RELEGATION RIVALS: ARE WE STARTING TO SEE THE EARLY SIGNS OF A RELEGATION BATTLE?
Updated: Nov 13, 2020
While the Premier League this season has been unpredictable, with no runaway leaders and a real uncertainty around who will be taking up the European slots, the other side of the table is a completely different story.
Already, we are starting to see who will be in and amongst the relegation battle for the end of the season.
With a four-point gap between 16th place Brighton and 15th place Leeds, time is starting to tick for those looking to avoid any sort of relegation battle.
It is no surprise to see Fulham down near the bottom, albeit a tad surprising that they aren’t in the relegation zone.
The squad Scott Parker has at his disposal is not exactly Premier League quality, on paper at least, and with a host of new signings, it may be a few months until we see the best Parker’s side has to offer.
West Brom are another team that many expected to be down there, and despite some good performances against the bigger sides, they have yet to secure their first win of the season.
The likes of Karlan Grant, Grady Diangana and Matheus Perreira provide the Baggies with a solid threat in front of goal, but will need to start firing soon if they want to keep West Brom up.
With a lack of strengthening and some big injuries at the back, it is unsurprising to see Burnley down there, but to only have two points after nine games is staggering and something that will need to change very quickly.
A strong January window could provide Burnley a chance to get up the table, and with the amount of Premier League experience in the squad you cannot rule Burnley out already.
Last season’s surprise package Sheffield United have also struggled, with only one point to their name, which has come as a shock to most.
It is possible that the Blades have simply been found out at this level, and a shift from the 3-5-2 may be necessary to keep them up and avoid a trip back down to England’s second tier.
After some exciting performances against Manchester United and Newcastle, Brighton have struggled to turn their attacking intent into wins and for that, they find themselves in the relegation battle.
Graham Potter is definitely capable of guiding his side out of a relegation battle completely, but he will certainly need his side to become more clinical in front of goal to avoid any relegation worry.
Will any teams be dragged down?
While certainly something that will excite a lot of football fans up and down the country, it is highly unlikely that 14th place Manchester United will find themselves scrapping for survival come April and May.
Following their demolition of Aston Villa, Leeds United have struggled, especially at the back.
After being put to the sword by Leicester, Crystal Palace exposed some weaknesses in that Leeds United side which may cause concern for Marcelo Bielsa.
While they have that four-point breathing space, Leeds need to tighten up at the back if they want to avoid a relegation battle altogether.
Newcastle are another side who may find themselves down there, with their conservative style of play, the Magpies rarely take the initiative in games and do not dominate games and while they should have enough quality to stay up, they will need to start making statements and ease any possible worries.
We are certainly set for an exciting Premier League season at both ends of the table, and it looks like we already have our participants in the annual relegation battle.