Everton, Leeds and Burnley: How the Premier League’s relegation scrap looks heading into the final w
Dropping a pair of points away at West Ham on Sunday afternoon as they had to settle for a 2-2 draw, Manchester City still find themselves firmly battling it out with Liverpool in this season’s title chase.
However, while the likes of north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham might also be in a two-horse race to clinch a Champions League return ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, there remains a huge amount of interest at the foot of the table.
While it might have already been confirmed that both Norwich and Watford will be making an immediate Championship return, there still remains a real three-team battle to avoid that final relegation spot.
With what promises to be a hectic final week in the Premier League schedule, we have taken a look at the three contenders in this season’s charge for survival.
While Everton might have enjoyed a much-needed boost when opening May, there is no doubt that the Toffees have come crashing back down to earth after a week to forget at Goodison Park.
Missing out on what they would have billed as a golden chance after having to settle for a 0-0 stalemate away at Watford last week, Frank Lampard would have been left worried by a real collapse on Sunday.
Throwing away the lead twice on home soil and eventually getting hit with a 3-2 defeat against Brentford, the one-time Chelsea boss finds himself under huge pressure on Merseyside.
With their long-standing Premier League status now firmly hanging in the balance, Everton find themselves holding just a two-point buffer from slipping into the bottom-three.
With all eyes now firmly set on Goodison Park heading into the final week, Lampard’s side haven’t been helped by the fact that both Salomón Rondón and Jarrad Branthwaite were shown straight red cards against Brentford over the weekend.
Likewise, along with the returning Dominic Calvert-Lewin appearing to pick up another muscle injury on Sunday, the Blues have a tough task as they face back-to-back meetings against Crystal Palace and Arsenal.
Although Leeds might have found an immediate boost after they brought new boss Jesse Marsch to Elland Road back in March, the Whites now find themselves tipped as the leading pick to lose their Premier League status on the final weekend.
However, while the one-time RB Leipzig boss might have seen his side snatch a last-gasp
point at home against Brighton on Sunday thanks to Pascal Struijk’s injury-time equaliser, they hold just a one-point buffer over the drop zone.
Playing a game more than both Everton and Burnley, Leeds have largely failed to bounce back from their dreadful start to the 2021/22 campaign under former iconic coach Marcelo Bielsa.
Impressing many across the Premier League last season as they finally ended their 16-year stay outside of England’s top-flight, the Yorkshire strugglers have now managed to must just a pair of points from their last five contests.
Dealing with a string of injury issues this year and not helped by both Luke Ayling and Daniel James picking up their own red cards over the past week, Marsch’s squad also face a tough must-win showdown next weekend.
Watching Brentford mount that eye-catching comeback away at Goodison Park on Sunday, Leeds will make the trip to the high-flying Bees for their final matchup.
After putting in a rugged display away at Champions League contenders Tottenham over the weekend, there is no doubt that Burnley would have been disappointed by their controversial 1-0 defeat in north London.
However, after shockingly parting ways with former long-term boss Sean Dyche last month, the Clarets once again find themselves sat in the bottom-three and facing an uphill struggle.
Despite finding an immediate boost under interim manager Mike Jackson after mustering 10 points from their four consecutive Premier League matchups last month, Burnley enter the
final week needing another April bounce.
Suffering back-to-back losses at the hands of Aston Villa and Spurs, the Lancashire-based outfit should at least be boosted by the fact that they still hold a game in hand over a Leeds side who boast just a one-point buffer.
Nevertheless, while Burnley might be next seen at Villa Park in midweek before a final day showdown against Newcastle at Turf Moor, they are dealing with an injury nightmare.
Still unable to call upon skipper and defensive star Ben Mee, Jackson’s temporary squad have also taken a real hit as the likes of James Tarkowski, Ashley Westwood, Jay Rodriguez and Matek Vydra have all picked up costly injuries over recent weeks.
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