With the Premier League title already decided thanks to Leicester City FC's incredible season, all eyes are now fixed on the opposite end of the table.
As Sky News reports, there are three different teams caught up in the battle to avoid relegation. If you're unfamiliar with international football, that's where the bottom three teams are kicked out of the league. Meanwhile, the top three teams in the tier directly below the league (in this case, the Championship) get promoted.
Aston Villa is already headed out, much to the chagrin of loyal fans. However, it's yet not definite what other two teams will also be exiting the Premier League. That's what makes things very exciting at the moment.
At least if you're a neutral football fan.At present, the safest of the three Premier League teams still battling relegation is Sunderland. It currently has a one-point advantage over both Newcastle United and Norwich City. It also enjoys a bigger goal difference. Sunderland needs is to win just one of its two remaining games, and both Newcastle and Norwich will be relegated.
Should Sunderland somehow lose or draw both, or lose one and draw the other, they'll then find themselves at the mercy of other team results.Norwich City may actually be in the next best position, despite being four points off of Sunderland and three off of Newcastle. Norwich, like Sunderland, has an extra game to play. In a scenario where Sunderland loses both its remaining games while Norwich claims six points, it would be the Canaries remaining in the Premier League. The same goes if Sunderland loses and draws during its final two matches.
However, two Sunderland draws would not help Norwich. Sunderland's goal difference would give it the advantage.Newcastle United's season is closer to over than both the other relegation teams; it has just one game left. That game is an absolute must-win. Meanwhile, Sunderland has two opportunities to save itself. Also, should Sunderland lose mid-week while Norwich City wins, it would add additional pressure.
A draw won't save Newcastle from relegation. It has to win and hope that Norwich City loses one of its matches while Sunderland loses both. If Norwich matches Newcastle for points while scoring more goals, Newcastle can still be relegated.The misery for whichever three teams will be leaving the league will be the very opposite of feelings expressed by the three Championship teams promoted into the Premier League. Middlesbrough makes its return to the Premier League after being absent for several years. They received the good news following a hard-fought draw with Brighton.
It joins Burnley, which already secured its spot after winning the Championship. That leaves Derby County and Hull City to battle it out for the coveted third slot.We could know the results of the league's relegation battle as soon as Wednesday. If Sunderland wins, then they stay up. If the visiting Everton beats them, then May 15 -- the final day of Premier League play -- will be an especially memorable day of football.
It's hard to say for certain which team has the hardest remaining fixtures. Should everything come down to a final day of play, expect a tense period of football. Relegation can be very tough on Premier League teams, especially as it can be quite a few seasons before a team is able to fight their way back. In fact, once out, there's no guarantee a football club will ever find their way back to top-tier play.
With this in mind, you can only imagine what's on the line for these three relegation zone Premier League teams.
Which two teams do you think are joining Aston Villa in the Championship next season? Share your predictions below!
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