It is that time of year again, folks! While many are focusing on the Manchester title race, Champions League semifinals and FA Cup finale, you should be paying at least some attention to the always epic relegation battle set to occur in the next couple of weeks.
While one drop spot may already be locked up by Wolves, the other two are completely up in the air as five clubs try to survive the devastating fall from the Premier League.
Here is a preview of each team that hopes to stay alive and predictions of which clubs will be dropping at the end of the season. Enjoy!
Current Position: 15th (35 Points)
With all the talent and potential this team has, it is remarkable that it could even be considered in danger at this point in the season. Nevertheless, injuries and underperforming stars have allowed the normally competitive club to fall closer to the drop zone than fans could ever have imagined.
Fortunately, the Villans are six points clear of the drop zone heading into Round 35 and still have five games left before their final position is set in stone. Although their schedule is quite difficult from here on out, Aston Villa should be able to use their six-point handicap to survive an embarrassing drop.
Key Game: Home vs Bolton
A West Brom
Predicted Points: 6 (41)
Current Position 16th (31 Points)
Possibly the most inconsistent team in the Premier League finds itself just two points clear of dropping back to the league it had called home just the season before.
While QPR has shown some signs of hope in the past, the truly devastating schedule of Spurs, Chelsea and City as three of their last four games should make any fan feel worried about the club’s future.
Taking five points of the next four matches would be a phenomenal end to the season considering their schedule, but even 36 points might not be enough for QPR to extend their Premier League stay.
Key Game: Home vs Spurs
Predicted Points: 2 (33)
Current Position: 17th (31 Points)
After a fantastic result against the league leaders, life seems to finally have been sparked back in the Wigan squad. A hard-earned victory against Manchester United was nice, but it doesn’t get any easier from here for the Latics.
Away games at Arsenal and Fulham as well as fixtures against relegation-fighting Blackburn and Wolves and Champions League-determined Newcastle make Wigan’s survival task a steep one.
However, with a game in hand on Blackburn, QPR and Wolves, Wigan might have just enough opportunities for points to pull off late-season heroics yet again.
Key Game: Away at Blackburn
Predicted Points: 4 (35)
Current Position: 18th (29 Points)
Unfortunately for Bolton, injuries and bad luck do not earn any “sympathy points” from the Premier League. The losses of Stuart Holden, Lee Chung-Yong and Gary Cahill have all plagued Bolton’s campaign and quest for another year of Premiership football.
While Bolton is in a relegation spot right now, the club does have six games remaining, more than any other club featured on this list. And when it comes to difficulty of schedule, Bolton really can’t complain.
Only one of the team’s upcoming fixtures is against a club in the top eight of the table, and five of the six games are against mid-table teams with no real strong motivators.
Bolton should be able to earn enough points from uninspired mid-table teams to keep Holden, Chung-Yong and others from demanding a transfer.
Key Game: Away at Stoke
H West Brom
Predicted Points: 7 (36)
Current Position: 19th (28 Points)
Five months ago, Blackburn wasn't even expected to have a chance at surviving the drop considering their horrid form. Even with the departures of Chris Samba and Phil Jones, it is a testament to Steve Kean that Blackburn is still relevant and has a legitimate chance for three points week in and week out.
However, things are currently not looking good down at Ewood park after Blackburn failed to get points for the fifth week in a row. They now face intimidating away games at Chelsea and Tottenham as well as a home field battle against relegation rival Wigan on the May 7.
With just four games to go and the team in disappointing form, it would be difficult to see how Blackburn could make up a three-point gap and stay afloat.
Key Game: Home vs Wigan
Predicted Points: 4 (32)
Current Position: 20th (23 Points)
There is not much to say about Wolves at this point. After two solid seasons in the Premier League, the chances that Wolves extend their top flight tenure are slim to nil. With even 17th place eight points away and four games left, many fans have accepted the fact that Championship football is inevitable at this point.
The miracle of Premier League survival would have to include victories over Manchester City, Everton, Swansea, and even three points at the DW against desperate Wigan. I am not really standing out on a limb by saying Wolves are falling from the Premiership at the end of this season.
Key Game: Away at Wigan
Predicted Points: 1 (24)