With the bottom 3 all on equal points and up to 10 teams still potentially facing the drop, the Premier League relegation battle has well and truly begun. I am going to take a look at the bottom 6, and see how realistic their chances of survival, really are.
Swansea City – 15th
Last season, Swansea flourished under new boss Michael Laudrup and finishing the season in a very respectable 9th place, with a league cup trophy to their name and the prospect of a European competition. However this year, The Swans have never really got going as they find themselves a lot lower down the ranks than expected. New signing Wilfried Bony has struggled up until recent and star man Michu was side-lined for the majority of the first half of the season. But with Michu soon to return and Bony in good form, I think it is unlikely that they will be playing Championship football next season.
Crystal Palace – 16th
Since Palace gained promotion to the Premier League, they were always likely to be one of the teams in and around the relegation battle and have lived up to that expectation. However, the appointment of Tony Pulis is a fantastic one. He is a manager that has never been relegated and will not want to start now. His experience is pivotal to a Crystal Palace side have looked much improved in recent games. They produced a fantastic performance away at Manchester City and even though they suffered a defeat, the way they played showed a real desire to do well under Pulis and would have given fans hope, that not all is doom and gloom at Selhurst Park.
Fulham – 17th
Despite not being sat in the relegation zone, Fulham have looked poor for the vast majority of the season. They have suffered big defeats to the likes of Hull and Sunderland, which could prove costly in the later stages of the season. However new manager Rene Meulensteen can now draw on his experiences from his time at Manchester United, and use this in order to keep The Cottagers alive. It is also important for star man Dimitar Berbatov to hit top form between now and the end of the season, as his goals may prove vital to Fulham’s survival.
West Ham United – 18th
It is fair to say, West Ham have not been the luckiest of teams in the premier league this season. With injuries left, right and centre, (including that of Andy Carroll), Sam Allardyce has struggled to keep fans happy. Only goal difference keeps them out of the bottom three and they now face the harsh reality of losing young star Ravel Morrison to Premier League rivals Fulham. After huge defeats in the cup to Nottingham Forest and Manchester City, many fans were calling for the head of Allardyce. Despite this, chairman David Gold still thinks he has the right man for the job and has given Allardyce the chance to prove him correct.
Sunderland – 19th
After Paulo Di Canio successfully steered them to survival last season, Sunderland fans were optimistic going into the new season. However more than half way through the current campaign, they find themselves second bottom with just 4 wins to their name. But since the sacking of Di Canio and appointment of former Brighton manager Gus Poyet, they have looked a much improved side. Having only lost once in their last 7, The Black Cats are looking like a side with passion and fight, and despite their current position, it is hard to see them going down.
Cardiff City – 20th
After the controversial sacking of Malky Mackay, Cardiff City fans were perhaps fearing the worst as owner Vincent Tan appeared to be slowly ruining a once great football club. They are now rock bottom and the recent appointment of premier league legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, seems to be a risky one. The Norwegian has no experience of managing in English football and despite being successful in Norway, many do not see him as the suitable successor to Mackay. Solskjaer will need to silence his critics and prove to Bluebirds fans, that he has what it takes to keep Cardiff up.