West Ham Travel To Swansea In The Battle For Survival

The struggle for Premier League survival will resume today when West Ham visit Swansea

The competition to see who will come out on top in Premier League 2 is as fierce as ever. Ignoring the top six in the Premier League it is anybody’s guess as to how the remaining 14 teams will finish the season with just ten games to go.

The bottom 14 teams in the Premier League after 28 games

Points after 28 games Goal Diff. Pts in last 5 games Home games to play No. of top 6 teams to play Burnley LeicesterEverton Arsenal  To play

7.  Burnley


-3 3


8.  Leicester


-1 5


9.  Everton


-15 7


10. Watford


-9 7 5 4


11. Bournemouth


-10 8 5 3


12. Brighton


-11 8 5 5


13. West Ham


-15 5 6 4


14. Huddersfield


-23 6 5 4


15. Newcastle


-11 6 5 4


16. Southampton


-12 6 4 3


17. Crystal Palace


-18 2 5 3


18. Swansea

27 -20 10 5 3


19. Stoke City


-26 6 5 4


20. West Brom

20 -20 1 5 3


Of course there is no official competition to finish seventh, and who cares about finishing positions? Of course prize money is at stake, but with the vast amounts of money awash in the Premier League these days, the final position in the table is not especially relevant. Of most interest is the battle to avoid the drop, which has massive financial implications. I’m making an assumption that Burnley, Leicester and Everton probably have enough points not to be involved in the scrap, and that the bottom 11 teams from Watford down are still involved to a greater or lesser extent. In fact we have to play those three teams (who should be OK) still and that may be to our advantage as they may have switched off a little, as may Arsenal who are unlikely to move upwards or downwards in the table being isolated in sixth place.

Looking at the data above then West Brom and Stoke along with the three teams on 27 points have the most to do in terms of points needed. The bottom three at the moment have the worst goal difference together with Huddersfield and Palace, but looking at the form of the last five games then Swansea, Bournemouth and Brighton have achieved the most, with West Brom, Palace and ourselves at the bottom of the last five games form table.

All of the teams have 5 home and 5 away games to play with the exception of ourselves (6) and Southampton (4), which is a result of the switch at the very beginning of the season. Brighton have the most top 6 sides still to play (5), with all the other teams involved having 3 or 4. And finally looking at my identification of games to play against the four teams with the least to play for, then we still have to meet all four of them. Some might say though that is a disadvantage as the teams may be more relaxed and as such could give us a tougher game.

Whichever way you look at it, it is difficult to make a case for West Brom to survive. If they did it would be up there with the great escapes of the past, including our own in 2007. You can perm any two from five for the others to be playing Championship football next season, but looking at all of the factors my money would be on Stoke and Southampton to be the ones to join the Baggies. But it is so close, a lot can still happen, and this can easily change.

Our next three games at Swansea (today), then at home to Burnley and Southampton, will be ones that on paper we would expect to move us further clear of the bottom three. But if we don’t then the tough games to follow could mean we are still in deep trouble.

Of course watching the news this week, all the talk and pictures has been of the worst snowfall throughout the country for many years. Based on this, the warnings for most of the country not to travel unless absolutely essential, and the forecast for more snow this evening, then at the time of writing, I am amazed that all Premier League games are still set to go ahead. I hope that for the sake of travelling fans, especially our own with the potential difficulties of a long trip to South Wales, that decisions are not left until the last possible moment. But as we have seen with the recent announcement of TV games scheduled to be played on live TV, and the changes of dates involved, little thought is given to the supporters actually going to the matches, everything seems to be decided by Sky and BT who have final say.

Contradictory head to head statistics give us little clue as to the outcome of today’s game. On one hand, Swansea have only beaten us once in our last ten meetings, but on the other hand, they have never lost to us four times in a row, which would be the case if we beat them tomorrow. Over the course of history we are well on top in terms of wins, but just 15 of the 62 meetings have ended in draws. The bookmakers have Swansea as slight favourites to win the game, and given their recent form this is justified. However, when it comes to the correct score, then 1-1 is favourite at 5/1, and I would be happy to leave South Wales with at least a point.

Virtually all of our key players are fit, and it will be interesting to see the side that Moyes selects. I have given up trying to predict this, but I will agree with the bookies on a 1-1 draw, and Andre Ayew would seem a good bet to score the Swansea goal.

At the time of finishing this article, (9pm on Friday evening) all this weekend’s Premier League games are expected to go ahead despite the continuing snowfall and freezing conditions that are gripping the whole of the UK. We shall see.

One thought on “West Ham Travel To Swansea In The Battle For Survival”

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