The top tiers of the Premier League have been a major talking point during the ongoing campaign. High-flying Liverpool and perennial favourites Manchester City are poised for yet another title clash, a familiar duel that fans have witnessed several times in recent years. Meanwhile, both Arsenal and Aston Villa are not content to be mere spectators, with each vying to capitalize on their recent form, the former hoping to reclaim lost glory and the latter seeking to maintain its surprisingly strong fourth-place standing.
The lower half of the league table on the other hand rarely garners any chatter among fans. Over the years, the intense struggle to remain in the top-tier football league has been a staple of European football. However, this season, many believe that the current bottom three are virtually assured of the dreaded drop to the Championship. In fact, www.oddschecker.com, which provides bonus bets offers and has compared the odds from all the top bookmakers, has all three teams odds on for the drop.
Last term marked a significant feat in the Premier League, as all three newly promoted teams – namely Fulham, Bournemouth, and Nottingham Forest – retained their status with impressive performances. The Cottagers even flirted with European qualification until the season's end. In contrast, former champions Leicester City became just the second team since 1992 to suffer relegation, alongside Leeds United and Southampton.
This season seems to be leading towards the anticipated outcome where the three recently promoted teams are all situated at the bottom of the table, which doesn't bode well for them. Our focus here is to examine which teams are facing the biggest threat of relegation.
Sheffield United appear to be heading through the trap door with aplomb. They have amassed a paltry ten points from 21 games and find themselves fixed to the bottom of the league. With an eight-point gap separating them from safety, Sheffield have endured a number of humiliating defeats, including a resounding 8-0 loss to Newcastle United and a 5-0 shutout at the hands of Pep Guardiola's reigning champions Manchester City. Adding to their woes, the Blades have also suffered setbacks against their closest contenders, getting thumped by Burnley at Turf Moor and losing a five-goal thriller to Luton Town at Bramall Lane.
A 2-0 defeat at home against the league leaders Liverpool spelled the end of the road for former manager Paul Heckingbottom. Critics found the decision harsh, especially considering that the 46-year-old had guided the team to an unexpected promotion and a run to the FA Cup semifinal last season. In the eyes of many, the lack of support in the summer's transfer window from the club's owners seemed to stack the odds against their former boss and ultimately cost him his job.
In his place, the powers that be at The Lane chose to enlist local legend Chris Wilder instead of turning their attention overseas. The new man at the helm became a household name in English football, leading his squad to the Premier League from League One in just two years. He will be aiming to steer them magically clear of the drop this term.
European qualification looked to be on the cards in 2020 after Sheffield United made a blistering start upon their return to the top flight. However, global events forced fans out of stadiums. Without their most important asset - the Bramall Lane faithful - the Blades dropped like a fly and were ultimately relegated with a whimper the following season. Now returning, Wilder is focused on pulling off an extraordinary comeback. While the odds are heavily against him, he has proven himself capable of miracles before, and will be hoping for one last Houdini act to seal his spot in Sheffield United folklore.
Burnley soared to the pinnacle of the Championship last season, smashing records along the way under the leadership of former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany. Their dominance was clear as they clinched the title with an impressive 101 points, ten points ahead of the second-place Blades. The Belgian gaffer's strategic emphasis on possession-oriented, attacking play was appreciated by fans and they anticipated their seamless transition to the Premier League.
Unfortunately, those at Turf Moor must dread the current stats and their team's performance has fallen well short of expectations. The Clarets have struggled upon their return to the top flight, currently sitting second bottom and trailing safety by five points. They’ve conceded more goals than most, with their defensive record mirroring that of a leaky ship. They've had a solitary shining moment, a 5-0 victory over Sheffield United, but the club needs similar displays throughout the second half of their campaign if they are to keep their heads above water.
This season, Luton Town have defied expectations to become a genuine Premier League performer. Previously touted to potentially match Derby County's 2008 league woes, The Hatters are now within striking distance of averting relegation thanks to a notable win against Newcastle and a commendable draw against Liverpool over the course of the last month.
The Kenilworth Road outfit's financial restraints have led to astute acquisitions in their battle to become a genuine top-flight competitor. One such addition is Chiedozie Ogbene, who was signed on a free transfer from Rotherham United, a side struggling in the Championship. The tricky winger has shown that there are diamonds in the rough available out there for Luton to attract, but the verdict is still out on whether he and his comrades can stave off the drop.
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