Rotten relegation roadshow as Aston Villa battle to be the least worst
Dean Smith’s angle own managed only two points from their four games since the resumption, but they are not the only ones struggling at the bottom
Since the season’s restart, ’s relegation fears keep worsened.
’s angle keep managed only two points from their four games since the resumption, with Saturday’s home conquer by Wolverhampton Wanderers leaving Villa in 19th place.
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Of course, the scrap to lose relegation is far from over with Villa superiority on points with 18th-placed Bournemouth and West Ham United in 17th, and only one adrift of Watford.
While Liverpool clinched the Premier League title in catalogue time, it looks as notwithstanding matters at the ship of the table leave go repair down to the wire.
Here, we look at how the survival battle is shaping up as the 2019/20 season inches towards its conclusion.
The last two weeks posses served only to deepen the sense of discomfort at Villa Park.
Having mislaid four union games on the gambol abbot to football being stopped in March, they own drawn at home to Sheffield United and away to Newcastle United, and lost to Chelsea and Wolves.
The overwhelm by Wolves was particularly disappointing in that Villa managed only one shot on target.
And the run-in is far from kind for Smith’s side, with a trek to newly-crowned champions Liverpool to come on Sunday before hosting Manchester United four days later, while Arsenal are also peace to visit Villa Park.
Smith will hope to pluck up three points at home to Crystal Palace on July 12 while the expedition to companion strugglers West Ham on the last day of the season is apparently to be pivotal.
Villa already own five players on the sidelines - Bjorn Engels, Frederic Guilbert, Henri Lansbury, Tom Heaton and Wesley Moraes - so they can ill afford any supplementary injuries.
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Like Villa, Norwich front the scene of heading down to the Championship after only a single season back in the best flight.
The Canaries remain rooted to the foot of the table, six points adrift of Villa with a entertainment in hand, after losing both of their coalition games since the restart.
Daniel Farke’s men were moreover dumped out of the FA Cup by Manchester United on Saturday and while they can now spindle solely on the league, with trips to Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City to come, the outlook is bleak for last year’s Championship winners.
Like Villa, Bournemouth have been unable to strengthen their occasion successive the restart, losing at home to Crystal Palace and away to Wolves.
In fact, the Cherries hold only picked up one mark in their last six since beating Villa 2-1 at the Vitality Stadium at the ignite of February.
Manager Eddie Howe is already on inventory as itemizing the season finale is the most money duration of his juncture in proffer of Bournemouth, with the 42-year-old having maintained the club’s top-flight position since they were promoted in 2015.
And the south coast side, who consign be without wantaway Ryan Fraser during the run-in, guise a similarly daunting distance of games in their proffer to survive.
After hosting Newcastle on Wednesday, they have to travel to Manchester United before home clashes with Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City.
To set about matters worse, they leave then flow to Manchester City before hosting Southampton, with Everton at Goodison Park to come in their closing game.
Bournemouth own not absolute lower than 14th in each of their last three seasons, but staying out of the boat three consign manage an almighty effort.
David Moyes has a vast calling on his hands if he is to reproduce his accomplishment of guiding West Ham to safety in 2018.
The Scot, who mutual to the Hammers hotseat to replace Manuel Pellegrini in December, has cleft a despondent sign on the touchline during his side’s back-to-back 2-0 defeats by Wolves and Spurs.
It leaves the east Londoners hovering ominously over the decline region in 17th having played a pastime less than Villa.
Moyes’ men are lacking firepower, having managed only four shots on target in 180 minutes of football since the restart.
Arthur Masuaku, Robert Snodgrass and peak scorer Sebastien Haller are all injured, which doesn’t aegis their attacking woes, but they perform obtain a slightly further auspicious run-in.
While they retain Chelsea and Manchester United to come, Moyes will expect points inveigh Newcastle, Burnley, Norwich and Watford before facing relegation rivals Villa on the second day.
Watford brilliantly boosted their hopes of survival with a startle 3-0 win over Liverpool on the last day of February, but hardly has missing remedy for the Hornets since.
They absent 1-0 to Palace prior to lockdown but managed to salvation a atom rail Leicester on their come back with Craig Dawson’s 93rd-minute leveller at Vicarage Road.
That failed to spark Nigel Pearson’s men into life, however, as they followed that plot with defeats by Burnley and Southampton.
Last season’s FA Cup finalists posses Chelsea away up sequential and own Manchester City and Arsenal to come in their end two games, placing a greater emphasis on their fixtures with Norwich, Newcastle and West Ham.
Pearson is calm without Gerard Deulofeu, Daryl Janmaat and Isaac Success, but his further immediate concern bequeath be breathing novel life into Troy Deeney and Ismaila Sarr, neither of whom obtain scored or assisted since that win over Liverpool.
With Brighton & Hove Albion looking increasingly safe on 33 points, five ahead of Watford, Pearson cede likely spend the sequential few weeks looking nervously over his shoulder at West Ham, Bournemouth and Villa.