Premier League Relegation Run-In: The Fight For Survival Intensifies

David Moyes
Sunderland manager David Moyes at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, April 15. Moyes' side looks set to be relegated to the Championship next season. Reuters / Scott Heppell

With just five weeks remaining of the football season, teams at the bottom of the table are fighting to avoid losing their Premier League status.

Each has at least five games left to play, with 15 points available, and the likes of Eddie Howe's Bournemouth and Sam Allardyce's Crystal Palace could be dragged into the drop zone.

Meanwhile, Swansea, Middlesbrough and Sunderland, which make up the bottom three teams in the top tier of English football, are scrapping for points to climb out.

Apart from bottom club Sunderland and Bournemouth, each club among the bottom six teams has changed its manager to help avoid relegation. Newsweek looks the run-in for the teams in danger of playing Championship football next season:

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15th Crystal Palace —35 points

When Alan Pardew was dismissed as manager at Selhurst Park on December 22, Palace was 17th in the Premier League and hurtling toward the relegation places. Chairman Steve Parish looked to former England manager and serial survivor Sam Allardyce to help turn the club around.

Allardyce, who guided West Ham, Sunderland and Bolton to Premier League survival, took a while to have an impact on the club but it finally came, just in time, last month. Palace went on a four-game winning run, skipping away from the drop zone, that included wins over Chelsea and Arsenal.

Momentum is on Palace's side but the run-in looks tricky with trips to Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.

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Remaining fixtures: Liverpool (a), Tottenham Hotspur (h), Burnley (h), Manchester City (a), Hull City (h), Manchester United (a).

16th Bournemouth 35 points

A five-point cushion to Hull, and seven to 18th-placed Swansea, will provide a comfort to Eddie Howe and his Bournemouth team. But the south coast club is still in need of a few more points to guarantee safety.

Each of the Cherries' remaining fixtures come against clubs in the bottom half of the table, including clashes with relegation-threatened Middlesbrough and Sunderland.

Forty points is typically the target for survival, and Howe will believe his team can reach that in the final five games. But after a painful defeat to Tottenham on Saturday, where his players looked spent after an arduous season, Howe is in need of one final push to see them to safety.

Remaining fixtures: Middlesbrough (h), Sunderland (a), Stoke City (h), Burnley (h), Leicester City (a).

17th Hull City 30 points

Marco Silva, appointed as Mike Phelan's replacement at Hull City on January 3, has been an inspired decision by the board at the KCOM Stadium. The Portuguese boss, barely known in the U.K., was tasked with lifting Hull off the bottom of the table.

Four months later, Silva has almost completed the job. Hull has recovered, recording five wins in the Premier League, to take the club to 17th and create a small gap to the relegation places.

Silva's team still needs to take on bottom-place Sunderland as well as welcoming title-chasing Spurs for the final game of the season. There could be one final painful twist.

Remaining fixtures: Watford (h), Southampton (a), Sunderland (h), Crystal Palace (a), Tottenham Hotspur (h).

18th Swansea City 28 points

Three managers in one season has made the 2016/17 campaign one of the most turbulent in Swansea's Premier League era. Francesco Guidolin was sacked in October, American Bob Bradley was dismissed in December and Paul Clement, the former Bayern Munich assistant coach, has the task of saving the club from returning to the Championship.

Clement has helped give the south Wales club hope. Wins against Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Southampton, Leicester City and Burnley have put the Swans back into the chase. But five defeats in the last six games has seen Swansea drop back into a rut.

Trips to Manchester United and Sunderland could prove tricky and pivotal in whether Swansea will be back playing against Wales rival Cardiff City in the Championship again next year.

Remaining fixtures: Stoke City (h), Manchester United (a), Everton (h), Sunderland (a), West Bromwich Albion (h).

19th Middlesbrough 24 points

The run-in looks ominous for Boro. Six games remain for Steve Agnew, Aitor Karanka's replacement as head coach, to keep the club from making an immediate return to the Championship.

But trips to title-chasing Chelsea and Liverpool, as well as hosting Sunderland and Manchester City at the Riverside Stadium, make survival a tall order. Boro has the worst goal-scoring record in the Premier League and Agnew has struggled to turn that around.

The north east club is without a win in seven games in the league and is six points from safety.

Remaining fixtures: Bournemouth (a), Sunderland (h), Manchester City (h), Chelsea (a), Southampton (h), Liverpool (a).

20th Sunderland 21 points

If Boro's fate is ominous, Sunderland's appears doomed. Nine points from safety with six games to play means David Moyes is likely to need to win each of the club's remaining games this season.

But that list includes matches against four of its nearest rivals—Middlesbrough, Bournemouth, Hull City and Swansea—before travelling to the Emirates Stadium and Stamford Bridge for the last two games of the season.

Sunderland has one win in 17 games in all competitions. It would be the greatest of escapes if Premier League football is still played at the Riverside come August.

Remaining fixtures: Middlesbrough (a), Bournemouth (h), Hull City (a), Swansea City (h), Arsenal (a), Chelsea (a).

Premier League Relegation Run-In: The Fight For Survival Intensifies | Sports