Six weeks is a long time and gives clubs a lot of ways to change, but in certain cases the time has only served to underline — time and again — the precarious positions of the Premier League’s strugglers.
Here’s the thing, though: Five is no longer enough. There are six teams within three points of the bottom three and three more close enough to see their reflections in the shallows.
We’ll give you our list at the end of this space, but let’s give you, good reader, some criteria to consider so you don’t think we’re just pickin’ on Gary O’Neil or something (What a bluegrass album title that would be).
So here are your candidates and some reasons to either hold fear or hope the rest of the way
Crystal Palace (27 points with 13 matches left)
Patrick Vieira should be petitioning the Premier League for the advent of 60-minute games for the rest of the season. Palace has allowed nine goals in the first 30 minutes of games, and seven in the next 30. The final 30 minutes sees Palace doubling their concessions to 16. And it’s even worse over the final 15, where Palace has scored just twice and allowed seven. Throw in the knowledge that Palace is being out-attempted 233-171 in open play, allowing 27 goals while scoring only 12, and the Eagles might want to be grateful there are so many teams underneath them on the table.
Wolves (27 points with 12 matches left)
As long as Ruben Neves is around, Wolves fans, you’re going to be fine. FotMob’s 25th-ranked player for the entire Premier League season is Ruben Neves and — like Declan Rice at West Ham — it is absolutely mind-melting to consider where Wolves would be without the 25-year-old. Neves has five times been named PL Man of the Match this season, a year in which he’s leading the league in completed long balls per game and (probably) devastating stares per 90 minutes.
Nottingham Forest (26 points with 13 matches left)
Forest has averaged three shots on target per match. Is that good? No, in fact it’s the worst in the league. And one of the reasons it sits so low is because the Tricky Trees haven’t had Taiwo Awoniyi since he scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Saints on Jan. 4. Awoniyi had underproduced to that point, scoring just four times, but he also leads Forest with six big chances missed, a figure that ranks him just outside the top 20 in the league (21st). It’s not a bad stat. It means you’re getting to danger, and some of the only names above him on the list are big ones: Harry Kane, Erling Haaland, Raheem Sterling. Awoniyi’s back on the grass and Forest must hope he can finish off the season feasting off the work of Morgan Gibbs-White and Brennan Johnson. Another fun fact: Awoniyi is 11th in the entire PL when it comes to non-penalty xG+xA per 90 minutes.
Leicester City (24 points with 13 matches left)
The Foxes are a moribund 3W-3D-6L so far in Premier League play at the King Power Stadium and it’s actually worse than that: Leicester’s 9.44 xG at home is not only the worst in the PL by 3+ xG but the Foxes’ 15 actual goals scored at home show a level of over-performance.
West Ham (23 points with 13 matches left)
The Irons have been super unlucky this season and their misfortune is a rare instance in which West Ham can take some hope from London rivals Chelsea. West Ham and Chelsea (and Everton) are the only three teams in the Premier League to boast a goals total that is 9 or more goals lower than their expected goals total. West Ham also has an expected points total of 35.25, more than 12 above their actual points total. Only Brighton and Southampton can claim an xPTS figure more than five above their actual points. Surely luck could turn their way?
Leeds (22 points with 13 matches left)
Imagine if Leeds could shoot. Jesse Marsch’s Javi Gracia’s team has won possession in the final third 693 times, more than any other team in the Premier League and trailing only one team on a per-game basis. The top-seven? You’re gonna think I’m messing with you.
If you didn’t laugh, you’d cry. But then again, they fired the guy who designed much of what determined the above.There’s more hope, though not to several American Leeds fans who did not like my praise of Tyler Adams this weekend: Adams and Pascal Struijk have been very, very good. Adams’ 88 tackles are second in the Premier League, and his 141 duels won have him eighth. And his 23 key passes trail only Jack Harrison and Brenden Aaronson amongst Leeds players despite Adams status deep in his own end. Now if only Rodrigo could get healthy…
Everton (22 points with 12 matches left)
Here’s some rare good news for Toffees fans. Everton produced 20.16 expected goals in its 20 Premier League games this season. Since Sean Dyche was hired on Jan. 30, Everton has produced 8.89 xG in six games. Yes, it’s only scored four and the club is still shipping goals, but when you consider the chance wasteland the club lived in under Frank Lampard and that Dyche is producing better despite having played Arsenal, Liverpool, Leeds, Villa, Arsenal again, and Forest, there’s reason for hope.
Southampton (21 points with 13 matches left)
James Ward-Prowse isn’t just a free kick specialist; Ward-Prowse’s 2.04 key passes — passes that set up a shot — is far and away the top number on Saints sheet. His 53 chances created this season trail only Kevin De Bruyne, Kieran Trippier, Bruno Fernandes, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, and Andreas Pereira. If Che Adams (and company) can simply manage to find average levels, which Adams has done in a nine-goal season in the past, then Saints can get out of the bottom three. Can.
Bournemouth (21 points with 13 matches left)
Welp, the good news is that Bournemouth’s nearly out of a brutal fixture list that had them facing Man City, Arsenal, and Liverpool in three-straight outings. There’s a little more good news in that the Cherries have the easiest strength of schedule remaining of any team in the Premier League.
Now, unfortunately, it appears we’ve run out of good news. Bournemouth has allowed 13 goals off corners. Bournemouth is 20th in expected goals, 19th in expected goals allowed, and 20th in actual goals allowed. Bournemouth has attempted just 151 shots from open play while allowing nearly 300 (292). The Cherries’ have scored just 11 first-half goals while allowing 26 in the same frame, and they’ve conceded the most penalties in the PL.
Premier League relegation worries, ranked — March 2023
8. West Ham
7. Crystal Palace
6. Nottingham Forest
5. Leicester City
Tied at 0-0 from the first leg of the final in San Nicolas on Thursday, the advantage is with red-hot Chivas as their stunning recent form saw them win their final four games of the Clausura regular season to finish third in the table before beating Atlas and Club America in the playoffs.
Victor Guzman and Alexis Vega are Chivas’ main attacking threats as they will keep it tight defensively and the energy of the home crowd at Akron Stadium should be a huge help as Chivas aim to win their first Clausura title since 2017, when they also beat Tigres in the final.
Tigres finished seventh in the Clausura standings and beat Toluca and Monterrey to reach the final. The duo of Sebastian Cordova and Andre-Pierre Gignac are their main hope of winning on the road in Guadalajara and lifting the trophy.
Below is everything you need for Chivas vs Tigres, one of whom will be crowned as the Clausura champions on Sunday.
Borussia Dortmund gave the Bundesliga title to heated rivals Bayern Munich on a shocking final day in the Bundesliga, a stunning collapse that left a ready-to-party Westfalenstadion in mourners’ status.
Bayern took an early lead through Kingsley Coman at Koln and Dortmund went down 2-0 in the first half versus Mainz, missing a penalty that would’ve tied the score at 1.
Dortmund entered the day with the table lead and dominated Mainz to the tune of 26-7 in shots and 3.64-0.62 in expected goals, but Andreas Hanche-Olsen and Karim Onisiwo’s goals were enough as only Giovanni Reyna’s set-up of Raphael Guerreiro got Dortmund on the board in a 2-1 loss.
Koln briefly gave hope with a penalty equalizer in the 80th minute versus Bayern, but Jamal Musiala’s 89th-minute goal put the defending champions back in front.
Dortmund would’ve won the league by matching or bettering Bayern’s result and but Instead hand an 11th-straight Meisterschale to the Bavarians. No one has won more German top-flight titles than Bayern’s 33.
BVB remains on eight Bundesliga titles and remains one behind Nurnberg, which has not won since 1968.
MAINZ TAKE LEAD AT DORTMUND 🇩🇪 If results hold, Bayern win 11th straight German title. Bundesliga scriptwriters trying to one-up Premier League counterparts.pic.twitter.com/dXn5Ruk5If
Luton Town overcame a blown lead in regulation to earn a place in the Premier League by outlasting Coventry City in penalties during Saturday’s playoff final at Wembley Stadium.
USMNT goalkeeper Ethan Horvath watched as Fankaty Dabo’s penalty sailed over the goal to give the Hatters a 6-5 win after 120 minutes ended 1-1 and neither team missed on 11-straight attempts from the spot.
In 2018 Luton and Coventry were both in the fourth-tier of English football. Now Luton is joining Sheffield United and Burnley in the top flight.
Jordan Clark scored Luton Town’s goal, while Gustavo Hamer leveled the line for Coventry City.
Coventry City vs Luton Town as it happened:
GOAL! Luton’s taken the first five shots of the match and now one’s found the back of the goal. It’s Jordan Clark who belts home in the 23rd minute to put the Hatters on top! Luton Town, 1-0
CHANCE! It’s Elijah Adebayo, who assisted the opener, who can’t quite get a very decent chance right, as Luton is looking to put an early vice grip on the final. Still 1-0, 30′.
Shots are up to 9-0 in favor of the Hatters but the total xG is still below 1.00. Coventry has to wake up, but maybe they’d take getting to halftime down one at this point.
The 11th shot of the game is Coventry’s, and it’s a high volley that slashed over the goal. Off-balance and improbable, but Coventry will be hopeful it’s a sign that they’re coming into the affair; Soon after, a rush is bungled but into the Luton third.
HALFTIME: Luton Town 1, Coventry City 0 — (Clark 23′)
SECOND HALF: Coventry has more of the ball and is building off its late first half, but Luton looks well-drilled into its system despite the concession of some set pieces.
Good news on a scary-looking injury for Luton star Tom Lockyer:
We are able to report that after collapsing on the pitch, Tom Lockyer has been taken to hospital for further tests.
He is responsive and talking to his family, who are with him.
GOAL! And the Sky Blues are level! It’s Brazilian-born Dutch youth international Gustavo Hamer who has it so with a solid finish, though the playmaking’s come from star performer Viktor Gyokeres. It’s all on now at Wembley! 1-1, 66′
A dangerous free kick in stoppage time for Luton after a very questionable foul, but fate makes sure this one doesn’t end with ignominy. Are we headed for penalties? Extra time is almost certain deep in stoppage.
xG is basically even after 90 minutes, as are shot attempts, and anything can happen when it comes to the 20th berth in the 2023-24 Premier League season.
END OF 90: Coventry City 1, Luton Town 1 — (Clark 23′, Hamer 66′)
INJURY! USMNT keeper Ethan Horvath is down for treatment 11 minutes into the first frame of extra time, which has otherwise been a scrappy period. Looks like he’s going to try to continue despite dropping to the pitch after a long goal kick.
END OF FIRST ET PERIOD: Coventry City 1, Luton Town 1 — (Clark 23′, Hamer 66′)
Not much happened there. Nerves? Can someone seize history in the next 15 or will we go to pens?
NO GOAL! Joe Taylor has it in the goal for Luton off a bad giveaway but VAR, not used in the regular season, spots a handball and the Hatters won’t win it here. We’re going to penalties.
END OF SECOND ET PERIOD: Coventry City 1, Luton Town 1 — (Clark 23′, Hamer 66′)
Horvath was a penalty hero for the USMNT in the CONCACAF Nations League against Mexico, while well-traveled Ben Wilson is between the sticks for Coventry. Here we go…
X Carlton Morris goal for Luton 1-0
X Matty Godden goal for Coventry 1-1
X Taylor goal for Luton 2-1
X Viktor Gyokeres goal for Coventry 2-2
X Marvelous Nakamba goal for Luton 3-2
X Ben Sheaf goal for Coventry 3-3
X Jordan Clark goal for Luton 4-3
X Josh Eccles goal for Coventry 4-4
X Luke Berry goal for Luton 5-4
X Liam Kelly goal for Coventry 5-5
X Daniel Potts goal for Luton 6-5
X Fankaty Dabo miss for Coventry 6-5
Coventry City vs Luton Town player ratings: Stars of the Show
The managers and star players
Luton Town boss Rob Edwards left rival club Watford in November and the risky maneuver has paid off for the coach and club. Viktor Gyokeres is the club’s 21-goal scoring hero and he’s chipped in 11 assists as well, and Gustavo Hamer has been sensational as well.
Coventry City manager Mark Robins has been with the club since 2017 and it’s been up-up-up. Carlton Morris leads the way with 20 goals, while Alfie Doughty and Tom Lockyer have been key players, too, with Lockyer scoring in three of the Hatters’ last four matches.
Championship playoff schedule, how to watch, updates
Dates: Final – Saturday, May 27 at 11:45am ET Updates: Via scoreboard on NBCSports.com How to watch: ESPN+
Can Manchester United’s new-look side keep its place in the top four? What about Newcastle? Is Tottenham going to turn things around to claim a place or will another new name, Brighton or Aston Villa, make their claim? Liverpool’s not out of this, either…
How will the new boys get on? Who will be the surprise package? Can Chelsea salvage any pride from the season? Who will stay up in the congested scrap against relegation?
Those questions will be answered from August 2022 to May 2023, with the full list of Premier League fixtures.
While below are the answers to all of the questions you have around the Premier League fixtures and everything else you need to know for the upcoming season, with full details on the Premier League TV schedule across the NBC family of channels and more.
The Premier League fixtures for the 2022-23 season were announced on Thursday June 16, 2022 at 4am ET. Below is the full schedule, as you can watch all 380 games across our NBC platforms.
The Premier League fixture computer decides who plays who and when, as teams located close to one another are usually playing at home on opposite weekends to help with policing, crowd control and transport congestion in those areas.
When did the Premier League take a break for the 2022 World Cup?
When will the 2022-23 Premier League season finish?
The final day of the season will be on Sunday, May 28, 2023.
Which teams will compete in the 2022-23 Premier League?
These are the 20 teams which will compete in the Premier League for the upcoming season:
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Leeds United, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers