Premier League: How Each Bottom 10 Team Can Avoid the Drop
The Premiership is reaching that stage of the season where every point could be worth a fortune to the club that gets it.
The financial impact of staying in the Premier League is immense, and every team has to believe they are good enough to stay there. Otherwise they are doomed.
You may think that some of the clubs' fates are already decided, but there's usually a last day, Houdini-style escape from one or two clubs, and heartbreak for others.
Here we'll look at one reason each of the bottom 10 teams can avoid the drop into the Championship.
Swansea City are currently occupying the 11th spot in the Premier League and have amassed 30 points so far.
It's generally considered that getting 38 points is a bare minimum for survival, and Swansea should have no problem getting eight points from their remaining 13 games.
Swansea can put their good league position down to having an excellent home record, and that should keep them in the top flight.
Clint Dempsey is Fulham's star player and has been scoring goals for fun of late.
If Dempsey can maintain his excellent form, then Fulham should be able to enjoy Premier League football next season.
Stoke possess an aerial threat like no other team.
They can bombard opponents with long balls and deep throw-ins which are ideal for the likes of Peter Crouch and Kenwyne Jones.
If Stoke play to their strengths, they can become very difficult to beat.
Stoke currently have 30 points and are in 13th place.
Roy Hodgson has been the man that has changed things for West Brom.
Hodgson's management has restored some belief back into the players, and he will hope that will be enough to see out another season in the Premier League.
Last season Aston Villa had an excellent team, but they lost key players Stuart Downing, Ashley Young and Brad Friedel over the summer.
Their replacement signing of Charles N'Zogbia hasn't worked out as hoped.
With Robbie Keane's loan spell expiring, Villa will have to rely on the form of Darren Bent to see them through these hard times.
Bent has been prolific at whichever club he has played for and can fire Villa up the table if he hits a purple patch.
Villa find themselves in 15th place with 28 points.
New signings Djibril Cisse and Bobby Zamora are the key for QPR.
With the former currently serving a suspension after a sending off, manager Mark Hughes will be looking forward to getting both players on the pitch at the same time in order to do some damage.
Both strikers are very capable of finding the back of the net and should work well in keeping the club out of the bottom three.
QPR have 21 points and are in 16th place.
If Yakubu can maintain his excellent goalscoring form and Christopher Samba can sort out his personal issues, then Blackburn will have a shot at survival.
Despite Samba requesting a transfer, the window is now closed and he will want to play as much football as possible to put himself in the shop window if nothing else.
If he concentrates on performing for Blackburn, manager Steve Keane may just keep his job after all.
Blackburn lie in 17th place on 21 points.
Wolves are perhaps one of the hardest teams to find a glimmer of hope that will keep their Premier League affair alive.
Their chance most likely lies with the great season Steven Fletcher is currently enjoying. If the Scotsman can keep finding the back of the net on a regular basis, Mick McCarthy's experience of relegation dog fights might pull the team through.
Fletcher has scored 10 goals already this term and some opinions on why he has improved so much are listed here.
Wolves currently have 21 points and are in 18th place.
Bolton had a terrible opening to the Barclays Premier League season which saw them having to play Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea within their opening seven matches.
They've never really recovered from the confidence blow they suffered in that sequence and took zero points from the teams mentioned.
One thing Bolton have in their corner is experience. Bolton have been in a relegation fights before, and that may count for something when the last few games roll around.
Bolton have 20 points and are in 19th position.
Wigan are one of the few teams in the Premier League whose away form is better than their home form.
Currently in 20th place, Wigan have garnered just eight of their 19 points from home.
If they want to stay in the Premier League, then their only hope is that Roberto Martinez starts picking up points from the DW Stadium.
Martinez lost a big player in Charles N'Zogbia over the summer, and he's never really been replaced.
Victor Moses is their beacon of hope.
Wigan are bottom of the table with 19 points, 11 points behind Swansea.
Relegation fights are always tough, not only on the players but the fans also.
Whilst reasons can be found for any team to survive in the Premier League, the table shows that certain teams are beginning to fall away more than others.
The jump in points from Aston Villa's 28 to QPR's 21 will probably be too much for the bottom five teams to deal with, meaning everybody above Villa should survive at least another season.
As I said on my opening page, though, there's always surprises to behold, and it remains to be seen whether this season will shock and amaze.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out my predictions for the Champions League and Europa League places here.
On twitter? Follow me @petercwebster where I post all my B/R content.