a bid to retain top-flight status and hope the other results go their way. Boro will definitely have their task cut out though tomorrow night when they take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge who will be very eager to capitalise on Spurs’ derby gaffe and will come out all guns blazing to win this match. Another slip up by the Riverside outfit and they will be on their way back to the Championship.
The Battle Ahead
As for Swansea, Hull and Palace, their fate could be sealed as early as next weekend with the latter two set to contest a relegation six-pointer next Sunday at Selhurst Park. The Swans will travel to the Stadium of Light a day earlier to face off with already relegated Sunderland.
A win for Palace and Swansea would signal the end of Hull’s brief stay in the top-flight. A Swansea win and a draw at Selhurst would also prove detrimental to the Tigers’ survival hopes as they will need to overcome Spurs on the final day of the season at KCOM while a draw with West Brom at the Liberty will suffice for the Welsh side to confirm safety.
However, a defeat or even a draw for Swansea City next Saturday will make the survival fight exclusive to them and Hull City on the final day provided Palace avoids a home defeat the following day. But if they don’t and Hull does pull off a win over Palace, it will become a three-way battle to avoid the drop in what would be a nail-biting finale to the season. In that case, each of the three teams will require to win their final game of the season. We could be about to witness arguably the most exciting finish to a Premier League relegation battle ever!