How the Premier League table will look after these next three rounds of matches
In 15 days times the Premier League table could have a very different look at the bottom.
Three rounds of PL matches to be played for Newcastle including Chelsea away on Saturday 12 January, after Watford away and Man Utd at home.
We all knew it was a tough schedule coming up for Rafa and his players, a 4-0 hammering and feeble display at Anfield was hardly the best way to kick it off.
The next seven games now see Newcastle face four of the ‘big six’, along with aways at Watford and Wolves, plus a home game against Cardiff.
However, I wanted to concentrate on hos much could change in just these next three matches.
This is how the Premier League table currently looks and then I will outline the fixtures for the bottom seven and how I can see them turning out:
With 22 points already, I think Brighton in 13th are in no danger of getting dragged into any relegation battle, nor are any of those above that line.
This leaves us with seven relegation contenders and here I want to examine the likely results over the course of the next three round of PL games…
Chelsea (H), Wolves (A), Watford (H)
After spectacular goals and desperate defending beat Man City, typical that Cardiff somehow took a point in a goalless draw at Selhurst Park as it was Palace’s turn to dominate but be frustrated.
I have never really seen Palace as serious relegation candidates as they have spent money and have got match winners who will turn up at times, beating Leicester and Man City in consecutive games boosted them up the table.
Verdict: I see them at least beating either Watford or Wolves – Three points.
Watford (A), Man Utd (H), Chelsea (A)
With goal threat so feeble and getting worse in recent games, only Huddersfield have scored less than Newcastle.
Rafa’s players actually played pretty well against these three clubs earlier this season and arguably deserved something from Man Utd and Chelsea, whilst riding their luck for the win against Watford.
Verdict: Watford will score at least twice and just can’t see Newcastle getting more than one, if that, whilst next to no chance in the other two matches – Zero points.
Man City (H), Chelsea (A), Leicester (A)
The new manager has got them playing and scoring goals, six altogether in the wins over Arsenal and Huddersfield.
It looked ominous when the Saints took the lead last night but West Ham did the other relegation candidates a big favour, coming back to win 2-1.
A bit like Palace, I think Southampton have a better team than they had previously shown, but would be a bonus if they are kept down amongst the strugglers.
Verdict: Southampton have tough fixtures these next two weeks but could still pick up points, with the game at Leicester most likely, hopefully only a draw – One point.
Leicester (A), Spurs (H), Huddersfield (H)
The Welsh club are making a far better fight of it than most imagined, a run of four home wins being key to that, before Man Utd ended that recently.
The fortunate draw at Palace was only the second point on their travels, so can’t see them getting anything at Leicester, whilst Spurs will be too good.
Verdict: You have to fancy them to go all out and get the win against Huddersfield – Three points.
West Ham (H), Huddersfield (A), Fulham (H)
Burnley have already conceded more goals (41) in 19 games than they did last season (39) in 38 matches.
A 1-0 win over Brighton and narrow 1-0 defeat away at Tottenham, suggested Sean Dyche was getting that back on track. However, eight conceded in total to Arsenal and Everton has brought them back down to earth.
Verdict: I can see them maybe getting back on track defensively and grinding out draws in these next two matches then a massive match at home to Fulham, where they could edge it against the only club with a worse defence this season – Five points.
Huddersfield (H), Arsenal (A), Burnley (A)
Fulham could have won it late on at Newcastle and then led at home to Wolves until conceding with five minutes to go.
Ranieri has gone for a more defensive approach and it has paid off up to a point, however, to get out of trouble they will have to start and score again at the other end.
Verdict: Huddersfield at home is a must win and then a bonus if they get anything else – Three points
Fulham (A), Burnley (H), Cardiff (A)
Surely this is the last chance saloon for David Wagner and his team.
Playing three of the other guaranteed relegation contenders, they have to pick up points now, to have any chance.
Since a shock 2-0 win at Wolves they have lost all six matches and these three games will be massive scraps for points.
Verdict: A low scoring draw at home to Burnley might be their only small positive – One point
If results turned out as outlined above, then this is how the bottom seven would look after the next three rounds of matches:
22 Crystal Palace
17 Newcastle United
However, if Southampton did build on recent results and performances, then Newcastle not being bottom three could all depend on not conceding too many in these upcoming three matches.
It would be a massive bonus as well, if as many of these games as possible where relegation contenders are playing each other, ended up as draws, with a point going missing.
All in all, in this near future, everything points to that Newcastle v Cardiff game on Saturday 19 January as being a vital game for Rafa’s team to win.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]