Relegation race: The fixtures that matter in the Premier League

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The bottom half of the Premier League table is a 10-team relegation scrap.

[ MORE: Palace, Newcastle draw ]

That could feel more like nine should Watford upset Chelsea at Vicarage Road on Monday, but we’ll play the odds and keep the Hornets very much in play.

Forget the places assigned to the names, this is a better idea of where the clubs stand with a dozen or fewer matches to play:

27 points — Watford, West Ham, Brighton, Crystal Palace
26 points — Southampton
25 points — Newcastle
24 points — Swansea, Stoke, Huddersfield Town
20 points — West Brom

Watford (13 fixtures left)

Home: Chelsea, Everton, West Brom, Bournemouth, Burnley, Palace, Newcastle
Away: West Ham, Arsenal, Liverpool, Huddersfield, Spurs, Man Utd

The key: Four scrappers head to Vicarage Road. The Hornets should be fine if they avoid losing those. Including the 13th match against Chelsea, Watford is one of the bunch to face five of the Top Six.

West Ham United

Home: Watford, Burnley, Man Utd, Southampton, Stoke, Man City, Everton
Away: Liverpool, Swans, Chelsea, Arsenal, Leicester

The key: The Irons play three-straight home matches in March, with Burnley, Man Utd, and Southampton dancing into the London Stadium. Those three represent 60 percent of their remaining home dates. In total, the Hammers face five of the Top Six.

Brighton and Hove Albion

Home: Swans, Arsenal, Leicester, Huddersfield, Spurs, Burnley, Man Utd
Away: Stoke, Everton, Man City, Palace, Liverpool

The key: Be safe before the final four fixtures, which include Spurs, Man Utd, and Liverpool sides sure to still be concerned about table standing. Also face five of the Top Six.

Crystal Palace

Home: Spurs, Man Utd, Liverpool, Brighton, Leicester, West Brom
Away: Everton, Chelsea, Huddersfield Town, Bournemouth, Watford, Stoke

The key: Get to April alive — The Eagles will face Spurs, Man Utd, Chelsea, and Liverpool amongst their next six fixtures. It’s much easier the rest of the way.

Southampton

Home: Liverpool, Stoke City, Chelsea, Bournemouth, Man City
Away: Burnley, Newcastle, Swansea City, West Ham, Arsenal, Leicester, Everton

The key: Saints have a three-match March road swing through fellow relegation battlers Newcastle, Swans, and West Ham. A little bit fortunate that Saints’ home finale versus Man City will feature probably pre-occupied City already having clinched the league.

Newcastle United

Home: Man Utd, Southampton, Huddersfield, Arsenal, West Brom, Chelsea
Away: Bournemouth, Liverpool, Spurs, Leicester, Everton, Watford

The key: Be safe before the finale versus Chelsea. March home dates with Saints and Huddersfield will be huge in the noisy north. Five of the Top Six remaining on the schedule.

Swansea City

Home: Burnley, West Ham, Southampton, Everton, Chelsea, Stoke
Away: Brighton, Huddersfield, Man Utd, West Brom, Man City, Bournemouth

The key: It’s very much in Swans’ hands, facing six of the current bottom half and only three of the Top Six. At least four points in their next two — Burnley and Brighton — feel as important as anything, and the final match versus Stoke City could be colossal.

Stoke City

Home: Brighton, Man City, Everton, Spurs, Burnley, Palace
Away: Leicester, Southampton, Arsenal, West Ham, Liverpool, Swans

The key: How massive might that finale at Swansea be to both team’s fortunes? The list looks manageable for the team with the most goals conceded in the Premier League (by six).

Huddersfield Town

Home: Bournemouth, Swansea, Palace, Watford, Everton, Arsenal
Away: West Brom, Spurs, Newcastle, Brighton, Chelsea, Man City

The key: Three of Town’s last four come versus Chelsea, Man City, and Arsenal. Even with City likely to have the title sewn up, that’s no cakewalk. Plus the fourth match is Everton. So gets points quick, especially with Bournemouth and West Brom next on the league docket.

West Bromwich Albion

Home: Huddersfield Town, Leicester, Burnley, Swans, Liverpool, Spurs
Away: Chelsea, Watford, Bournemouth, Man Utd, Newcastle, Palace

The key: Wins, not draws; The Baggies have more ground to make up than any other team. The points are certainly there for them.