A closer run at the relegation run in, as Burnley look to find a way to Premier League safety
Here are the runners and riders in the race to stay up, as we draw the line at Newcastle – who appear to have made themselves virtually safe after an impressive start to 2022, in which they were unbeaten until the 1-0 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday.
Newcastle – 14th, 31 points from 28 games:
Former Clarets boss Eddie Howe has overseen a remarkable turnaround at Newcastle, who won six of their seven league games through February and March to lift themselves out of imminent danger.
The Magpies were three points from safety in December but, aided by a successful £90m January transfer window, are now nine points above the bottom three and showing no signs of letting it slip.
Fixtures: March 17, Everton A; April 3, Spurs A; April 8, Wolves H; April 16, Leicester H; April 23, Norwich A: April 30, Liverpool H; May 7, Man City A; May 15, Arsenal H; May 22, Burnley A. TBA Crystal Palace H.
Brentford – 15th, 30 points from 29 games:
Brentford were on the slide at the end of last month after taking just one point from eight league games, but back-to-back wins – including Saturday’s 2-0 success at home to Burnley – have lifted them eight points clear of the bottom three.
January arrival Christian Eriksen – back in the Denmark squad today – has provided a big boost and despite a tough run-in – they face relegation rivals Everton and Leeds in their last two matches – the Bees should steer clear of the drop zone.
Fixtures: March 20, Leicester A; April 2, Chelsea A; April 9, West Ham H; April 16, Watford A; April 23, Spurs H: April 30, Man Utd A; May 7, Southampton H; May 15, Everton A; May 22, Leeds H.Leeds – 16th, 26 points from 29 games:
Teenage striker Joe Gelhardt gave Leeds’ survival bid a boost with a stoppage-time winner against bottom club Norwich on Sunday to lift his side four points clear of the bottom three.
It snapped a six-game losing run, but new head coach Jesse Marsch still faces a mammoth task with fixtures against Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal to come.
Fixtures: March 18, Wolves A; April 2, Southampton H; April 9, Watford A; April 16, Chelsea H; April 23, Crystal Palace A: April 30, Man City H; May 7, Arsenal A; May 15, Brighton H; May 22, Brentford A.Everton – 17th, 22 points from 26 games:
Everton have lost five of their six league games under Frank Lampard and sit above the relegation zone only on goal difference.
Their 22 points from 26 matches is their lowest tally at this stage of any league season and they are in real danger of dropping out of the top flight for the first time since 1951.
The Toffees have games in hand, but arguably the toughest run-in.
Fixtures: March 20, Watford A PP; April 3, West Ham A; April 6, Burnley A; April 9, Man Utd H; April 16, Crystal Palace H PP; April 23, Liverpool A: April 30, Chelsea H; May 7, Leicester A; May 15, Brentford H; May 22, Arsenal A.Watford – 18th, 22 points from 29 games:
Watford have been in freefall since the end of November and are staring at an immediate return to the Championship.
Saturday’s win at Southampton was just their second since November 20th and relegation rivals have games in hand.
The Hornets must still play Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, while remaining fixtures against Leeds, Brentford and Burnley could prove pivotal.
Fixtures: March 20, Everton H PP; April 2, Liverpool A; April 9, Leeds H; April 16, Brentford H PP; April 23, Man City A: April 30, Burnley H; May 7, Crystal Palace A; May 15, Leicester H; May 22, Chelsea A.
Burnley – 19th, 21 points from 27 games:
Second-bottom Burnley have won the least Premier League games this season – three – and two of those came back-to-back last month. But only Newcastle, of the group of strugling clubs, have lost fewer, with the Clarets earning 12 draws, only less than Premier League draw masters Crystal Palace. But three successive defeats have left them a point behind Everton, and Sean Dyche’s survival skills are set to be given the sternest test during a run-in which includes significant trips to both Norwich and Watford.
Fixtures: April 2, Man City H; April 6, Everton H; April 10, Norwich A; April 16, West Ham A; April 21, Southampton H; April 24, Wolves H: April 30, Watford A; May 7, Aston Villa H; May 15, Spurs A; May 22, Newcastle H. TBA: Aston Villa A.Norwich – 20th, 17 points from 29 games: Norwich showed spirit to force a late equaliser at Leeds on Sunday, but Gelhardt’s last-gasp winner was a massive blow.
It consigned the bottom club to a sixth straight league defeat for the third time this season.
The Canaries are four points adrift of Burnley and five behind Everton – who both have games in hand – and appear odds-on for a swift return to the Championship.
Fixtures: April 2, Brighton A; April 10, Burnley H; April 16, Man Utd A; April 23, Newcastle H; April 30, Aston Villa A; May 7, West Ham H; May 15, Wolves A; May 22, Spurs H.