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“Survival Battle: Nine Teams Competing to Stay Alive”

The Battle to Avoid Relegation in the Premier League Heats Up

As the Premier League resumes this weekend, the fight to avoid relegation is turning into a blockbuster, with just a few points separating the bottom nine teams. In an effort to prevent a relegation calamity that could cost an estimated £200 million in revenue, six of them have already changed managers.

Crystal Palace is the latest team to switch managers. Having failed to win a league game in 2023, they’ve fallen from a comfortable mid-table perch to just three points clear of safety. Hence, the pragmatic Roy Hodgson has returned to replace Patrick Vieira. Leicester City and West Ham, both in the top eight last year, are also involved. Everton, a top-flight club since 1954, is dicing with trouble again, just like last season.

As things stand, Southampton, Bournemouth, and West Ham occupy the dreaded bottom three positions. Two of those teams, West Ham and Southampton, clash at the London Stadium on Sunday. Meanwhile, Bournemouth, despite being everybody’s tip for the drop, has won some crucial matches in recent times, as indicated by their triumph over Liverpool. It won’t be a surprise if they edge past visitors Fulham on Saturday, especially as Marco Silva’s team continues to reel from the madness that led to Aleksandar Mitrovic, Willian, and Silva himself being sent off in the FA Cup quarterfinal loss against Manchester United on March 19.

Leeds United’s new boss Javi Gracia has breathed new life into the side and has given them momentum, but their shaky defense will face a daunting test away to the league leaders Arsenal.

Everton has taken 11 points from seven games since Sean Dyche took over from Frank Lampard. He has made them more physical and answered their goal-scoring problem by encouraging more midfield runners to arrive late in the box. The Toffees will look to repeat their recent gritty and determined Goodison Park win over Arsenal, who are in some disarray after the sacking of Antonio Conte.

History shows that 38 points is probably the new safety target to stay in the Premier League. However, this plot will not fully unravel until the final day. On the final matchday of the season, Palace will play Forest at Selhurst Park, Everton will meet Bournemouth at Goodison, and Leicester will be at home to West Ham. All matches will be dramatic, and it is hard to predict how they will turn out. Meanwhile, Wolves have to go to Arsenal for their final game, while Southampton, showing signs of improvement lately, will host Liverpool at home.

All nine clubs involved in this fight to avoid relegation will hope to be safe by then. However, this race is so tight and tense that it looks certain to go right down to the wire.

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