LONDON – Stress is mounting on the backside of the Premier League because the struggle to keep away from relegation heads in the direction of a dramatic conclusion.
With simply 5 video games left, all-time low Norwich are seven factors from security and are sliding in the direction of the Championship.
Bournemouth and Aston Villa, who presently fill the remaining two locations within the relegation zone, are locked in a four-team battle for survival with fellow strugglers Watford and West Ham.
AFP Sport takes a more in-depth take a look at the groups scrapping to protect their top-flight standing:
Thrashed 5-2 at Manchester United on Saturday, Eddie Howe’s facet are in free-fall after an eight-game winless run that includes 5 successive defeats.
The second backside Cherries, one level from security, face Tottenham, Leicester and Manchester Metropolis of their subsequent three video games.
That sequence that may absolutely decide whether or not Bournemouth can lengthen their five-season keep within the top-flight for an additional yr.
Bournemouth’s lack of objectives has been an enormous a part of their downfall, with the beginning line-up at Previous Trafford managing simply eight between them up to now this season.
“Video games are operating out. If we will keep within the division, we will have to start out choosing up factors,” Bournemouth winger Junior Stanislas stated.
“We’ll don’t have any excuses. We will not hold speaking. It is time for motion.
“There isn’t any cause why from now till the tip of the season we won’t choose factors up.”
A wretched run of 9 matches with no win has left third backside Villa one level from security.
Doubtful pre-season funding in a number of underwhelming signings have left Villa counting on captain Jack Grealish to encourage their survival bid.
However Dean Smith’s facet have misplaced three of their 5 video games for the reason that restart and nonetheless must face Manchester United and Arsenal earlier than a possible final-day shootout with West Ham.
They might depend themselves unlucky to not have secured what would have been a degree at Anfield in Sunday’s 2-Zero defeat towards champions Liverpool.
That stubborn show provided hope that Villa may nonetheless keep away from an instantaneous return to the Championship, however Smith is aware of they must be extra ruthless to realize that purpose.
“I do not wish to be a valiant loser, we’re scrapping for factors,” Smith stated.
“To out-shoot Liverpool at house at Anfield, when it comes to efforts on aim, it is wonderful, however we have to take our alternatives. We by no means discovered the standard within the last third they did.”
Saturday’s Three-Zero drubbing at Chelsea condemned Watford to a 3rd consecutive loss, leaving them perilously positioned one level above the underside three.
Nigel Pearson’s fourth backside crew haven’t received simply their gorgeous Three-Zero success towards Liverpool on February 29.
After 5 years within the top-flight, the Hornets, who face Manchester Metropolis and Arsenal of their final two video games, may discover their destiny settled by Tuesday’s house conflict with Norwich and a go to to West Ham on July 17.
“The vital factor is we perceive our state of affairs, that we do not worry it,” stated Pearson, whose males have managed simply two objectives of their final 5 video games.
“We have to present combating spirit, and we additionally must have the flexibility to nonetheless make good choices.”
Sitting 4 away from the relegation zone in 16th place, West Ham are in the most effective place to remain up due to their shock Three-2 win over Chelsea final week.
Twice blowing the lead in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Newcastle was a setback of their survival bid, however David Moyes’ facet have management of their very own future.
West Ham have now misplaced 24 factors from profitable positions within the Premier League this season, greater than some other facet.
However with video games towards Norwich, Watford and Aston Villa to come back, their ahead Michail Antonio is assured of beating the drop.
“The mindset for our subsequent few video games is that we wish three factors from every of them, and that is what we imagine we are able to get,” stated Antonio, whose membership haven’t been within the Championship since 2012.
“Now we have managed to indicate our attacking kind and we’re scoring objectives, we have to shore up our again as properly.”