There’s going to be one more heartbroken English Premier League club when the 2014/15 season comes to an end in just over a week’s time as another team still needs to be relegated. Burley FC and Queens Park Rangers already know they’ll be playing in the Championship League next season, and one more side will be joining them. One of Hull City, Newcastle United, Sunderland, Leicester City and Aston Villa will also be heading to the second tier of English soccer by next weekend at the latest.
Premier League relegation battle – The current bet365 odds lists Aston Villa as the favorites to fight off relegation at 1/500 with Leicester 1/150, Newcastle 1/10, Sunderland 1/6 and Hull as team least likely to stay up at 2/1.
Hull is currently in the third and last relegation spot as the 18th-place team has 34 points on the season. They’re just two points out of the safety zone, but have the toughest schedule of all five relegation candidates. Hull will be heading to London this weekend where they’ll take on sixth-place Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Then next weekend they wrap up the campaign with a home encounter against Manchester United. Hull has earned draws against top teams such as Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool this year, but draws won’t do them any good in their final two games. They need to win at least one of them and hope Newcastle and/or Sunderland don’t earn any more points.
Newcastle sits just two points above Hull with 36 on the season. They’re on a nine-game winless streak which consists of eight straight losses until they managed a draw last weekend. The team has been a mess since former manager Alan Pardew left for Crystal Palace. Pardew was replaced with John Carver, who was awful during his MLS stint with Toronto FC, and with him in charge their downfall was quite predictable. Newcastle will finish the season with a road game against QPR this Saturday and then a home outing against West Ham next Sunday.
Sunderland currently occupies 16th place in the 20-team table, also with 36 points. They escaped relegation last season by getting hot at the end of the year, and could possibly do the same thing this year as they have three games left. Veteran Dutchman Dick Advocaat took over as manager several weeks ago and he’s never been in charge of a club that was relegated. The club has won their past two outings against Southampton and Everton and head into the last two games of the term with some confidence.
Former England international striker Jermain Defoe has helped out in the goalscoring department and he might need one or two more goals to keep his side afloat as they have some tough games left. Sunderland has a huge home clash with Leicester this Saturday and then meet Arsenal away Wednesday, May 20 before finishing the campaign with another match in London against league champions Chelsea next Sunday.
Leicester City has 37 points on the season and is sitting in 15th position. The squad is definitely on a hot streak at the moment as they’ve won six of their past seven contests. They’re still not safe though, but could avoid relegation without earning another point in their remaining games, depending on the other results. However, four points will guarantee them Premier League soccer next season. They take on Sunderland on the road this weekend and then meet QPR in their season finale next week.
Aston Villa isn’t out of the woods yet either as the 14th-place club has just 38 points. Manager Tim Sherwood was hired to replace the fired Paul Lambert in mid-February and he’s helped turn the team around slightly. They’re scoring a lot more goals these days thanks to Belgian international striker Christian Benteke, who has 11 goals in 9 nine outings since Sherwood took over. Villa travels to Southampton for a match this Saturday, May 16 and finises the Premier League season at home against Burnley on Sunday, May 24.