At this half way stage of the Premier League season my buddy Mike Volitich and I have been discussing how things may pan out come May time. What we have been mostly locked in debate about is not who will win the competition or who will finish in the top 4, although we haven’t exactly agreed on those topics either, but rather which teams will be relegated back to the Championship. This is always a fascinating battle and here is who looks like they’ll be down there scrapping for survival.
Despite heavy investment it just isn’t happening for Fulham right now and they look to have a long and hard season ahead of them. The Cottagers are currently in last place in the league with a measly 9 points from 16 games, what is even more alarming is that they have conceded 24 goals along the way. Claudio Ranieri has been brought in to try and save the day at Fulham, and we all know what he did with his last club! Fulham do have goals in them which is positive but unless Ranieri can solidify the defense, it is going to be a very tricky season in West London.
A very tricky team to predict is Southampton, a team with a huge array of talent but one which has a lack of leadership and most importantly, a lack of goals. Mark Hughes was shown the door last week despite a 2-2 draw against Manchester United, leaving the Saints in a poor position sitting 19th in the league with 9 points. Southampton probably do have the quality to get themselves out but they had better do it sooner rather than later.
Burnley have paid the price for Europa League qualification which meant that they were playing Thursday and Sundays, with a squad that probably wasn’t capable of doing so. The result of this has been depleted confidence and a Sean Dyche side which is unrecognizable from what we saw last year, especially in defense. The positive news for Burnley fans is that this is not Sean Dyche’s first rodeo and he has the know-how and the gumption to get his side to safer ground.
Cardiff have made a great start to premier League life and have amassed 14 points from their first 14 games, leaving them in 14th position. Unfortunately however the Premier League season is long and challenging and I believe that Cardiff will just fall short of having what it takes to survive another year. With a 7 point gap between Brighton in 13th and Cardiff in 14th, it looks like from Cardiff down will be the focus of the relegation battle, and amongst that mini league I would think that the Bluebirds will unfortunately be the ones to face the drop.
All told I believe that Southampton, Cardiff and Huddersfield will be the teams to be relegated.