While matters at the top end of the Premiership league table are all but settled (with Arsenal and Manchester City still fighting it out for second place), it’s at the bottom end of the division where things look particularly intriguing.
With three games of the season to go, eight teams still face the dreaded drop to the Championship. All eight can – mathematically speaking – still finish in the bottom three, depending on how they fare in their last few games.
The team in the biggest danger is Burnley, who prop up the division with 26 points. On 9thMay they travel to play another relegation threatened side, Hull City, in a match that could have a massive say in the outcome of the season.
Burnley have only picked up five points from a possible 30 in their last ten games, and Hull – who sit just one point above the relegation zone – will have been buoyed by back-to-back wins over Crystal Palace and Liverpool.
You can back Burnley from odds as long as 3/1, whilst Hull City are priced at around 10/11.
Are QPR Doomed?
In last but one position in the Premiership are QPR, who need to win all three of their remaining games to even have a chance of survival.
On 9th May they have the unenviable task of playing Manchester City away – a team that have only lost twice at their own ground all season, and who themselves are in the thick of a battle for the runners up spot.
QPR, meanwhile, have lost 15 of 18 games on their travels in 2014/15. Their odds of 12/1 to defeat Manchester City speak for themselves.
Sunderland Have Hope
In 18th place are Sunderland, who boast a game in hand over their closest rivals – even if that is against Arsenal.
The Mackems will know that they need to beat Everton on 9th May, as well as relegation rivals Leicester City on the 16th of this month, to avoid the drop. That’s because their last two games are against Arsenal and Manchester City.
Their encounter with Everton should be a good one: they have picked up a win and a draw from their last two games, although Everton’s current form is slightly better than that – despite losing against Aston Villa last time out, they were unbeaten in six prior to that.
In this match, the odds of a draw (23/10) look the most tempting.
Leicester in Red Hot Form
Also in danger are 16th placed Leicester, although their recent form – five wins from six games – suggests that they are peaking at just the right time.
On Saturday they tackle Southampton, and can be backed at 13/8 to extend their great run. A draw at 21/10 looks the most likely outcome, however, as the Saints have enjoyed a decent season themselves.
But Leicester’s last two games are against Sunderland and QPR, so their odds of 1/10 to stay up look just about accurate.
And that leaves Newcastle United, who may be two points clear of the relegation zone but have lost their last eight games on the bounce. That kind of form is hard to turn around, and so they won’t find West Brom pushovers on 9th May.
Indeed, you can back West Brom at 9/5 to inflict more damage on Newcastle’s hopes of avoiding the drop.
Their last two games are QPR away and West Ham at home; which is why their odds of being relegated – 9/2 – look tempting value.