Avoiding the drop

There are nine games left for 18 of the 20 EPL sides, with Manchester United and Portsmouth slated to make up a contest on April 22 at Old Trafford.

With the Red Devils still four points clear of Chelsea and Liverpool with that sure-to-win game in hand, the title race is shaping up to be a bit of a snoozer.

So, let’s cast an eye toward the bottom of the standings:

  • (As of March 17)
    Place/Team/Pts./goal difference
    7. West Ham United 40 (0)
    8. Wigan Athletic 38 (1)
    9. Fulham 37 (2)
    10. Manchester City 35 (8)
    11. Tottenham Hotspur 35 (1)
    12. Bolton Wanderers 33 (-12)
    13. Hull City 33 (-16)
    14. Sunderland 32 (-9)
    15. Blackburn Rovers 30 (-16)
    16. Newcastle United 29 (-11)
    17. Portsmouth 29 (-15)
    18. Stoke City 29 (-19)
    19. Middlesbrough 27 (-20)
    20. West Bromwich Albion 23 (-29)

As you can see, the three teams that will go crashing through the trap door are still very much in doubt. I was tempted to throw out West Ham, Wigan and Fulham for this discussion, but if this season has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected.

West Ham United

Remaining schedule:at Blackburn, Sunderland, at Tottenham, at Aston Villa, Chelsea, at Stoke, Liverpool, at Everton and Middlesbrough

Projected point total: 49

Chance of going down: two percent – It’s hard to imagine the Hammers not picking up at least five more points. And honestly, the 40 they already have might be enough.

Wigan Athletic

Remaining schedule:Hull, at Everton, Arsenal, Manchester United, at Blackburn, Bolton, at West Brom, at Stoke and Portsmouth 

Projected point total: 52

Chance of going down: one percent – Aside from the matches with Arsenal and Manchester United, there isn’t a match left on the schedule that Steve Bruce’s men can’t get points from.

Fulham

Remaining schedule: Manchester United, Liverpool, at Manchester City, at Middlesbrough, Stoke, at Chelsea, Aston Villa, at Newcastle and Everton

Projected point total: 47

Chance of going down: 10 percent – As a Fulham sympathizer, I’m a tad worried here. United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Villa are all involved in the title/Champions League race and road trips to hot-and-cold City, a desperate Boro and an equally needy Newcastle squad could be tricky.

Manchester City

Remaining schedule: Sunderland, at Arsenal, Fulham, West Brom, at Everton, Blackburn, at Manchester United, at Tottenham and Bolton

Projected point total: 46

Chance of going down: eight percent – Hardly the glorious finish the Citizens wealthy new owners had in mind, but four home games against teams in the bottom half give City plenty of chances for points.

Tottenham Hotspur

Remaining schedule: Chelsea, at Blackburn, West Ham, Newcastle, at Manchester United, West Brom, at Everton, Manchester City and at Liverpool

Projected point total: 46

Chance of going down: five percent – Remember the days when Spurs were anchored to the bottom of the table in single digits? Hardly seems like the same season for a team with a chance to crack 50 points.

Bolton Wanderers

Remaining schedule: at West Brom, Middlesbrough, at Chelsea, at Portsmouth, Aston Villa, at Wigan, Sunderland, Hull City and at Manchester City

Projected point total: 44

Chance of going down: 15 percent – None of the road matches figure to produce much in the way of results for the Wanderers, so the late home fixtures with Sunderland and Hull may prove critical.

Hull City

Remaining schedule: at Wigan, Portsmouth, at Middlesbrough, at Sunderland, Liverpool, at Aston Villa, Stoke, at Bolton and Manchester United

Projected point total: 39

Chance of going down: 25 percent – The Tigers were the toast of England for a while in the early going, but the bloom is off the rose with a recent run of awful form. Can they snap out of it and not go into the final day needing points against United?

Sunderland

Remaining schedule: at Manchester City, at West Ham, Manchester United, Hull City, at West Brom, Everton, at Bolton, at Portsmouth and Chelsea

Projected point total: 38

Chance of going down: 30 percent – The schedule gets a bit unkind to the Black Cats, as they have to face United and Chelsea in addition to tough challenges at City and West Ham.

Blackburn Rovers

Remaining schedule: West Ham, Tottenham, at Liverpool, at Stoke, Wigan, at Manchester City, Portsmouth, at Chelsea and West Brom

Projected point total: 39

Chance of going down: 28 percent – After visits to Liverpool, City and Chelsea, Sam’s boys might need three points on the final weekend against West Brom.

Newcastle United

Remaining schedule: Arsenal, Chelsea, at Stoke, at Tottenham, Portsmouth, at Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Fulham and at Aston Villa

Projected point total: 37

Chance of going down: 35 percent – It’s been a remarkable (and not in a good way) season for the Toon and with games against four of the top five teams in the league left to play, it may be tough to squeeze out enough results to stay up.

Portsmouth

Remaining schedule: Everton, at Hull, West Brom, Bolton, at Manchester United, at Newcastle, Arsenal, at Blackburn, Sunderland and at Wigan

Projected point total: 36

Chance of going down: 60 percent – Having just read “Bloody Confused,” I have a certain amount of sympathy for Pompey. The odds of them remaining in the Prem, however, just aren’t that good.

Stoke City

Remaining schedule: Middlesbrough, at West Brom, Newcastle, Blackburn, at Fulham, West Ham, at Hull, Wigan and at Arsenal

Projected point total: 37

Chance of going down: 35 percent – The Potters have alternated surprising wins with head-scratching losses this season, and that inconsistency has them near the drop.

Middlesbrough

Remaining schedule: at Stoke, at Bolton, Hull, Fulham, at Arsenal, Manchester United, at Newcastle, Aston Villa and at West Ham

Projected point total: 32

Chance of going down: 65 percent – I’m not sure where it all went wrong for Boro this season, but the schedule looks too stiff for them down the stretch to climb out of trouble.

West Bromwich Albion

Remaining schedule: Bolton, Stoke, at Portsmouth, at Manchester City, Sunderland, at Tottenham, Wigan, Liverpool and at Blackburn

Projected point total: 32

Chance of going down: 85 percent – It would take a Fulham-like escape to save the Baggies from a one-and-done ride through England’s top flight.

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7 Responses to “Avoiding the drop”

  1. darron ward Says:

    Randy
    I have found god ( now Alan Shearer has retired )
    I pray every night that the mighty Toon retain their premiership status.
    Could you imagine if it all went wrong for the Toon and it all went right for MK Dons or Peterborough – We would be playing them !!!!
    Get down and pray Randy I need divine intervention.
    If it the worst happens I will be drinking Newcastle Brown Ale ( bottle of dog as us geordies call it ) to ease the pain !!!
    COME ON THE TOON !!!!!!!

  2. Randy Capps Says:

    I’d hate to see Newcastle relegated. I think they’re “too good to go down,” but we’ve seen that play out before, haven’t we.

    I still think West Brom, Boro (sorry Maca) and Pompey are going down in the end, but, as I wrote above, the trap door is still looming for more than half the table…

  3. maca Says:

    UP THE BORO !!!

  4. maca Says:

    9 left….i fancy west brom, stoke and………………………………………….t**n !!

  5. J. Mattingly Says:

    Race for the title no longer a snoozer …. beware the POOL! Only one point behind with a win today!!!!!

  6. darron ward Says:

    So the trap door swings wider open for the Toon, as expected.
    Arsenal moving up the gears now and when Adebayor, Walcott & Rosicky return – watch out Premier !!
    Fulham did the Reds ( stop smiling Randy – I can feel it in England ) and Rafas boys decide to show some form – good form at that. If Gerrard stays fit ( and out of jail ! ) and Torres also then they could seriously challenge Man U.
    More importantly England matches this week, then back to seeing Boro below the Toon ( couldn,t resist Maca – sorry !! )

  7. Randy Capps Says:

    I went and played golf on Saturday morning while in the mountains without worrying about the Red Devils’ trip to Craven Cottage.

    Guess they weren’t worried enough about it, either.

    I did smile quite a bit, when hearing the news of the stunning 2-0 victory.

    Man U still holds its own destiny in its hands, but the margin of error is quite a bit smaller now.

    Aston Villa looks cooked in terms of cracking the big four and that was a massive win for Pompey over the weekend.

    And, judging by the highlights, Liverpool could have had eight against Villa. Can they complete a famous comeback and win the title? I don’t know, but it makes for a good show…

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