The winter transfer window may have just played a huge part in the relegation dogfight. There were some massive incomings and outgoings at the wrong end of the Premier League table throughout the course of January, and that has made it incredibly difficult to tell who is going to suffer the dreaded drop down to the Championship come May — with so little to separate several sides in the betting on Premier League with Paddy Power.
There’s still so much football to play, with the majority of the relegation-threatened sides still having around 15 games remaining. So, let’s take a look at those in and around the drop zone and analyse their chances of the survival as we enter the business end of the 2021-22 Premier League season.
Burnley – 20th
There must have been mixed feelings at Turf Moor when Chris Wood made the switch to Newcastle United last month. After all, he has spearheaded Burnley’s attack for the best part of five years and scored many a crucial goal to keep them in the top flight for so long. However, the club held out for his £25 million release clause, making the mega-rich Magpies pay over the odds for the player. Spending half that fee to bring in Wout Weghorst is outstanding business, and the big Dutchman has bedded in well already. It will be hard for Sean Dyche’s men to pull back the seven-point deficit, especially given that they haven’t won a league game since October. Relegation is looming large over the Lancashire side.
Watford – 19th
Where do you even start with Watford? The trigger-happy board have already sacked Xisco and Claudio Ranieri this season, and if Roy Hodgson doesn’t find his feet soon then we doubt the 74-year-old will even see it out until the end of the season! Winless since that shock 4-1 victory over Manchester United at Vicarage Road, which proved to be the end of the road for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Red Devils tenure, things are also looking pretty gloom for the Hornets — who weren’t really able to compete with their relegation rivals during the January transfer window. They’ll likely join Burnley in the second tier.
Norwich City – 18th
Not able to put his own twist on the side during the January transfer window after taking over from Daniel Farke in mid-November, just eight days after he was sacked by Aston Villa, Dean Smith has a huge task on his hands to save Norwich City from the drop. The Canaries have become a yo-yo side over the course of the last few years, and that doesn’t look like ending anytime soon as the Norfolk side sit four points adrift from safety and having played a game or two more than their closest rivals above them. With big changes at the two teams in 17th and 16th, which we’ll move onto now, it’s hard to see Norwich causing an upset.
Newcastle United – 17th
Eddie Howe certainly had a rocky start to life at Newcastle United, but there was always a sense that the winter window was going to be his saving grace and that certainly looks to be the case thus far. Unbeaten in their last five league games and on a three-game winning streak, it seems like only a matter of time before the Magpies pull away from the relegation zone — especially with their late January arrivals, Dan Burn and Bruno Guimarães, yet to really settle in. It will be interesting to see how they deal with the absence of Kieran Trippier for the next couple of months, as he broke his metatarsal after a fantastic start to his Newcastle career.
Everton – 16th
It’s still very early days in Frank Lampard’s time at Everton, so it’s hard to tell how things are really going to pan out at this stage — but the majority of the initial signs have been good, including the deadline day arrivals of Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli. Yes, they were beaten 3-1 by Newcastle in the former Chelsea boss’ first league game in charge of the Toffees, but they bounced back with a 3-0 victory over fellow strugglers Leeds United and if Lampard can find the right balance in results, then they could also pull clear and leave the Marcelo Bielsa’s side in a very sticky situation.