The business end of the 2020-21 Premier League season has arrived, and we have the first casualty of the campaign. Sheffield United became the first team to be relegated, following what has been a disastrous campaign for the Blades.
Following a run of 17 games without a win to start the season, Sheffield United eventually sparked hopes of a revival earlier this year, grabbing three victories in five games. One of those results came with a 1-2 triumph away at Manchester United, although, when the awful form returned, manager Chris Wilder was eventually sacked in March.
By the time Paul Heckingbottom became interim head coach, it was already realistically too late and the points difference too great. On 17 March, with a 1-0 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers, we watched Sheffield descend from the Premier League. Now fans of other struggling teams will be waiting anxiously, especially when we see how the EPL relegation odds are looking.
Defeat at Molineux brings our Premier League journey to an end. pic.twitter.com/9PAgBxWcrt
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) April 17, 2021
Now the relegation of Sheffield United has already been confirmed with six games to spare, several teams are in the mix to follow the same fate. Traditionally, teams and their managers usually look towards 40 points or more, as the benchmark number for survival in the Premier League.
Despite enjoying back-to-back wins against Chelsea and Southampton recently, it could be too little too late for West Bromwich Albion. They are in the most precarious position of anyone still battling to avoid relegation, although that could also be serving as an inspiration, with recent form suggesting they could yet mount a remarkable great escape.
Tipped as the next team to go down with betting exchanges, the Baggies need a minor miracle if they are to survive. At the time of writing, and with 21 points to play for, West Brom are still 9 points off the pace. Teetering on the precipice of relegation to the Championship, nothing less than wins can save the team now, if they are to pressure other relegation candidates.
Fulham returned to the Premier League filled with ambition, aiming to maintain their top-flight status and consolidate. The Cottagers appeared to be doing just enough earlier in the campaign, while a hard-fought away win at Anfield against Liverpool boosted hopes. Frustratingly for the fans, however, they haven’t capitalized on that result.
Since the victory against Liverpool in March, the struggling form has returned for Fulham. They immediately went on a four-match losing streak, before being held away at the Emirates against Arsenal. On the one hand, a solid point to help stop the rot, although, given the precarious position in the relegation zone, they need to be taking points in threes.
Crystal Palace, Southampton, and Newcastle United now look fairly safe, closest to reaching that mystical 40-point mark and safety. Brighton and Burnley are both still struggling, just outside the bottom three. A victory or two more for either would almost certainly mean survival, although right now, winning is the most precious Premier league commodity.