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The final games – relegation battle analysed

Stoke City will be relegated at the weekend – bar a mathematical miracle – if they lose at Anfeld.

Stuck on 29 points with two games left and a goal difference of -33 against the Irons -21 that will be enough to do for Paul Lambert’s team with games against Palace (h) and Swansea (a) left to play.

Saints meet local South coast rivals Bournemouth in what is always a hard fought encounter needing seven points to overhaul the Hammers from games against Everton (a), Swansea (a) and Manchester City (h).

However, they have a one goal better goal difference than us and with our tough programme of games against City (h), Leicester (a), Man U (h) and Everton (h) to come that can’t be overlooked.

However, two wins for the Saints in a season which has seen them manage just five is a big call in real terms and they would surely meed to beat Everton and Swansea in real terms.

Swansea – on 33 points – will have a big say in the outcome of this relegation battle with games left against Chelsea (h). Bournemouth (a), Saints (h) and Stoke (h).

Finally Huddersfield – 35 points from 34 games – meet Everton (h), Man City (a), Chelsea (a) and  Arsenal at home in what will be Arsene Wenger’s emotional farewell to the Gunners.

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

11 comments on “The final games – relegation battle analysed

  1. I am will not rest easy until we have at least 1 more win to be sure. It should have been Stoke, but now it’s going to be a nervous time.
    Southampton are the danger, because although they are pretty hopeless, they have in Hughes a fighter who won’t give in. If they win against Swansea and Everton, it is still possible those 6 points can edge them in front of us, on goal difference. Anything can still happen, whether it is unlikely or not.
    A nice typically West Ham win to surprise everyone against Man City is required. With Lanzini starting just behind Arnie, we should have enough ( whether it includes Fernandes or Mario ) to get a couple of wins. The sooner the better, so we can get a couple of youngsters in for game time.

    • Agree with you Sleeps although one point may be enough if results go our way, hopefully Stoke will lose and that will be one less to worry about, against city we really have to keep the score down, if we are hard to beat the rest of the season we will probably stay up.

  2. Actually southampton need six points to overhaul us not seven as they have a better GD.
    I can see us getting something at leicester as they struggled at home against a poor southampton.

  3. I don’t think it’s that straightforward. I believe the Saints will win at home over Bournemouth and we will lose to Manchester City. That will make the gap a very uncomfortable three points with Southampton having the better GD. And then the pressure can hit us while the momentum could elevate them. The more I think about it, the more concerned I get.

  4. Nice post – in a way this season reminds me of Zola’s last season where we survived with about 35 points on the last day – thanks to an equalizer in another match (I think against Hull)

    While many have pointed to the lack of positivity against Stoke it seems that Chicorito’s injury time goal should have stood – the Leicester game will be the key one – I wonder why they are now something of a bogey team for us yet I remember in the 90’s we always seemed to beat them

    I will be happy if we park the bus against Man City and then bring on AC to terrorise their defence with route one stuff – we will cetainly not manage to pass them off the park – Spurs tried and failed

  5. We should survive but will finish 4th or 5th from bottom. If we manage another win anywhere it will probably be the Leicester game as they aint got much to play for, but I reckon we will finish on 37\38 points which most years is not enough. So going down before on 40 odd points things would have evened out as we will have dodged one this season. Just praying that BFS don’t come back to haunt us and send us down on the last day of the season.

  6. I think the last time we went down it was with 35?

  7. Agree with most peoples analysis of Stoke here but the game for Saints against Bournemouth i can see ending in a draw. Its a big south coast derby which neither like to lose. Saints will do their usual high pressing game and probably go in front but Bournemouth being the comeback kings should be able to level it out. It’ll help us tremendously as i can’t see us getting anything from City or United.

    Should pick up points from Liecester and Everton though just to make sure we are safe. I’m just not looking forward to the way Moyes sets the team out. Against City and United, we have nothing to lose so go and attack them as we started out against Arsenal and for 81 minutes did a very good job of keeping them quiet. Start Arnie and Chicho together with Lanzini behind. That front 3 should be the team we build around next season and i think we would actually get somewhere. But as i said already, i fear Moyes is not the manager to even think about that…

  8. Well Doc there is what is left of our goal difference to lose!! We could go & attack City but we are not Liverpool. What do I suggest. My strategy for City would revolve around bribery & corruption. You agree not score more than one & our players will not break the bones of any of your superstars. Might work…For Man U my strategy would be based on the assumption that by then they need one point to be sure of CL next season. Jose would settle for that. We pass the ball to each other for 90m. Result!

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