Premier League relegation battle analysed with key fixtures over the next seven days

Watford play Newcastle, Burnley and Norwich in the next seven days as the battle at the backside intensifies. We consider the state of play in the battle for survival…

Just have a look at Watford’s next three fixtures: Newcastle (a), Burnley (a) and Norwich (h), all inside a seven-day interval, beginning with their journey to St James’ Park on Saturday. Claudio Ranieri’s workforce at present sit outdoors the relegation zone on 13 factors however that could possibly be a distinct story at the finish of this gigantic week.

Norwich, regardless of struggling six defeats on the spin with out scoring, are nonetheless in touching distance of Watford on 10 factors, with Newcastle and Burnley locked on 11 factors, though Sean Dyche’s aspect do have two video games in hand.

Here, we check out how their fixture lists to gauge who has the best run-in, assess the stats to search out causes to be hopeful and fearful relating to survival hopes and our tipster Jones Knows analyses the odds…

Watford

Position: seventeenth
Games performed: 18
Points Per Game: 0.72
Relegation Sky Bet odds: 1/2

Average place of remaining opponents: 11.35
Average PPG of remaining opponents: 1.28
Key fixtures to notice: 15 Jan: Newcastle (a), 18 Jan: Burnley (a), 21 Jan: Norwich (h), 26 Feb: Man Utd (a), 2 April: Liverpool (a), 23 April: Man City (a), 30 April: Burnley (h), 22 May: Chelsea (a)

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Reasons for hope

Dennis is a Menace. Emmanuel Dennis has contributed 13 objectives and assists mixed to Watford’s survival bid – just one participant has extra aim involvements this season, Mohamed Salah who’s approach forward on 25. Dennis has definitely made his presence felt in his debut Premier League marketing campaign, additionally conceding the most fouls (38) and selecting up the joint-most yellow playing cards (six).

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That successful feeling. With 4, Watford have as many league wins as the three groups beneath them mixed. In Premier League historical past, solely 5 groups have prevented the drop with fewer than eight wins (most not too long ago Southampton in 2017-18, with seven). With over half of their season remaining, eight wins feels much more achievable for Watford than for any of their bottom-four rivals. As the desk beneath exhibits, Watford even have the barely simpler second half to the season when it comes to fixtures remaining.

Reasons for worry

Clean break. Watford are the solely workforce in the prime 4 divisions with out a clear sheet this season, having made it to the 96th minute of their final league recreation with out conceding earlier than Tottenham’s last-gasp aim. The Hornets’ run with out a Premier League clear sheet now runs to 29 video games – they want one in the next few weeks to keep away from surpassing West Brom’s all-time Premier League file of 34 video games with out a clear sheet, set in 2010/11. They are the solely ones of the backside 4 to nonetheless must play Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea away from house nonetheless.

Home discomfort. Season ticket holders at Vicarage Road have seen 33 objectives this season, however two-thirds of them have been scored by the guests – 22 house objectives conceded being the joint-most in the division this season. For Watford to outlive, they should tighten up at the again, their 57 photographs on the right track confronted at house additionally being the highest of any workforce this season.

Burnley

Position: 18th
Games performed: 17
PPG: 0.64
Relegation Sky Bet odds: 8/13

Average place of remaining opponents: 10.67
Average PPG of remaining opponents: 1.34
Key fixtures to notice: Jan 18: Watford (h), Feb 8: Man Utd (h), Feb 13: Liverpool (h), March 5: Chelsea (h), April 2: Man City (h), April 9: Norwich (a), April 30: Watford (a), May 22: Newcastle (h)

Reasons for hope

Hard to beat. Burnley have truly prevented defeat in additional video games (9) than they’ve misplaced (eight) this season, one thing none of the different backside 4 can declare. They have the greatest defensive file in the backside half, conceding the similar variety of objectives (27) as West Ham and Man Utd who each have their eyes set on potential Champions League qualification.

Max energy. Once he returns from the ongoing AFCON, Maxwel Cornet will likely be essential to Burnley’s survival hopes. The Ivory Coast worldwide has the greatest shot conversion amongst the 27 gamers with 5 or extra non-penalty Premier League objectives this season, scoring six instances from solely 17 makes an attempt.

Reasons for worry

Age concern. The beginning XI from Burnley’s most up-to-date Premier League recreation in opposition to Leeds had a mean age of 30 years and 317 days, the oldest in the division this season and the oldest in the membership’s Premier League historical past. With extra video games remaining than every other workforce, will Burnley have the legs to run away from bother?

Losing Wood. With Chris Wood gone, Burnley have misplaced a participant who has scored 28 per cent of their Premier League objectives since his arrival in 2017. Only one among his team-mates, Ashley Barnes, has even reached double figures throughout the final 5 seasons mixed, whereas Wood additionally leads the approach for the Clarets this season for photographs, touches in the field and aerial duels received.

Newcastle

Position: nineteenth
Games performed: 19
PPG: 0.57
Relegation Sky Bet odds: 5/6

Average place of remaining opponents: 10.47
Average PPG of remaining opponents: 1.37
Key fixtures to notice: Jan 15: Watford (h), Mar 12: Chelsea (a), April 23: Norwich (a), April 30: Liverpool (h), May 7: Man City (a), May 22: Burnley (a)

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Reasons for hope

Getting forward. Newcastle have scored the opening aim in 9 video games, a determine bettered by solely eight groups. Eddie Howe has a profitable observe file of teaching a Premier League assault – his Bournemouth aspect ranked seventh, ninth and seventh for objectives scored of their second, third and fourth seasons in the prime division.

Match winners. Newcastle possess the division’s prime dribbler in Allan Saint-Maximin (133 take-ons tried this season), a pinpoint crosser in Kieran Trippier (1.9 probabilities created per 90 minutes in his most up-to-date league season with Tottenham in 2018-19) and have signed Wood who has scored the second-most headed objectives in the Premier League (17) since becoming a member of Burnley in August 2017.

Reasons for worry

Leaking objectives. Newcastle are the solely workforce to have three completely different goalkeepers begin three or extra Premier League video games this season, however none of them have helped issues a lot – their mixed save ratio of 58 per cent is the lowest throughout the division. Forty-two objectives conceded is the membership’s most after 19 video games of a league marketing campaign for 61 years, since the 1960-61 season which led to relegation.

Holding leads. Dropping 19 factors from successful positions is a regarding file over the course of a whole season, not to mention at the midway stage. Only 4 Premier League groups dropped greater than 19 factors from successful positions in the entire of final season, whereas Newcastle themselves final did so again in 2004-05 (31 factors dropped).

Norwich

Position: twentieth
Games performed: 20
PPG: 0.5
Relegation Sky Bet odds: 1/12

Average place of remaining opponents: 10.28
Average PPG of remaining opponents: 1.28
Key fixtures to notice: Jan 21: Watford (a), Feb 12: Man City (h), Feb 19: Liverpool (a), 9 April: Burnley (h), April 16: Man Utd (a), 23 April: Newcastle (h), May 22: Tottenham (h)

Reasons for hope

The Great Escape of 2005. Worryingly for Norwich followers, 10 of 11 groups who beforehand reached 19 video games with 10 factors or fewer in Premier League historical past went down. But one did survive, West Brom pulling off the best escape in 2004-05. Boosted by the January arrivals of Kevin Campbell and Kieran Richardson, the Baggies survived by a single level after solely 5 defeats in the second half of the season.

Avoiding ignominy. If survival at present looks as if a giant ask, Norwich may take extra consolation from needing solely two extra factors to keep away from being bracketed alongside Derby in 2007-08, whose 11 factors stays the fewest by any workforce in a full Premier League season.

Reasons for worry

A scarcity of objectives. The Canaries have solely scored eight all season, setting a brand new Premier League file for the fewest objectives by any workforce at the midway stage. They have performed six video games, having 56 unsuccessful makes an attempt, since Teemu Pukki final discovered the internet in opposition to Newcastle in November, leaving Norwich stranded on 399 objectives in Premier League historical past.

The defence. Coupled with their goalscoring concern, Norwich even have huge points at the again, rating backside of the desk for photographs on the right track confronted per recreation (5.6) and joint-bottom for penalties conceded (six). They have conceded 7.7 objectives greater than their xG confronted, which means they should enhance at each ends to carry any hope.

The punters view: Back Newcastle to drop at 6/5 with Sky Bet, says Jones Knows

If it smells like a relegation season, tastes like a relegation and appears like a relegation season, then it most likely is a relegation season. Everything we have now seen from Newcastle United this season has screamed relegation.

The late equaliser to Norwich in a key battle at the backside, dominating durations of video games however failing win, numerous refereeing calls going in opposition to them and an FA Cup large killing as well, too.

Despite the benefit of monetary muscle in opposition to their three different relegation rivals, odds of 6/5 for Newcastle to be relegated with Sky Bet do make attraction for these searching for a longer-term punt for the the rest of the season to cheer on. The merchants have all-but relegated Norwich with 1/14 quotes about their trapdoor hopes while Watford (1/2) and Burnley (8/13) are additionally odds-on on this four-horse race for survival. Burnley look too quick to me.

I believe that value considerably underestimates Sean Dyche’s expertise and know-how in the best way to navigate this Burnley workforce to security. The Clarets have been in deeper bother than this however nonetheless got here out the different aspect a Premier League workforce. In the 2018/19 season, Dyche’s boys have been 18th after 20 video games however received eight of their final 18 matches to complete comfortably above the drop zone on 40 factors. The nucleus of that squad stays the similar as does Dyche’s strategies of making unity inside his group to realize outcomes at key instances of the season.

So, if Burnley are going to get out of bother that leaves Newcastle as the worth in the market at odds-against.

The expectation from the approach their value is shaped rests solely with their skill to wave the magic wand in January. Yet, regardless of having the monetary clout, attracting high quality gamers to hitch them with the likelihood of being a Sky Bet Championship membership next season at round 50 per cent will likely be a really powerful ask for the recruitment workforce. Trippier and Wood will assist issues however the steadiness of their midfield and defence has been all incorrect for years now. Without fixing that, outcomes will proceed alongside the similar bumpy path.

I’m additionally but to see many examples of the new hierarchy having the ability to make swift and shrewd choices with a lot of their switch plans being leaked out to varied reporters so as to excite and provides assurances to the followers. The house owners are far too involved with their very own PR at the second. With time they could study to rein again on the openness on which they conduct their enterprise however it’s not a technique to run a profitable soccer membership.

At the present costs, Newcastle are value an funding to drop.

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