The English Premier League relegation battle is in the homestretch and three teams are fighting for survival with 10 matches or fewer to go. Hull, Middlesbrough and Sunderland all have a fighting chance of survival or English Premier League relegation.
Seven points separate Sunderland and 17th place Swansea, who have overcome their own relegation fears for the time being. Middlesbrough see five points between them and safety, while Hull have just three points stopping them from breathing slightly easier.
With the season nearly finished, each of the three must start a winning run that sees few, if any, mistakes made. Thus far, neither have really shown they can string things together, but a few wins coupled with rivals losing matches, could see survival.
But the question is, is the English Premier League relegation battle over?
The Black Cats are currently seven points from safety. David Moyes always said this season would be a struggle, but he probably never thought the team would be bottom of the league after 28 matches. Moyes looked ridiculous in last weekend’s draw to Burnley after admitting he dropped £13.5 million signing Didier Ndong due to not being British.
Apparently a more British midfield is needed in a relegation battle in Moyes’ opinion.
Sunderland have escaped relegation several times over the last few seasons. Since 2010-11’s 10th place finish, the club have finished 13th or lower each year. Last season saw the club finish 17th, just two points above the English Premier League relegation zone. The Black Cats are on borrowed time.
The team have scored just 25 goals, and 14 of those have come from Jermain Defoe; who scored 15 last season. The Black Cats have a tough final 10 fixtures with Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea to end the season. The good news is, Sunderland must play Hull, Swansea and Middlesbrough in their final 10 games.
A coaching change has done nothing to stem the bleeding at Middlesbrough. Last weekend’s 3-1 loss showed a team incapable of creating chances. Although the final scoreline did flatter Manchester United slightly – due to Victor Valdes’ late error that led to an Antonio Valencia goal – but the team are struggling.
No Premier League side have scored fewer goals (20) or won fewer games (four) than Middlesbrough. After coming up from the Championship last May, it looks like the side may be ready to make a quick return. Loan signing Alvaro Negredo has returned six goals. It isn’t great, but it has kept them close to safety.
The team have struggled mightily in front of goal, despite giving up fewer goals (33) than any team lower than seventh in the Premier League. In fact, Middlesbrough have allowed fewer goals than Arsenal and Liverpool.
Swansea and Hull will face Middlesbrough in the first two fixtures after the international break. The team will also host Sunderland in late April. However, the team will clash with Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool before the end of the term.
Just three points from safety, Hull have show the ability to string some points together during the season. The team have also shown the ability to lose by big scorelines.
Compared to Hull’s English Premier League relegation rivals, the Tigers look to have the easier final set of fixtures. Hull will only play nine more times, while Sunderland and Middlesbrough have 10 matches. Of course, Hull play both Sunderland and Middlesbrough in pivotal six-point affairs. The Tigers will also play hot and cold Manchester City and Tottenham on the last day of the season.
Survival looks more likely with the Tigers, but the team have given up the second most goals in the Premier League (58). Meanwhile, the team have scored the third fewest goals (26). No one player has tallied more than three strikes this term. Not a good sign for the Tigers.