It’s ‘Survival Sunday’ in the Premier League… Villa are in the driving seat after Watford plunged beneath them while Bournemouth are left relying on favours (and West Ham can relax if they get a point at Old Trafford)
- The Premier League relegation battle will go down to the final day on Sunday
- Norwich are already down but two more teams will drop into the Championship
- West Ham need just one more point from their two remaining games to be safe
- Aston Villa’s win over Arsenal has put them in a much better position
- Watford dropped into the bottom three on Tuesday and now require favours
- Bournemouth need to win on Sunday and hope two results go their way
It’s going to be a Sunday afternoon of nerve-shredding tension with every twist and turn spelling doom for someone and blessed relief for someone else.
The Premier League relegation battle will go right down to the wire this weekend with two clubs set to fall through the trap door and into the Championship along with Norwich.
And in these difficult times it isn’t merely a matter of top-flight prestige at stake but the heavy financial toll that will come from dropping out of those elite 20 clubs.
Norwich’s relegation is already confirmed but for everyone associated with Bournemouth, Watford, Aston Villa and West Ham, ‘Survival Sunday’ promises to be a rollercoaster of emotions.
Sportsmail takes a look at each of the clubs and what they need to do to stay up.
Aston Villa’s win over Arsenal has changed the complexion of the relegation battle
How the relegation battle looks ahead of the final and decisive round of games on Sunday
How can West Ham stay up?
Back-to-back wins over Norwich and Watford means that West Ham and almost there and if they get a point or all three against Manchester United on Wednesday night they can relax entering the final day.
They are currently three points clear of 18th but have that – albeit tough – game in hand and also a significantly superior goal difference to those beneath them.
So the Hammers need just one point from their remaining two matches – United away on Wednesday and Sunday’s home fixture against Aston Villa – to make absolutely sure.
West Ham need just one point from their remaining two games to make sure of their survival
A delighted David Moyes and captain Mark Noble after West Ham’s crucial win over Watford
Aston Villa 9/4
West Ham 750/1
Best odds shown from Oddschecker
How can Aston Villa stay up?
Villa completely changed the complexion of the relegation battle on Tuesday night with their 1-0 win over Arsenal lifting them out of the bottom three for the first time in 144 days.
It helped that earlier in the evening, relegation rivals Watford were thrashed 4-0 by Manchester City, dropping below them into 18th and seeing their goal difference become worse than Villa’s into the bargain.
Villa are at West Ham on Sunday afternoon and will guarantee their survival by matching Watford’s result in their game with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
If Villa beat West Ham and Watford lose to Arsenal, then Villa will be fine. If both teams draw, Villa have the edge on goal difference by just one goal.
If both Villa and Watford lose on Sunday, the only way Villa will be relegated is if Bournemouth win their match at Everton.
Trezeguet celebrates his winning goal for Aston Villa against Arsenal on Tuesday night
How can Watford stay up?
It’s been a turbulent few days at Watford with their decision to sack manager Nigel Pearson followed by that 4-0 hammering at the hands of City that now sees them in the bottom three.
It means that the Hornets will need to get something from their visit to Arsenal on Sunday if they’re to preserve their Premier League status.
If Villa beat West Ham, Watford will need to better their result by two or more goals to overcome that goal difference and stay up.
If Villa draw at West Ham, a Watford win would see them safe. If Villa lose to West Ham, Watford only need a point to remain in the top-flight.
Perhaps the one saving grace for Watford is that Arsenal have nothing but pride to play for on Sunday and Mikel Arteta may rest some of his key players ahead of the FA Cup final the following weekend.
Watford captain Troy Deeney looks dejected as they are thrashed 4-0 by Manchester City
The four goals conceded to City means Watford’s goal difference is now worse than Villa’s
How can Bournemouth stay up?
The Cherries have really struggled since the Premier League’s resumption and now they sit three points adrift of safety ahead of Sunday’s games.
But they’re not mathematically down yet ahead of their trip to Goodison Park to play Everton.
However, Bournemouth will need to win that match and hope that both Watford and Villa lose their matches in order to secure survival. Anything less for Bournemouth and it won’t be enough.
Again, Everton don’t have a great deal to play for which may help Bournemouth’s cause but they’ll only get their hopes up if news filters through that Villa and Watford have fallen behind in their games.
Bournemouth will have to win on Sunday and hope that both Villa and Watford suffer defeats
Eddie Howe’s side look doomed to relegation with matters out of their hands on the last day
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