Who will be relegated from the Premier League in 2011?
With over half the season gone the Premier League is really starting to take shape, at the top, and of course at the bottom. In this article we consider the teams most at risk of the drop and tell you who WILL be relegated from the Premier League come the end of the season.
At the start of the season there was possibly one man in the world who gave Blackpool any hope at all of surviving the rigour of a Premier League examination and lasting to see another season in the top flight. That man was of course Ian Holloway and much as he knew his side better than the naysayers it still seemed a far-fetched idea. Ok, Ian “rent-a-quote” Holloway, had done a good, perhaps even great job in getting Blackpool into the Premier League but survival? No way.
However, in the craziest Premier League season for years Blackpool are flying high in 10th place and have games in hand that could push them as high as 6th. Even more startling is the fact that they have played just eight of their 21 matches at home due to the freezing weather and the lack of undersoil heating at Bloomfield Road.
Is this the most astonishing thing about the season, Blackpool’s success? Probably. But let’s not forget the Toon Army, Newcastle, sitting in 9th, Chelsea struggling in 4th, Owen Coyle’s Bolton passing their way towards Europe, Everton and Liverpool both in the bottom half and last but not least, Aston Villa sitting 17th, out of the relegation zone only on goal difference?
Make no mistake, this has been a funny old year for the funny old game in England’s top flight. The relegation battle reflects the season as a whole – in a word, unpredictable! The bottom three at the time of writing is Wigan in 18th, next Wolves and then West Ham propping up the league. However, with just 10 points separating 7th and 20th in the Premier League anything could happen and the question of who will be relegated will take a lot of answering. So, who is in trouble?
Everton and Liverpool – I’ll group these two Merseyside giants together and file them under “safe”. Everton have the better squad for the first time in a long time and also have a more stable position behind the scenes but even Liverpool have too much to be in trouble. These two will be fine – we must look elsewhere for our relegation candidates.
Blackpool – Safely in the top half and with games in hand, even better, HOME games in hand, but not safe just yet. As the injuries and fixtures pile up Holloway’s boys could get sucked towards the nether regions of the table. They still have to play Man Utd and Spurs twice and that could very easily yield zero points which would be the games in hand – and then some – gone.
Blackburn – Another team from the North West that is not where it would like to be. Having lost, well, sacked, Big Sam Allardyce, the new manager doesn’t convince us here at FBFT. Having said that they will probably buy in the January window and this may be enough to keep them safe.
West Brom – The Baggies started the season well and got stronger as autumn came along. Six games in September and October saw them draw with Spurs, Bolton and Man Utd and defeat Birmingham, Arsenal and Fulham. They were scoring goals aplenty and passing and moving like Arsenal, Liverpool (circa 1970s) and Brazil rolled into one. As winter came along, however, they struggled and have now lost nine out of 13 league matches. Their next three home games are against Wigan, West Ham and Wolves and they need to pick up at least five points. Their home form is good so we reckon they should just about manage it.
Fulham – Mark Hughes has enough Premier League know-how and knowledge of a scrap for Fulham not to go down. With Andy Johnson fit and scoring goals and Dempsey’s guile and Hangeland’s solidity, as well as the returning Bobby Zamora, Fulham will get enough points to avoid relegation.
Birmingham City – One of the surprise packages of last season, when they had great success by not conceding goals as Joe Hart was inspirational in goals, Birmingham have struggled this season. They have drawn too often like Fulham but, also like the West London side, their goal difference is worth an extra point over their relegation rivals and this, as well as their solid defence, should be enough.
Aston Villa – Signing Darren Bent for £18m demonstrates that owner Randy Lerner is intent avoiding a Premier League relegation battle. Will probably sign more players in the transfer window and Houllier has enough expertise to keep them safe.
Wigan – Sorry Wigan fans, your side are in big trouble and ARE going to be relegated from the Premier League. They have scored the fewest goals in the top flight and concede them far too easily. Even my cat knows that equals trouble. The squad has lost key players in recent seasons and replaced them with young, unproven players that have not been up to the task. More importantly they lack heart and grit and, most importantly of all, the fixture list is against them. They have all the big teams to face and also have to travel to Sunderland, West Brom and Stoke, teams with good home records.
Wolves – The only side currently in the bottom three that we think has a chance. They have good team spirit, a determined manager with plenty of experience of a relegation battle and most importantly have been very unlucky in many games thus far. They have played better than their results suffest and with a bit of luck and key players, such as striker Doyle, coming back to fitness they have got a decent chance.
West Ham – No chance Hammers! We’ve said it for a while and it might not be groundbreaking but West Ham are going down. The manager is holding onto his job by the skin of his teeth and lacks any semblance of charisma and they have only Scott Parker who seems concerned about their position. Piquionne recently missed a game with tooth ache and that says it all. The fixtures don’t look great either so here at FBFT we say sayonara West Ham, go and blow your bubbles in The Championship.
So who will be relegated from the Premier League?
Well, we have two certainties in West Ham and Wigan but picking the final team is a much harder task. The last place will go all the way to May and we expect several teams to be in the mix on the last day of the season. Wolves, Blackpool, Blackburn and West Brom all look vulnerable but we’re going to stick our neck on the line and say that Blackburn will be the third team to be relegated from the Premier League along with West Ham and Wigan. The squad looks a little weak and whilst Allardyce had them over performing we suspect that a bad run of results could see new man Kean lose the faith of his players.
So there you have it, the three teams to be relegated from the Premier League this season will be West Ham, Wigan and Blackburn.
Relegation Odds 19th January 2010
West Ham are 4/7 with
Wigan are 4/6 with
Wolves are 4/5 with
West Brom are 7/2 with
Birmingham are 15/4 with
Fulham are 4/1 with
Blackpool are 9/2 with
Aston Villa are 9/2 with
Blackburn are 8/1 with
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