By Simon Leyland
As we hit the final few months of this campaign, only four points separate nine clubs at the bottom of the table.
So over the next few days we will be looking at each of them up to 12th place and giving an end of season points prediction.
So let’s have a look at the first two and their chances of survival.
Well, I know we have had a bad season but I am glad I am not a Saints supporter, currently languishing at the bottom of the pile, and they also have history against them.
Just three of the 31 clubs to be bottom of the league on Christmas Day have avoided relegation that season – Leicester City in 2014-15, Sunderland in 2013-14 and West Brom in 2004-05.
After removing Nathan Jones as manager, Southampton have found some positive stability in Ruben Selles. But is it too little too late?
Selles has masterminded victories over Chelsea and Leicester as well as impressive draws at Manchester United and at home to Tottenham – coming from two goals down to avoid defeat in that one
But Saints’ upcoming fixtures do not look overly favourable, with contests against the Premier League’s top two on the horizon, as well as trips to the Irons and Newcastle.
Goal difference: -23
West Ham away
Man City home
Crystal Palace home
Despite rescuing a point late on against the Spuds, our anoraks and their big shiny supercomputer has the Saints chance of being relegated still increasing 9% to 78.1%.
They calculate that the Saints will pick up a further 10 points leaving them with a final total of 33 points a goal difference of – 29 and leaving them bottom of the table.
The bookies also agree, making them 2/5 favourites for the chop.
CandH final points prediction: 31
Next up for analysis are Bournemouth.
Bournemouth’s miserable recent away form continues to prove their Achilles heel in the quest for survival. A 3-0 mauling by Aston Villa was their eighth loss in their last nine away games in the Premier League, during which they also failed to score in six of them. All of that adds up to their chances of playing Championship football next season ticking over 50%.
Goal difference: -29
West Ham home
Man Utd home
The anoraks conclude that they will gain another 11 points and end up with 25 points with a goal difference of – 36. Which will leave them in 18th place and a return visit to the Championship. The Bookies also agree giving them a price of 4/7 to go down.
CandH points prediction 33
We will be looking at the remainder over the next few days.