Premier League relegation battle: Who has worst run-in with SEVEN teams in mix and two huge final-game deciders

LET the relegation scrap commence.

As Manchester City and Liverpool battle it out at the top of the Premier League, an almighty fight is taking shape at the other end.

It promises to be one of the most exciting relegation battles ever with seven teams scrambling for survival.

If Leicester and Aston Villa in 12th and 13th look safe, for now, Watford and Norwich – five and four points respectively off safety having played one more game than 17th-placed Newcastle – look toast.

So, barring a miracle for the ages, that leaves one more spot.

Resurgent Burnley occupy it now but with four other sides within striking distance, expect twists and turns every week for the next three months.

Sean Dyche’s Clarets still have it all to do despite back-to-back victories but are the veterans of the genre and are picking up just as we approach the business end.

One victory from Burnley’s opening 21 games was compounded by the loss of striker Chris Wood to Newcastle in January. Their stiff resistance finally looked to be coming to an end, but rule out Dyche at your peril.

Six points in five days leaves a spring in their step. Dutch man-mountain Wout Weghorst looks an upgrade on Wood, and with Brentford, Norwich and Newcastle to play, it would take a ballsy punter to back against them now.

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It doesn’t get more tantalising than Burnley v Newcastle on the final day of the season, even if in-form Toon will be hoping to be out of the mire by then.

Eddie Howe’s rescue mission resumes in another humdinger at Brentford on Saturday, where a win would make it four wins in five and could lift them to 14th.

Their £92million emergency January splurge – alongside the marked improvements Howe has engineered – could prove the difference, though Kieran Trippier joining top-scorer Callum Wilson on the long-term treatment table is a hammer blow.

Before their potential boom-or-bust trip to Burnley they play Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal, so getting points on the board before the home straight is a must.

Brentford’s form has fallen off a cliff, and while they sit 14th the Bees have played more games than everyone below them.

Three points against the Magpies would be huge, especially with Norwich and Burnley up next.

The west Londoners have lost six of their last seven, but Liverpool, Manchester United, Wolves, Manchester City and Arsenal were all in that horror run.

A breath of fresh air at the start of the season, Thomas Frank’s boys need to find something sharpish if they are not to become another Blackpool.

Everton, who have not been relegated since 1951, are consistently showing they are absolutely not too good to go down.

Two of Frank Lampard’s first three games were woeful defeats to Newcastle and Southampton. Yes, they beat Leeds 3-0 too – but you’d back Scunthorpe, bottom of League Two, to score a hatful against Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

Positive signs are hard to come by with Manchester City up next. They’ve then got to play all of Tottenham, Wolves, West Ham, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal in surely the hardest run-in of the lot.

One thing giving everyone a crumb of comfort is Leeds’ defence – or lack of one.


The Whites have shipped 16 goals in their last four games, and 34 in their last 10.

Stubborn Bielsa won’t change his kamikaze ways so this alarming trend looks set to continue.

Injuries have ravaged them but in a remarkable act of self-harm, more critical was their bizarre stance in completely ignoring that there was a January transfer window to do something about it.

Remaining fixtures:

Brentford: Newcastle (H), Norwich (A), Burnley (H), Leicester (A), Chelsea (A), West Ham (H), Watford (A), Tottenham (H), Manchester United (A), Southampton (H), Everton (A), Leeds (H).

Leeds: Tottenham (H), Leicester (A), Aston Villa (H), Norwich (H), Wolves (A), Southampton (H), Watford (A), Chelsea (H), Crystal Palace (A), Manchester City (H), Arsenal (A), Brighton (H), Brentford (A).

Everton: Manchester City (H), Tottenham (A), Wolves (H), Newcastle (H), Watford (A), West Ham (A), Manchester United (H), Crystal Palace (H), Liverpool (A), Chelsea (H), Leicester (A), Brentford (H), Arsenal (A).

Newcastle: Brentford (A), Brighton (H), Southampton (A), Chelsea (A), Everton (A), Crystal Palace (H), Tottenham (A), Wolves (H), Leicester (H), Norwich (A), Liverpool (H), Manchester City (A), Arsenal (H), Burnley (A).

Burnley: Crystal Palace (A), Leicester (H), Chelsea (H), Brentford (A), Southampton (H), Manchester City (H), Norwich (A), West Ham (A), Wolves (H), Watford (A), Aston Villa (H), Tottenham (A), Newcastle (H).

Watford: Manchester United (A), Arsenal (H), Wolves (A), Southampton (A), Everton (H), Liverpool (A), Leeds (H), Brentford (H), Manchester City (A), Burnley (H), Crystal Palace (A), Leicester (H), Chelsea (A).

Norwich: Southampton (A), Brentford (H), Leeds (A), Chelsea (H), Brighton (A), Burnley (H), Manchester United (A), Newcastle (H), Aston Villa (A), West Ham (H), Wolves (A), Tottenham (H).

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