A serious question. Is there anything better in the Premier League than the battle to avoid relegation? Just this past weekend, we saw two spectacular games featuring Blackpool against Bolton and Wigan against West Ham. Fans of other leagues would scoff at those teams, saying that they’d be boring matches with kick and rush long ball tactics. But we know the truth and that is that quite often they’re more open and entertaining matches than at the top of the table.
And now, this Sunday, the Premier League will feature an incredible end to the season with five teams fighting to avoid relegation.
When was the last time there were so many teams competing to avoid relegation on the last day of the Premier League season? The answer is the final day of the 1994 season when there were seven teams battling on the final day of the season to avoid the drop. However there have never been so many teams in the Premier League separated by the fewest points (one) battling to avoid relegation on the final day of the season.
This Sunday, these are how the final match-ups involving the teams trying to avoid relegation will play out:
- Wolves vs Blackburn,
- Tottenham vs Birmingham,
- Manchester United vs Blackpool,
- Stoke City vs Wigan Athletic.
One goal at any point in any of the above games can have huge implications on whether any of the five clubs will avoid relegation or not.
Even the goal difference is tight. Only eight goals separate the worst goal difference of the five clubs (Wigan at -22) from the best goal difference of the five (Blackburn with -14). We already know that West Ham is relegated, but if the final day ends up with teams being stuck on the same number of points to determine who gets relegated, it goes down to goal difference. If the goal difference is then the same, then it goes down to the number of goals scored (with the team scoring the most designated as the winner). If the number of points are the same, and the goal difference is equal and the number of goals scored is the same, the final tiebreaker comes down to a tiebreaker game between the two sides at a neutral venue. This has never happened before in the Premier League. But it is conceivable this could happen after Sunday’s results.
Out of the five clubs vying to avoid relegation, which two do you think are going down with West Ham United? Share your opinion in the comments section below.