EPL Relegation: Predicting Who Will Stay Up and Who Will Get Relegated
It's that time of year again. We are now in the final quarter of the Premier League season and we know that there are several clubs that are looming close to the relegation zone.
All five of these sides have suffered plenty of losses and have had many breaks not go their way throughout this season. There have been injuries, bad coaching decisions and bad ownership all plaguing these sides into the final quarter of the table.
This year's relegation race features five unique sides that will be in a long fight until the end of the season.
Lets see where each of these sides will end this season in the table.
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Spot in Table: 16th, 28 points, minus-18 goal differential
Best Player this season: Yakubu
Why they are here: Blackburn are dysfunctional. There is no way around it. Since the club was bought by the VH Group in late 2010, they have been abysmal.
Blackburn barely avoided relegation last year and they continued that trend this season. It got so bad for manager Steve Kean that he had to hire a bodyguard last month to protect himself from angry Blackburn fans.
Somehow, Blackburn are five points clear of the drop zone, but that is mainly due to surprising results against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.
Where they will finish: It is easy to believe that Blackburn are the worst side in the Premier League. They have conceded 60 goals so far and only manage to get bailed out thanks to some timely goal scoring.
In the future, Blackburn are going to need that defense to improve. Blackburn will have some difficult matches remaining, including trips to Swansea, Tottenham and Chelsea.
Blackburn will continue to score goals, but they also concede too often. If Blackburn fall back to Earth in these remaining nine fixtures (which isn't impossible), they will get relegated.
I think they will be the final side relegated this season.
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Spot in Table: 18th, 23 points, minus-26 goal differential
Best Player this season: Ivan Klasnic
Why they are here: Bolton have simply suffered through an awful season where injuries have continued to decimate the club around every corner.
With a weakened squad, Bolton now find themselves in the thick of the relegation hunt, though their talent suggests they should be fighting for a mid-table position.
A feature that has hurt Bolton this season has been their lack of draws. With only two matches ending with a level scoreline, Bolton have missed some great opportunities to get to the 30-point mark. Bolton also have not drawn an away match this season.
Where they will finish: Last weekend, Fabrice Muamba tragically suffered a heart attack while playing in the FA Cup quarterfinals. In recent days, we have learned that Muamba was dead for 78 minutes.
What happened to Muamba caused Bolton to postpone their last match against Aston Villa. Bolton will play this weekend at Blackburn, but it is uncertain how they will respond to Muamba's heart attack.
Considering that they have a relatively easy fixture list from now until the end of the season, I think Bolton will stay up and probably grab the 16th position.
Queens Park Rangers
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Spot in Table: 17th, 25 points, minus-18 goal differential
Best Player this season: Heidar Helguson
Why they are here: This season was never going to be easy for QPR. They had just advanced into the Premier League for the first time since 1996 and their ownership group was in a state of transition.
Considering where they originally were, QPR have been reasonably successful and now find themselves barely out of the relegation zone following a thrilling 3-2 victory over Liverpool.
QPR have started to look better under Mark Hughes, but they are far from a safe side this year.
Where they will finish: QPR did purchase Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cisse at the end of the transfer window to enforce a weak striking core.
These signings were not able to deliver in recent fixtures and QPR now find themselves in a tough stretch with Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City are all left for QPR to face in their final nine fixtures.
Unless QPR pull out more wins like they did against Liverpool this past week, they will sit on the boundary of relegation.
If recent events are an indication and QPR performs like they should considering their schedule, they probably will find themselves in the Championship next season. But if Blackburn slips up and QPR can get a few good results, they will stay up.
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Spot in Table: 19th, 22 points, minus-29 goal differential
Best Player this season: Victor Moses
Why they are here: Wigan have essentially been a side that has a Championship-level squad that is located in the Premier League.
Wigan have won fewer matches than any other EPL side, scored fewer goals than anyone else and have just one home win this year.
Somehow Wigan are just three points from clearing the drop zone and considering their successful history avoiding relegation, they could stay up.
Where they will finish: In the past, Wigan's squad had slightly more quality than this squad. That quality often was a major reason why they were never relegated and why they were able to pull out several late key wins.
This squad does not have players like Charles N'Zogbia or Leighton Baines that could elevate this club to new heights. Instead they are reliant on players that very few Premier League clubs would want on their squads.
This squad does have good chemistry, but this will be the season that Wigan find themselves sent down to the Championship.
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Spot in Table: 20th, 22 points, minus-33 goal differential
Best Player this season: Steven Fletcher
Why they are here: Wolverhampton barely avoided relegation last season, but they have not learned their lesson and now find themselves in a hole that will be hard to get out of.
Wolves have put together one awful season defensively. They have already conceded 63 goals and are poised to concede over 80 goals this year if they keep up this horrendous rate with conceding goals.
The only real reason why Wolves find themselves within howling distance from safety (pun intended) is that Steven Fletcher's goal scoring has allowed them to pick up some valuable points.
Where they will finish: Unless Wolves display the form of their legendary side from the mid-1950s, there is absolutely no way that they will stay up.
With away matches at Norwich, Stoke and Swansea, along with Arsenal and Manchester City coming to Molineux, Wolves have very few chances of picking up points.
Wolves lack goal scoring, have a swiss cheese defense and they have saw their manager get sacked this year. They have no business staying up and they will finish in dead last if they keep up their form.