Premier League relegation battle: With six sides fighting for survival, here’s how the battle to beat the drop is shaping up ahead of two huge fixtures live on BT Sport

Brighton, West Ham, Watford, Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Norwich are all jostling for position with six games to play ahead of a crunch double-header on BT Sport this Saturday.

Published: 2 July 2020 - 5.52pm
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Brighton, West Ham, Watford, Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Norwich are all scrapping for survival with six games to play

Liverpool may have cantered to the Premier League title but the fight to avoid relegation is far from over.

Brighton, West Ham, Watford, Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Norwich are all scrapping for survival with six games to play.

There are 12 points separating 15th-placed Brighton and bottom side Norwich, although Daniel Farke’s side are six points adrift at the foot of the table coming into their must-win clash with the Seagulls.

Ahead of a congested run-in – including BT Sport’s live and exclusive coverage of Manchester United v Bournemouth and Norwich v Brighton on Saturday 4 July – BTSport.com assesses all six side’s chances of avoiding the dreaded drop.

View the Premier League table here.

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Brighton: 15th

P32, W7, D12, L13, Pts 33. GD: -10

Watch Norwich v Brighton on BT Sport 1 HD and Ultimate on TV and online from 12pm on Saturday.

Graham Potter’s side have won fewer Premier League games in 2020 than any other side
Graham Potter’s side have won fewer Premier League games in 2020 than any other side

Brighton have a made a reasonable start to life post-lockdown with one win, draw and loss. They gave their hopes of survival of timely boost with a dramatic win over Arsenal as the season restarted before holding Leicester to a goalless draw, but lost comprehensively to Manchester United earlier this week.

Remaining fixtures

  • Saturday 4 July: Norwich (A)
  • Wednesday 8 July: Liverpool (H)
  • Saturday 11 July: Man City (H)
  • Wednesday 15 July: Southampton (A)
  • Saturday 18 July: Newcastle (H)
  • Sunday 26 July: Burnley (A)

With six games to play, the Seagulls will still be nervously looking over their shoulders even though they are six points clear of the drop zone.

The ease in which Brighton were brushed aside by United, also their biggest home league defeat of the season, will concern Graham Potter - whose side have won fewer Premier League games in 2020 than any other team (P13 W1 D7 L5).

With recently-crowned champions Liverpool and second-place Manchester City still to play, Brighton are far from safe.

They must capitalise on their next game against rock-bottom Norwich – a game you can watch exclusively live on BT Sport from midday on Saturday 4 July.

West Ham: 16th

P32, W8, D6, L18, Pts 30. GD: -18

Andriy Yarmolenko scored a late winner against Chelsea to boost West Ham’s survival hopes
Andriy Yarmolenko scored a late winner against Chelsea to boost West Ham’s survival hopes

West Ham earned a priceless win against Chelsea last time out in what could be a hugely-significant moment in the Hammers’ battle to avoid the drop.

Remaining fixtures

  • Sunday 5 July: Newcastle (A)
  • Wednesday 8 July: Burnley (H)
  • Saturday 11 July: Norwich (A)
  • Wednesday 15 July: Watford (H)
  • Saturday 18 July: Manchester United (A)
  • Sunday 26 July: Aston Villa (H)

David Moyes presided over two successive defeats against Wolves and Tottenham as the league resumed and the gloom was palpable at the London Stadium.

However, Andriy Yarmolenko scored a late winner against Chelsea in West Ham’s dramatic 3-2 win on Wednesday night to edge them further away from the bottom three.

The win pulled 16th-placed West Ham three points clear of the bottom three and with a relatively friendly run-in to come, they’ll be quietly confident of accumulating enough points to preserve their top-flight status.

With Norwich, Watford and Aston Villa still to play, a lot can change in the scrap for points at the foot of the table and West Ham will not be resting on their laurels ahead of Sunday’s trip to in-form Newcastle.

Watford: 17th

P32, W6, D10, L16, Pts 28. GD: -20

Watford were dealt a major blow in their bid to avoid relegation as they suffered a 3-1 home defeat by Southampton last time out.

Remaining fixtures

  • Saturday 4 July: Chelsea (A)
  • Tuesday 7 July: Norwich (H)
  • Saturday 11 July: Newcastle (H)
  • Wednesday 15 July: West Ham (A)
  • Saturday 18 July: Manchester City (H)
  • Sunday 26 July: Arsenal (A)

It’s a stark contrast to the Hornet’s pre-lockdown form which featured an unlikely 3-0 win over Liverpool in February.

Nigel Pearson spearheaded an upturn in form when he assumed the reigns in December, but his side have claimed only one point from a possible nine since the league restarted and sit perilously close to the relegation zone.

Pearson also had to omit Andre Gray, Nathaniel Chalobah and Domingos Quina from the squad to face the Saints after a reported lockdown breach.

Watford must quickly rediscover their form to avoid slipping into the bottom three and with fixtures against Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal still to come, there is not time to waste at Vicarage Road.

Aston Villa: 18th

P32, W7, D6, L19, Pts 27. GD: -24

Aston Villa are in serious danger of an immediate return to the Championship.

After a largely underwhelming season before the enforced hiatus due to the pandemic, Dean Smith’s side’s hopes of kick-starting a charge towards safety have fallen flat.

Remaining fixtures

  • Sunday 5 July: Liverpool (A)
  • Thursday 9 July: Manchester United (H)
  • Sunday 12 July: Crystal Palace (H)
  • Wednesday 15 July: Everton (A)
  • Saturday 18 July: Arsenal (H)
  • Sunday 26 July: West Ham (A)

Villa have drawn two and lost two of their four games since the restart, most recently losing 1-0 to midlands rivals Wolves in front of the BT Sport cameras last Saturday.

Worryingly, Villa have scored just two goals in their last six league games and have conceded more Premier League goals than any other side in 2020 so far (24).

With back-to-back matches against Liverpool and Man United next up, Villa’s survival bid looks set to go right down to the wire.

Bournemouth: 19th

P32, W7, D6, L19, Pts 27. GD: -24

Watch Manchester United v Bournemouth on BT Sport 1 HD and Ultimate on TV and online from 2.30pm this Saturday.

A defiant Eddie Howe issued a rallying cry after his Bournemouth side fell to another defeat against Newcastle on Wednesday night.

Remaining fixtures

  • Saturday 4 July: Manchester United (A)
  • Thursday 9 July: Tottenham (H)
  • Sunday 12 July: Leicester (H)
  • Wednesday 15 July: Manchester City (A)
  • Saturday 18 July: Southampton (H)
  • Sunday 26 July: Everton (A)

A woeful run of form in 2020 has seen The Cherries slip into real trouble and still have to face the European-chasing contingent of Man United, Tottenham, Leicester and Man City before the end of the campaign.

“I do still believe we can get out of the position we are in,” said Howe after the defeat to Steve Bruce’s men.

“I do still believe in the players and the group we have, I have no doubt about that.”

Bournemouth have suffered 16 defeats in their last 21 league matches, losing each of the last four in a row. A result against Man United on Saturday is a must if Howe’s side are to avoid relegation.

Norwich: 20th

P32, W5, D6, L21, Pts 21. GD: -35

Watch Norwich v Brighton on BT Sport 1 HD and Ultimate on TV and online from 12pm on Saturday.

Norwich are on the brink of relegation after losing every game since the league’s resumption.

Defeats against Southampton, Everton and Arsenal have left Farke’s men bottom of the table and seven points adrift of safety.

Remaining fixtures

  • Saturday 4 July: Brighton (H)
  • Tuesday 7 July: Watford (A)
  • Saturday 11 July: West Ham (H)
  • Wednesday 15 July: Chelsea (A)
  • Saturday 18 July: Burnley (H)
  • Sunday 26 July: Manchester City (A)

League defeat number 21 of the season against Arsenal was self-inflicted as mistakes by goalkeeper Tim Krul and Josip Drmic contributed to their latest downfall.

They have now lost six of their last seven Premier League games without scoring in each defeat.

If the Canaries are to mount the most unlikely of escapes, the next three games against Brighton, Watford and West Ham will be decisive, especially as Chelsea and Man City await afterwards.

“We decided to be self-critical, stay humble and speak about what we have to improve in order to play the next game at our top level and without mistakes,” said Farke.

Time for introspection is running out though as Norwich hurtle towards an all too brief stay in the top flight.