The English Premier League may see one of the most relegation battles of all time. Nine teams are within five league points. The last three from the 20-team Premier League are relegated to the Championship Series.
A few won matches will raise the series ranking significantly, while a losing streak is fatal. The last one is the head coach of Southampton Ruben Selles said (you switch to another service) before Saturday’s Tottenham match, that the relegation teams will be decided by “point difference or even equal points”. Southampton are only two points away from West Ham, who are in last place in the relegation zone.
Also head coach of Wolverhamton Julen Lopetegui rate (you switch to another service) the possibility of relegation continues until the last match of the season.
Urheilu’s football expert Miika Nuutinen says that in previous years, the Premier League table has already looked quite clear at this stage of the season in terms of the possibility of relegation. Now, with ten matches left, the situation is different.
– It looks historically strict. Very rarely has a relegation battle been like this. It creates quite a lot of additional tension for these last rounds of matches and affects on many levels when, for example, the coaches change, Nuutinen estimates.
Like the head coaches of the teams, Nuutinen also believes that the fight for a place in the series will remain tight until the end.
– The teams are really even with each other and are sometimes able to take points from the teams above them. A good example was Bournemouth’s rather unlikely victory over Liverpool. It seems that the series rankings and power relations change week after week.
Leeds or Southampton remain in the league
Expert Nuutinen states at the outset that predicting the fallers is really difficult. However, he estimates that Bournemouth and Nottingham, who have been promoted to the English Premier League this season, will be relegated to the Championship Series.
– In light of the statistics and playing, it’s kind of a miracle that Bournemouth is even fighting for a place in the league. The team has conceded the most goals and received the fewest shots on the offensive end. I predict a difficult and long final season for Nottingham.
Nuutinen believes that Southampton and Leeds will fight for the last league place. For example, despite two head coach changes, Southampton has not managed to show that the team would definitely stay in the league.
A news site focused on data journalism FiveThirtyEight’s forecast (you will switch to another service) according to Southampton will be relegated from the series with a very high probability. The second worst rating goes to Nottingham in 14th place. According to the prediction, the third relegation is Everton, who are in 15th place in the league.
The prediction is based on the results of the remaining matches based on the overall strength of each team. Strength is predicted by giving teams an attack rating, which is calculated based on expected goals, and a defensive rating, which is calculated based on expected goals conceded.
Based on these expectations, FiveThirtyEight simulated the remaining games in the league 20,000 times. Based on the simulation, a prediction of the standings at the end of the season is calculated.
However, expert Nuutinen believes that the head coach Sean Dyche manages to save Everton. He started as the club’s head coach at the beginning of February.
– Everton have now taken three 1-0 wins, which is a very typical result for Dyche’s teams. He is exactly the kind of coach whose way of playing is simple and clear.
When the expert is forced to choose one “safe survivor”, Nuutinen chooses Wolverhampton.
– Under (Jule) Lopetegui, Wolves have looked more like a middle class team than a relegation team. He is a coach with a tough profile for a club of that level.
Changing coaches is a bad choice
When the league position starts to look uncertain, the pressure within the club management grows. That’s when the head coach is often fired.
– He is traditionally the easiest block to replace, unlike player material, which is limited by, for example, transfer windows. It is also fueled by that tight series situation. The going can be quite chaotic when you want to save the season.
A change made at the end of the season rarely leads to a very big change, and in light of the statistics, it is not the most effective way, says Nuutinen.
Crystal Palace, in 12th place in the series, gave on Friday (you switch to another service) sack to Patrick Vieira. The team played an excellent early season, but out of the last ten matches, there have been five draws and five losses.
On Friday evening, the British media Sky Sports reported that a long-term coach would be replacing him Roy Hodgson. The English pilot coached at the club in the 2017–21 seasons, during which the club collected its best point total (49) in the current Premier League.
Premier League Series Table 18.3.
Aston Villa – Bournemouth
Brentford – Leeds
Southampton – Tottenham
Wolverhampton – Leeds
At 7:30 p.m
Chelsea – Everton
Arsenal – Crystal Palace