Blackburn, Middlesbrough and West Brom currently occupy the bottom three of the Premier League, although just eight points separate the bottom-placed Baggies with 10th-placed Fulham. Just who will the relegated teams be this season? And are Tottenham and Newcastle safe from the drop?
Many still think that last season’s trio of promoted teams will be the three who return to the Championship. The Albion face an uphill struggle after a 3-2 defeat against Newcastle on Saturday, Stoke City’s away form has been their Achilles Heel all term, while Hull have been sinking like a stone, despite a goalless draw at Chelsea.
Nevertheless, it’s Boro and Rovers who need to elevate themselves out of 19th and 18th respectively if they are to avoid the drop. Middlesbrough fans might be fearing the worst given that they haven’t won a league game since their shock 2-1 win at Villa Park on 9th November. Ewood Park regulars will point to the fact that Sam Allardyce has steadied a ship that was sinking under Paul Ince, although a 2-0 home defeat against Villa exposed their weaknesses.
Meanwhile, Tottenham’s failure to get anything more than a point from matches against Bolton and Arsenal means that Harry’s men are just two points away from the danger zone. Spurs supporters will hope that Robbie Keane’s goals can help save them from the drop, although they face a tricky trip to Hull a week on Monday.
And what about the other teams in the north-east, Newcastle and Sunderland? The Black Cats appear to be moving away from trouble under Ricky Sbragia, while their rivals also had a positive result at the weekend. While the pair move in an upwards direction, Portsmouth teeter on the precipice, with the board mulling over which candidate can come in as manager and steer the team to a safe finish.
Who are your three teams to be relegated this season?