Premier League: The relegation battle continues

With only one spot to be decided, any one of eight teams could still be relegated.

Adam Williams
Published 07/05/2013 15:54 by Adam Williams, read by 2,557 people.

Numerically, any team in the bottom half of the Premier League table could be relegated come the 19th of May.

So with the title decided, and the top four spot looking as though it's going to be a two horse race from North London. Turn your eyes to the fight for survival.

Here is a look at the bottom half teams, and the fixtures they will have to win to avoid Championship football next season.

Stoke City: 11th, 41 Points, 36 Played

Stoke's next game is at home against top four aspiring Tottenham Hotspur. On paper Tottenham's away record at Stoke isn't the most convincing, but with Spurs looking as though they will have to win all of their last three games to get Champions League football next season, it will be a very tough game. Stoke’s last game is against Southampton at Saint Mary's, another team fighting away at the bottom, provided neither are safe by this point. It could be a huge showdown on the 19th May.

Fulham: 12th, 40 Points, 36 Played

Fulham play Liverpool next at Craven Cottage. Liverpool haven't really got anything left to play for, asides from finishing above local rivals Everton. And with Liverpool, you never really know what you're going to get. 

However, Fulham will unquestionably have to be at their best to get all three points. Their last game is away at Swansea. Swansea are sitting fairly comfortably in the top half of the table on 43 points, and don't really have too much to play for. So if it did come down to the last game, Fulham stand a good chance of three points against the Swans.

Aston Villa: 13th, 40 Points, 36 Played

Villa's last two fixtures are at home against Chelsea, and away versus Wigan. Two fixtures, which on the face of it, could cause some late problems for them. Chelsea are looking to secure Champions League football, and Wigan are attempting another, miraculous climb out of the bottom three. So both of these fixtures will be hard fought for Villa, and they may need other results to go their way come the end of the season.

Southampton: 14th, 39 Points, 36 Played

Southampton are left with two, 'six pointers' in their final games - away at Sunderland and at home against Stoke. Tough to call on the face of it, but if Mouricio Pochettino's team can play as they have in wins against Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool this season. They should stand a chance of Premier League football at the beginning of next season. But consistency will prove key.

Sunderland: 15th, 38 Points, 36 Played

Sunderland play Southampton at home in their next game, a true late season six pointer. Then they head to White Hart Lane to a team who look as though they have to win every game to succeed in their quest for Champions League football next season. At home Spurs will be a tough nut to crack, but if their survival depends on it, both teams will have to go all out in what could be, a last day spectacle.

Norwich City: 16th, 38 Points, 36 Played

Norwich are playing at home against West Brom in their next outing. A game that should prove to be an interesting contest. With the Baggies arguably stronger on paper, but with much less to play for, proving that this fixture could go either way. Their last game is away against Manchester City, never an easy opponent of course, but playing a team fighting for survival never is either.

Newcastle United: 17th, 38 Points, 36 Played

QPR host Newcastle in their next game. With QPR already relegated they could prove to be easy opposition for the three points. But their recently improved performance against Arsenal could give them a surge of confidence for their next outing at Loftus Road. 

Next for Newcastle, are Arsenal at home. If the last spot for Champions League football still isn't decided by this point, it's hard to see Arsenal slipping up. However, if losing spells the beginning of Newcastle's demise, they both have a lot to play for. Proving this to possibly be a massive clash for last day of the season.

Wigan Athletic: 18th, 35 Points, 35 Played

April and May really is looking like Wigan time with another ascent from the depths, on the cards for the Latics. Though Wigan will undoubtedly have to win their final three Premier League games. Starting at home against Swansea on Tuesday night, then a trip to the Emirates for an away clash at Arsenal. 

Finally ending with a bottom half of the table scrap at home against Aston Villa. Not an easy fixture amongst them. Swansea could prove the easiest opponents now their season holds no particular meaning. However, with the Gunners reaching for the top four, the Emirates will not be an easy trip for the Latics to say the least. 

And if Aston Villa are still in trouble come the last game of the season, their home clash against the claret and blue of Birmingham, could prove to be a vital one. 

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