Irons in second toughest place say OPTA


By Simon Leyland

Well here we are, sitting a whole two points clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone after our 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Saturday.

Next up is the second straight London derby, heading to the Spuds before ending the month at home to 14th place Nottingham Forest.

Despite that tough run, in their next four league games West Ham ( according to our friendly anoraks at Opta) have only the second-hardest schedule compared to sides currently in the bottom five.

Leeds have the easiest four-match run to come, with their next two games coming against bottom three sides.

Poor old Bournemouth, sat in 19th, have the toughest run, with their next four opponents including Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Here is a look at the current bottom five’s next four fixtures and how they compare to the rest of the sides currently fighting to beat the drop, with Crystal Palace, Leicester City, Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers only narrowly ahead of the current bottom five.

16th West Ham United (P21 20pts)

19/02 Tottenham Hotspur (A) – 5th
25/02 Nottingham Forest (H) – 14th
04/03 Brighton and Hove Albion (A) – 6th
11/03 Aston Villa (H) – 11th

Average position of next four opponents : 9 (second hardest)

17th Leeds United (P22 19pts)

18/02 Everton (A) – 18th
25/02 Southampton (H) – 20th
04/03 Chelsea (A) – 10th
11/03 Aston Villa (H) – 11th

Average position of next four opponents : 14.75 (easiest)

18th Everton (P22 18pts)

18/02 Leeds United (H) – 17th
25/02 Aston Villa (H) – 11th
01/03 Arsenal (A) – 1st
05/03 Nottingham Forest (A) – 14th

Average position of next four opponents : 10.75 (joint-second easiest)

19th AFC Bournemouth (P22 18pts)

18/02 Wolverhampton Wanderers (A) – 15th
25/02 Manchester City (H) – 2nd
04/03 Arsenal (A) – 1st
11/03 Liverpool (H) – 9th

Average position of next four opponents : 6.75 (hardest)

20th Southampton (P22 15pts)

18/02 Chelsea (A) – 10th
25/02 Leeds United (A) – 17th
04/03 Leicester City (H) – 13th
11/03 Manchester United (A) – 3rd

Average position of next four opponents : 10.75 (joint-second easiest)

Hopefully, assuming no more injuries, we could pinch at least six points from those games and ease the pressure a bit.

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