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The Most Exciting And Tense Relegation Battle In Premier League History?

This has been one of the longest, and strangest, Premier League seasons in living memory.

The 2022 World Cup in the middle of the season, from November to December, ensured that this season would be split into two parts and as we hit mid-May with teams still having three or more league games to go, the pressure remains on.

And while the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal are battling it out for the title, and Newcastle, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Brighton and Aston Villa are still in the hunt for Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League places, spare a thought for the six teams at the bottom of the table.

Because at the moment, we are experiencing one of the fiercest and most exciting relegation battles since the Premier League first began back in 1993.

The three results on Bank Holiday Monday just showed how unpredictable the Premier League can be, with 21 goals scored across three dramatic and action-packed games, all of which had a big say on how things at the bottom stand.

Now, bet365 Sport customers may be more used to betting on who will win the Premier League, but don’t forget to take a look at the relegation markets because the betting there can be incredibly exciting.

Latest Relegation Battles Produce A Flood Of Goals

Let’s quickly go through the games that were played across this weekend.

Premier League Matchday 35 – Results

Saturday 6th May

  • Bournemouth 1-3 Chelsea (Vina 21), (Gallagher 9, Badiashile 82, Felix 86)
  • Manchester City 2-1 Leeds United (Gundogan 19,27), (Rodrigo 85)
  • Tottenham 1-0 Crystal Palace (Kane 45+1)
  • Wolves 1-0 Aston Villa (Toti 9)
  • Liverpool 1-0 Brentford (Salah 13)

Sunday 7th May

  • Newcastle United 0-2 Arsenal (Odegaard 14, Schar 71 og)
  • West Ham United 1-0 Manchester United (Benrahma 27)

Monday 8th May

  • Fulham 5-3 Leicester City (Willian 10,70, Vinicius 18, Cairney 44,51), (Barnes 59,89, Maddison 81pen)
  • Brighton 1-5 Everton (Mac Allister 79), (Doucoure 1,29, Steele OG 35, McNeil 76,90+6)
  • Nottm Forest 4-3 Southampton (Awoniyi 18,21, Gibbs-White 44 pen, Danilo 73), (Alcaraz 25, Lyanco 51, Ward-Prowse 90+6 pen)

At the top of the table, wins for the top two mean it is now definitvely a two-horse race for the title between Man City and Arsenal. Losses for Newcastle and Man Utd combined with wins for Liverpool and Tottenham mean that the gap between 3rd, 4th and the teams chasing below has now closed to just a point, although Newcastle and Man Utd both have a game in hand over their rivals.

However, it is at the foot of the table where the drama really took place this weekend. A defeat for Leeds on Saturday combined with a win for West Ham on Sunday meant that the Hammers have pulled themselves onto the brink of safety, while Leeds are in deep trouble.

Leicester’s loss at Fulham kept them on the cusp of the drop zone, but Everton’s 5-1 win at Brighton moved the Toffees out of the relegation zone and above Leicester by a couple of points.

Then in the final game, defeat for Southampton all but condemns them to relegation now, meaning there are just two more relegation spots to be decided and there are at least two, maybe even three teams still embroiled in the battle to avoid the drop.

Here’s what we know for certain.

Premier League Bottom 6 – After Matchday 35

The Relegation Battle Outlined

Who is safe?

At present, Wolves in 13th in the table are safe from relegation having amassed 40 points, with the maximum that Leicester and Leeds (who currently occupy the two relegation spots alongside Southampton) can get being 39 points.

Bournemouth need to take one more point to be confirmed as safe and another win for West Ham would also confirm them as safe from the drop.

My gut feeling is that these teams have already done enough to preserve their status in the Premier League next season, regardless of how they perform as I can’t see the teams in the relegation zone getting enough points over their last three games to catch them.

Who is in danger?

Alongside Southampton, who are down in my opinion, but not mathematically just yet (although they’d need an incredibly strange set of results to stay up, making it virtually impossible to do so) it is Leeds and Leicester both on 30 points that are in the two other relegation spots.

Directly above them in 17th are Everton who moved out of the drop zone thanks to their extraordinary 5-1 win at Brighton and then a point better off than the Toffees are Nottingham Forest who also moved out of the relegation zone thanks to their 4-3 win over Southampton.

Assuming West Ham and Bournemouth are indeed safe, then how do the final three games shape up for the five teams still involved in the relegation battle?

What are the remaining fixtures for the relegation threatened teams?

The five teams will face the following fixtures over the final three weeks of the season:

MatchdayNottingham Forest (33pts)Everton (32pts)Leicester City (30pts)Leeds United (30pts)Southampton (24 pts)
36Chelsea (11th) (A)Manchester City (1st) (A)Liverpool (5th) (H)Newcastle Utd (3rd) (H)Fulham (10th) (H)
37Arsenal (2nd) (H)Wolves (13th) (A)Newcastle (3rd) (A)West Ham (15th) (A)Brighton (7th) (A)
38Crystal Palace (12th) (A)Bournemouth (14th) (H)West Ham (15th) (H)Tottenham (6th) (H)Liverpool (5th) (H)

Points needed to assure safety after Matchday 35 – 40 points.

As you can see, none of the relegation threatened teams have an easy run in, with pretty similar levels of difficult across the board, with perhaps Everton having the slightly easier of the games to play with their final two games being played against bottom half opponents in the Premier League.

How do we predict the relegation battle panning out?

So who are we backing to stay up, and who do we think will go down? Well, let’s work our way through the final three matchdays to see what the predictions would mean.

Matchday 36

  • Chelsea v Nottingham Forest – Draw
  • Manchester City v Everton – Home Win
  • Leicester City v Liverpool – Away Win
  • Leeds United v Newcastle United – Away Win
  • Southampton v Fulham – Draw

If correct these results would see Nottingham Forest move on to 34 points, Everton, Leicester and Leeds remain in their current places in the table, with Southampton moving on to 25 points.]

However, it would mean that Southampton would be confirmed as relegated from the Premier League, while it would also mean West Ham and Bournemouth are mathematically safe from relegation too.

Matchday 37

  • Nottingham Forest v Arsenal – Away Win
  • Wolves v Everton – Draw
  • Newcastle United v Leicester City – Home Win
  • West Ham United v Leeds United – Away Win
  • Brighton v Southampton – Home Win

Leicester, Nottingham Forest and Southampton all fail to win on Matchday 37, while Everton pick up a draw to move onto 33 points with a point away to Wolves. However with West Ham now safe and with a potential European final on their minds, I think Leeds could take advantage of that here and perhaps sneak a win against the inconsistent Hammers. That would not be enough to move Leeds out of the drop zone however as they’d join Everton on 33 points, but they would not have as good a goal difference as the Toffees.

Matchday 38

  • Crystal Palace v Nottingham Forest – Draw
  • Everton v Bournemouth – Away Win
  • Leicester City v West Ham United – Home Win
  • Leeds United v Tottenham – Away Win
  • Southampton v Liverpool – Away Win

Picking up another point at Palace would put Forest on 35 points and while not technically safe, the fact that Leeds and Everton do not win means that Forest would stay up. However, with Leeds and Everton losing, and both on 33 points, and Leicester City winning against West Ham, it would mean that the two teams with the worst goal difference between Leicester, Everton and Leeds would go down. At the moment, that would be Leeds United and Everton.

So for us, it would be Southampton, Leeds and Everton that go down in one of the closest battles ever against the drop. Who do you think will be the three to go?

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