After 13 games so far the bottom three currently consists of Hull (11 points), Swansea (9) and Sunderland (8), with Middlesbrough, Palace and West Ham all only one point clear- but is that how the season will end?
For a few years now, Sunderland have been edging closer to relegation- last year finishing just shy in 17th place. This season, however, they’re looking as though it’s inevitable. David Moyes’ side have only managed to keep 1 clean sheet, suggesting room for improvement at the back, but up front their star player Jermain Defoe is the 4th top individual scorer in the league netting 7 goals. Having 2 wins in their last 3 games is a huge step up for the team and their next 2 fixtures against Leicester and Swansea will be great opportunities to exercise their recent turn of form.
Swansea appointed Bob Bradley as their new manger back on 3rd October but it took until this weekend for his first victory in their 9-goal thriller against Crystal Palace. Despite losing 8 of their 13 matches, the Swans are in the top half of the table when it comes to shots on target in 9th place with 58. This- however- carries little weight when they’ve only converted 16 of them. Nonetheless, the win this week and draw prior to that should be good confidence boosters as they play Sunderland and Middlesbrough in December.
Hull have conceded the most goals this season in the Premier League, reflected in the fact that half of their 8 losses have been by a deficit of 3 or more goals. Not only are they shakey at the back, but going forwards they’ve scored the least goals- netting only 11. Despite these poor stats showing that there’s a lot of work to be done in order to prevent a return to the Championship, the Tigers might be prioritising their -so far- successful EFL Cup run, having made it through to the semi-final for the first time in their history.
Currently Crystal Palace are only above the drop zone on goal difference, and considering they’ve lost their last 6 matches it’s looking as though rock bottom is firmly within their reach. After a three-match win streak in September, Alan Pardew’s side haven’t done much else of note and appear to have lost all momentum. Fans are now calling for the manager’s disposal before it’s too late, in hopes of retaining Premier League status.
It might be too early to tell, but so far the bottom of the table isn’t looking much like changing.