WhatsNew2Day
Latest News And Breaking Headlines

Premier League: how each team has done so far this season

When teams return from the first Premier League winter break, some will be excited to build on a strong first half of the season.

But for others, the year has been terribly disappointing, with many large guns still firing on all cylinders.

Top brass in Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal all hope for more of their stars, while the parties are 6th, 8th and 10th respectively. While Leicester City, Sheffield United and Wolves are shaken with their 3rd, 5th and 9th place.

Here, Sportsmail look at the expectation of each club at the start of the season, where they are after the winter break and the remaining games.

Liverpool

League leaders Liverpool have dominated this season, with the speed and power of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino hoping the Premier League is on its way to Anfield in May.

Klopp has raised expectations with Anfield since joining in 2015, but his team’s efforts this season should even exceed his expectations.

Liverpool has largely dominated thanks to the speed and power of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane

Liverpool has largely dominated thanks to the speed and power of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane

Klopp has built the Reds into one of Europe’s most formidable clubs, won the Champions League last season, finished second in the league and raced towards the domestic title of this term.

They rushed forward and are 22 points free from last year’s winners of Manchester City, with 13 games to go.

But Klopp refused to be swept away by the almost perfect first half of Liverpool and said last month: “I’m really happy with it, but the problem is that you get nothing from the best start except numbers.”

The most important Liverpool programs:

Everton vs Liverpool – March 16

Manchester City vs Liverpool – April 4

Liverpool vs Chelsea – 9 May

Despite his insistence, the Reds performed week after week, beating 3rd place Leicester 4-0 in December, Southampton 4-0 last month, and perhaps the most important for some Everton 5-2 in the Merseyside derby for Christmas.

It seems inevitable that Klopp will deliver the goods this year and his side has been blessed with a comfortable range of fixtures after the winter break. They will face Norwich this weekend, followed by West Ham on the third floor and then Watford on the second floor.

The heavier games come towards the end of the season – when they may have already completed the competition – while facing Manchester City on Etihad on April 4, where they can match Arsenal’s record of 49 unbeaten league games. This is followed by a clash with 3rd place Chelsea at Anfield in the penultimate week of the season. If they continued their unbeaten run, they could cancel the title in their match against Crystal Palace on March 23.

Delivered based on expectations? Yes

Manchester City

The same side of Manchester City that won back-to-back Premier League titles last season and a domestic Treble have 22 points drifted from Liverpool.

And the players seem to have resigned themselves to fail, with midfielder Bernardo Silva even admitting that the men of Pep Guardiola no longer believed they would keep their crown a month ago.

City “no longer believed they would keep their crown a month ago,” said Bernardo Silva

The reigning champion suffered a shock defeat against Norwich in September and also suffered setbacks against Wolves, Newcastle and rivals Manchester United – and effectively gave Liverpool the title for the Christmas period.

In a new blow just before the winter break, they lost 2-0 to Tottenham after midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko was eliminated.

The most important programs of Manchester City:

Leicester vs Man City – February 22

Man United versus Man City – March 8

Man City vs Liverpool – April 4

If they have any hope of catching rising Liverpool, the Sky Blues must get three points from each match.

Their first task after returning from the break is to beat West Ham in their re-scheduled game for February 19.

Storm Ciara tore Manchester on February 9, causing officials to postpone the Premier League clash amid concerns about the safety of supporters.

After the Hammers clash, they have to conquer Leicester at King Power Stadium because the Foxes are only two points behind them. Next month, City travels through Manchester for the derby against United, who lost 2-1 to them in the home game before Christmas.

In what could be an incredible confrontation as the gap at the top narrows, City Liverpool organizes on April 4 and makes a final attempt to steal the title.

Delivered based on expectations? No

Leicester city

The foxes do it again. The East-Midlands side produces a dazzling season in which they have risen to 3rd place – following their form in the astonishing title-winning campaign 2015/16.

Brendan Rodgers followed his double competition winning success at Celtic with Leicester, where he fired star striker Jamie Vardy back home.

Jamie Vardy is in good shape this season despite a slump and has taken Leicester to third place

Jamie Vardy is in good shape this season despite a slump and has taken Leicester to third place

Jamie Vardy is in good shape this season despite a slump and has taken Leicester to third place

The English man leads, among others, Sergio Aguero and Mo Salah in the race for the golden boat after netting 17. He can also be accompanied on the plane to the euro by colleague Fox Harvey Barnes, with the 22-year-old winger thriving in the top flight after three goals and one assist in the new year.

But a large part of the credit went to Rodgers, who, after the takeover in February last year, moved in the direction to produce an aggressive, organized, urgent team.

The most important Leicester City programs:

Leicester City vs Man City – February 22

Leicester City vs Sheffield United – May 2

Spurs vs Leicester City – 9 May

But with the recent success of the team, there has been an increased expectation among fans.

Rodgers recently said: “This is a great group of supporters who would have been happy with the 17th and one point above until four or five years ago [the relegation zone].

‘Now the expectation has grown. The performance they want from players has grown. “

To maintain their place in the top three this season, the Foxes must hunt for Guardiola’s men in Manchester City when they face each other on February 22. They then have a more comfortable series of matches, but only have to negotiate -of-form Arsenal and resurrecting Everton until May.

But then it becomes difficult. In a debilitating final three games in May, Leicester must face Sheffield United, then Tottenham and finally Manchester United.

Delivered based on expectations? Yes

Chelsea

Six-time Premier League winners Chelsea enter every season with high expectations.

But after firing the experienced Italian manager Maurizio Sarri last year and replacing him with Frank Lampard – who is only in his second year as manager – it was always difficult to win big.

With Frank Lampard in his second year as a manager, it was always difficult

With Frank Lampard in his second year as a manager, it was always difficult

With Frank Lampard in his second year as a manager, it was always difficult

The side of West London seems to have been in the League. Earlier in the season, Lampard enjoyed a long honeymoon, but was confronted with the harsh reality of top management while in fourth place.

They only won two of their last seven league games and saw the gap to the 5th contraction. If they go further back, they have won only four of the 13 games, despite winning six times in a row.

Chelsea’s most important programs:

Chelsea vs Man United – February 17

Chelsea vs Tottenham – February 22

Sheffield United vs Chelsea – April 25

And now comes a defining period in the Chelsea season that will test whether they will end up in the Champions League spots.

Their first two games after the winter break see a fight with Manchester United on February 17 and then Tottenham five days later on February 22.

The Blues will struggle again in Manchester when they face City in the Etihad, followed by a crunch match against Sheffield United in Bramall Lane while fending off 5th place in Yorkshiremen. Throw in the Champions League against Bayern Munich and a cup match with Liverpool and the Blues have a seriously tough run approaching.

Delivered based on expectations? Jury is out

Sheffield United

The Blades record in the top flight in previous seasons was unfortunate. Three top campaigns have seen two relegations and they have not beaten the drop since their first campaign 1992-93.

So it was easy not to expect much from them when they returned for the first time in 12 years last summer. But all thoughts about Chris Wilder’s team in a relegation fight are quickly gone.

All thoughts about Chris Wilder's Sheffield United in a relegation battle have disappeared

All thoughts about Chris Wilder's Sheffield United in a relegation battle have disappeared

All thoughts about Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United in a relegation battle have disappeared

After countless spicy victories from behind, United is comfortably in 5th place at 39 points – banishing all thoughts about relegation.

The most important luminaires from Sheffield United:

Sheffield United vs Tottenham – April 4

Chelsea vs Sheffield United – April 25

Leicester vs Sheffield United – May 2

Instead, the focus is on Europe, and not just the Europa League – Champions League football dangles for them with just two points.

But the route to it is steep, with the Blades fighting Tottenham at home in April, while the men of Mourinho are trying to bridge the two-point gap between them.

This is followed by a trip to Leicester at King Power Stadium while Sheffield strives to close their ten-point gap with them.

In the last major hurdle for the year, the Blades are struggling with a rejuvenated, impressive Everton side.

Delivered based on expectations? Yes

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs hoped to build on fourth place last year by being serious title candidates this season. But despite having settled in their luxurious new stadium, the side of North London had a terrible start under Mauricio Pochettino.

The Argentinian was fired in November by owner Daniel Levy after his match dropped to the 14th in the table after winning only five games. Superhero – or villain for some – entered Jose Mourinho, who reversed fortunes and brought Tottenham to sixth place.

Jose Mourinho has reversed fortunes in Tottenham and raised Spurs to sixth place in the competition

Jose Mourinho has reversed fortunes in Tottenham and raised Spurs to sixth place in the competition

Jose Mourinho has reversed fortunes in Tottenham and raised Spurs to sixth place in the competition

It has fueled hope for Champions League football on White Hart Lane again next season, as they are only four points away from the fourth-placed Chelsea.

Yet consistency is lacking, with the men of Mourinho winning only two of the last five, including a shock defeat for Southampton and a scoreless draw at Watford, threatened with relegation.

Tottenham’s most important programs:

Chelsea vs Spurs – February 22

Spurs vs Manchester United – March 15

Sheffield United vs Spurs – April 4

In what could be a crucial match for their Champions League ambition, Spurs enters into a stuttering Chelsea – which has drawn three of the last five – on February 22.

From there they have to conquer an equally poor United, who are in 8th place but are only one point away and have a game in their hands over Everton. They receive the Ole Gunnar Solskjær team on March 15.

And towards the end of the season, Mourinho gets the chance to win points from 5th place Sheffield United, who are only two points ahead of an additional game, on April 4.

Delivered based on expectations? No

Everton

The Toffees were a force to be reckoned with under David Moyes, Roberto Martínez and Ronald Koeman, but after a series of short appointments, the shape of the club fell, as did their place in the Premier League table and the expectation of the fans.

The club was in the bottom three at the start of December after firing Marco Silva and is now in five points of Champions League positions after taking on three-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti.

Triple Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti likes to play Richrichison

Triple Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti likes to play Richrichison

Triple Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti likes to play Richrichison

The Italian has an immediate impact on Everton, with the 17 points of his eight games that were only improved by close neighbors and runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool – 24 – in the same period.

And in even better news for supporters, 60-year-old Ancelotti is already looking at an extended stay at Goodison Park, despite the signing of a long-term contract in December.

He is tied to the Premier League club until the summer of 2024, but has the ambition to make it last longer, because then he expects the Toffees to compete for trophies and play regularly in Europe.

Everton’s most important programs:

Arsenal vs Everton – 23 February

Everton vs Man United – March 1

Tottenham vs Everton – April 11

Asked where he saw Everton in three years, Ancelotti told evertonfc.com: “I think I see Everton at the top of the table fighting for some titles, fighting to be competitive in Europe.”

But before he leads himself, there are a number of fights to win before the end of the season.

Their first game back after the winter break can be tricky because a fight will try to grab all the points they can get from Arsenal.

The men of Ancelotti must fend off Manchester United, who is only one point behind them, and then tackle Tottenham if they want to reach those sought-after Champions League spots.

Delivered based on expectations? Jury is out

Manchester United

As one of the world’s most tradable clubs, the pressure to perform is constantly on the red side of Manchester. But in another season that Sir Alex Ferguson’s success did not live up to, the Solskjær team is in 8th place.

The team has won only one of the last five, loses three and draws one and looks far from the pace as they hope to return to Champions League football next season.

It has been another season that Sir Alex Ferguson's success did not live up to, because United is in 8th place

It has been another season that Sir Alex Ferguson's success did not live up to, because United is in 8th place

It has been another season that Sir Alex Ferguson’s success did not live up to, because United is in 8th place

Supporters watched helplessly while United showed quality and determination against the ‘big six’ – who beat Tottenham and Manchester City in the same week as seeing Chelsea – but staggered the rest of the competition.

Main programs of Manchester United:

Chelsea vs Man United – February 17

Everton vs Man United – March 1

Manchester derby – March 8

The Red Devils have lost to people like Bournemouth, Watford, Newcastle, West Ham and Crystal Palace – while they are also being held by Aston Villa.

And their remaining games are littered with potential pitfalls while they want to climb the table.

They will have to play Watford, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, West Ham and Crystal Palace again before the end of the season, and beat stronger opponents in Chelsea, Manchester City, Sheffield United, Everton and Leicester.

Delivered based on expectations? No

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves have been confronted with an increased expectation of top brass and fans after their dazzling 7th place at the end of last year. The West Midlands side plays incredible European football – and will look forward to it again next season, as they are currently in 9th place.

The side of Nuno Espirito Santo has proven itself a tough task for the 'Big Six' this season

The side of Nuno Espirito Santo has proven itself a tough task for the 'Big Six' this season

The side of Nuno Espirito Santo has proven itself a tough task for the ‘Big Six’ this season

The side of Nuno Espirito Santo has proved himself a tough task for the ‘Big Six’, after beating Manchester City, holding Arsenal in a draw and putting down a good performance against an undefeated Liverpool.

The Portuguese head coach also made a number of promising signings in the transfer window in January, after he had thrown Luke Matheson from Rochdale in a deal worth an estimated £ 1 million.

The most important Wolves programs:

Spurs vs Wolves – March 3

Sheffield United vs Wolves – April 18

Wolves vs Everton – April 25

The 17-year-old was the fourth signing Wolves made last month and is the third to make contact with the Under 23 side, after Leonardo Campana and Enzo Loiodice.

If Wolves want to achieve Champions League football ambitions, they have to make Manchester United, Everton, Tottenham and Sheffield United jump into the table – which seems a bit of a question. But the difference between these clubs is only four points.

In their remaining games, the men from Espirito Santo Tottenham, Everton and Sheffield United play, allowing them to reach the table. He will unleash his wolves against Spurs on White Hart Lane on March 3, followed by the Blades on April 18 and the Toffees on April 25.

Delivered based on expectations? Yes

Arsenal

The Gunners have had a scorching season and are a shadow of the title winning teams that Arsene Wenger has been putting together for many years.

After Unai Emery received his marching orders in March 2019 after a bad set of results, former club midfielder Mikel Arteta was given the reign and the task was to reverse the fortune of the North London team.

Arsenal is 10th since Mikel Arteta took over, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shooting again

Arsenal is 10th since Mikel Arteta took over, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shooting again

Arsenal is 10th since Mikel Arteta took over, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shooting again

They were in the middle of the competition with only five wins at the time and fans became restless along with various players who were not interested in the latest Emery games.

Since Arteta took over, the party has risen to tenth place. But for fans who are used to Champions League football and regularly win, their fragmented path has not been good enough this season.

Arsenal’s most important programs:

Male City vs Arsenal – Postponed, TBD

Wolves vs Arsenal – 11 April

Tottenham vs Arsenal – April 25

Arteta wants to be fast and secure all its recruits before a ball is kicked at Euro 2020 in an attempt to plan its attack on the top four for the 2020-21 campaign.

But he could also lose captain and star attacker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – who is coming to the end of his contract – as well as Mesut Özil and Alexandre Lacazette, who are looking for Spain.

Before he looks at the next season, Arteta has a difficult rest of the season to maneuver while competing against Manchester City, Wolves, Leicester City, Tottenham and Liverpool. In particular, they hope to win points at Wolves on the Molineux on April 11, with the West Midlands team only four points ahead of them in 9th place.

Delivered based on expectations? No

Burnley

Burnley has the wind in its back after a series of good performances, including the capture of Manchester United in Old Trafford. The Turf Moor team recently looked solid, but it comes from the back of a horrible series of form that saw them fail to win in 15 away games.

The Clarets were unlucky not to improve their rising 11th position when they faced Arsenal

The Clarets were unlucky not to improve their rising 11th position when they faced Arsenal

The Clarets were unlucky not to improve their rising 11th position when they faced Arsenal

They are seven points of danger and as the men of Sean Dyche continue the recent good work, look forward to next year’s top flight next season.

The most important luminaires from Burnley

Burnley vs Watford – March 21

West Ham vs Burnley – April 18

Norwich vs Burnley – 9 May

The Clarets were unlucky not to improve their rising 11th position when they took Arsenal for the winter break. The struggling Gunners were held on a 0-0 draw at Turf Moor, with Jeff Hendrick forfeiting a good chance before the break.

If the team based in Lancashire wants to climb the table, their remaining line-up gives them a chance. Although you have to travel to Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham, there is still the chance to win against a humble Watford on March 21, in West Ham on April 18 and against Norwich on May 9.

Delivered based on expectations? Jury is out

Newcastle United

The empty Newcastle trophy cabinet has become a matter of club policy. But after winning the League Cup with Norwich in 1985, the FA Cup in Manchester United and taking Hull to a Wembley final, this was not something Steve Bruce could board.

The 59-year-old gaffer took over in the summer when expectations among the Toon Leger believers were at a low point after the departure of Rafael Benitez. There was a feeling that this season could unravel quickly, accelerated by those who put owner Mike Ashley and by extension Bruce on.

Steve Bruce stabilized the ship in Newcastle when many fans had little hope

Steve Bruce stabilized the ship in Newcastle when many fans had little hope

Steve Bruce stabilized the ship in Newcastle when many fans had little hope

But the magpies are securely in 12th place, and despite the fact that they post poor house calls because fans are boycotting Ashley’s rule to start, more recently average packed crowds have hit 99 percent of St James’ Park capacity.

Main fixtures of Newcastle:

Arsenal vs Newcastle – February 16

Crystal Palace vs Newcastle – February 22

Southampton vs Newcastle – March 7

Because they are on the same points as Arsenal and Burnley, Bruce may see a tenth place. But he will be well aware that only seven points separate Newcastle and the bottom three – so they still need positive results.

They slipped in the last five games after splitting the points against a weak Norwich side and away from Everton. But they defeated Chelsea and Sheffield United and detained Manchester City.

The remaining games can be difficult for the Magpies, as they first battle the Gunners in the Emirates after the break before fending off Crystal Palace and Southampton to maintain their 12th place.

Delivered based on expectations? Yes

Southampton

The saints seemed destined to perish last season, but avoided the fall by only three points. It resulted in low expectations for this campaign, which was awarded a Leicester 9-0 drum in October.

Southampton left that result in the relegation zone with only eight points out of ten games, and the club was even at the end of the 19th with only nine points to its name.

The saints, led by Shane Long (above). I look safe if they are seven points from the fall

The saints, led by Shane Long (above). I look safe if they are seven points from the fall

The saints, led by Shane Long (above). I look safe if they are seven points from the fall

But under Ralph Hasenhuttl, Southampton has reflected dramatically. They will return to the Premier League after the winter break, after they have taken off confidently from the canvas that relegation will not follow if they relax in the 13th.

Southampton’s most important programs:

Southampton vs Burley – February 15

Southampton vs Newcastle – March 7

Southampton vs Brighton – 2 May

The 52-year-old Austrian coach has orchestrated a series of positive results – including victories at Chelsea and Leicester and at home at Tottenham – and seems to have convinced owners to accept his long-term vision for the club as a new contract.

Sitting at 31 points, Southampton seems safe for relegation. But the Hasenhuttl team will want to remain vigilant in their last few games while the fight continues between the middle table team.

The first Saints game after the break is another chance to take revenge on Burnley after being filled 3-0 in August. The Clarets are just two places above them and are at the same points.

This is followed by a visit from Newcastle on March 7, who shared Burnley and Southampton in the table. And a new rigorous test will be towards the end of the season when they are faced at home in Brighton on May 2.

Delivered based on expectations? YES

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace has been suffering lately, with January being a particularly tough month as manager Roy Hodgson missed the transfers he wanted.

The South London side fell again on Saturday when Sheffield United came to the top. A fake Twitter account has even fooled some supporters into thinking that Hodgson had walked, and the chances of him becoming the next Premier League manager he left plummeted.

Crystal Palace has recently suffered under the former England gaffer Roy Hodgson

Crystal Palace has recently suffered under the former England gaffer Roy Hodgson

Crystal Palace has recently suffered under the former England gaffer Roy Hodgson

Palace is sleepwalking in the direction of a relegation battle, partly down to Hodgson’s tactics, but much of the blame must go to the board for their lackluster transfer window.

The most important programs of Crystal Palace:

Brighton versus Crystal Palace – February 29

Crystal Palace versus Watford – March 7

Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace – March 14

Their scattergun approach to signing sessions might be the reason for the club’s potential return to the second layer.

They have a favorable series of matches in the coming weeks, with Everton, Newcastle, Brighton, Watford and Bournemouth on the horizon, but otherwise it will be difficult.

If Hodgson’s side is then moving away from the relegation zone, a run from Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham to close the season at Selhurst Park will do nothing to calm the nerves.

Delivered based on expectations? No

Brighton & Hove Albion

For the past three seasons, Brighton always seemed like a team reserved for relegation. And the Graham Potter players are struggling again for victories and have tasted the victory only once in more than two months.

Four points from their last six games are a poor return and it is unlikely that this is a ratio that will maintain a sideways battle in the Premier League. But more worrying for Potter is that these were six games that they had to capitalize.

Fight at the bottom: Brighton's Alireza Jahanbakhsh fights Adamford from Watford

Fight at the bottom: Brighton's Alireza Jahanbakhsh fights Adamford from Watford

Fight at the bottom: Brighton’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh fights Adamford from Watford

After the winter break, they face a series of competitions, including Wolves, Arsenal, Leicester, Manchester United, Norwich, Liverpool and Manchester City, with points from these games coming at a premium.

The most important fixtures in Brighton

Southampton vs Brighton – 2 May

Brighton vs Newcastle – 9 May

Burnley vs Brighton – May 17

By the end of that run there are only three games to play and because they are only three points outside the relegation zone, they need to improve their shape urgently.

They will have to thwart the advance of Southampton, Newcastle and Burnley while holding onto their place in the top flight, with these three games as their best remaining chance for points this season.

Delivered based on expectations? No

Bournemouth

Bournemouth clings to the Premier League survival through a whisker, with the Cherries only two points safe in the 16th. But although this year was the reality of a relegation battle on the south coast, it was last year when the damage was done, despite the club never being in the bottom three last year.

Van de teams die dit seizoen en afgelopen seizoen in de Premier League hebben gezeten, hebben alleen Watford en Brighton in 2019 minder punten verzameld dan de 39 van Bournemouth.

Een bekend gezicht voor Bournemouth-fans dit seizoen als de kersen toegeven aan Sheffield United

Een bekend gezicht voor Bournemouth-fans dit seizoen als de kersen toegeven aan Sheffield United

Een bekend gezicht voor Bournemouth-fans dit seizoen als de kersen toegeven aan Sheffield United

Dit seizoen werden ze, net als vorig jaar, alleen door een snelle start uit de onderste drie gehouden, maar een kerstval heeft hen opnieuw getroffen. Ze hebben sindsdien broodnodige overwinningen op Brighton en Aston Villa gehad.

Belangrijkste armaturen van Bournemouth:

Burnley vs Bournemouth – 22 februari

Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace – 14 maart

Maar als ze in de topvlucht willen blijven, moeten ze overwinningen behalen over de mensen om hen heen, en proberen ze een paar punten van grotere clubs te stelen.

In een brutale afsluiting van het seizoen spelen de Cherries zoals Liverpool en Chelsea kort na de winterstop. De mannen van Eddie Howe hopen de punten tegen Burnley te winnen in de eerste wedstrijd na de vakantie, maar de Lancashire-club ziet er sterk uit op de 11e plaats.

Een ander spel waar ze met winst van weg willen lopen, is tegen Crystal Palace in het Vitality Stadium op 14 maart. Onder Roy Hodgson hebben de partijen het moeilijk gehad, dus het is een goede gelegenheid voor de Kersen om naar de tafel te gaan.

Op basis van verwachtingen geleverd? No

Aston Villa

Aston Villa houdt vast aan een Premier League-plaats na hun last-minute promotie via de play-offs vorig seizoen. De jongens uit Birmingham worden versterkt door een zinderende Jack Grealish-doelen die ze op de 17e plaats houden voor de winterstop.

Jack Grealish bonken in doelpunten hielp Aston Villa op de 17e plaats te houden voor de winterstop

Jack Grealish bonken in doelpunten hielp Aston Villa op de 17e plaats te houden voor de winterstop

Jack Grealish bonken in doelpunten hielp Aston Villa op de 17e plaats te houden voor de winterstop

De belangrijkste armaturen van Aston Villa

Southampton vs Aston Villa – 22 februari

Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace – 25 april

West Ham vs Aston Villa – 17 mei

Having been an impressive top-flight club for years during the Martin O’Neill and Graham Taylor era, The Villa have more recently been hopscotching between the Premiership and second tier.

But looking at their remaining fixtures, Dean Smith’s side can pick up points.

After seeing off the top five, as well as tough tasks in Everton and Wolves, the Claret and Blues can try to steal wins against a poor Crystal Palace team on April 25, as well as from West Ham and Southampton.

Delivered on expectations? No

West Ham United

The Hammers have a new stadium, new stars and a new manager, but their performances on the pitch have been woeful all season.

In scenes echoing Newcastle at the start of the season, fans have turned on the owners and taken to protesting outside the London Stadium. Now slumped down to 18th, having recorded three losses and two draws in their last five, it is difficult to see how the Hammers can avoid the Championship.

West Ham have a new stadium, new stars (picture, Declan Rice) and a new manager, but their performances are still poor

West Ham have a new stadium, new stars (picture, Declan Rice) and a new manager, but their performances are still poor

West Ham have a new stadium, new stars (picture, Declan Rice) and a new manager, but their performances are still poor

Exacerbating fears for the days to come, the club has said Premier League survival is an ‘absolute necessity for the future wellbeing of the club’. For them to do this, they need to pick up points from those much higher up the league, as well as conquer the two below them when they meet.

West Ham’s key fixtures

Norwich City vs West Ham – April 25

West Ham vs Watford – May 2

In potentially relegation-deciding clashes, the east London side will take on Norwich at Carrow Road on April 25, then Watford at home on May 2. They may feel they have a small cushion against the Canaries – what with a six-point gap between them – but Watford are only below them due to their slightly more terrible goal difference.

On the last game of the season West Ham host Aston Villa, who are currently above them by just a point, and could be a season-defining match if the Hammers leave it that late.

Delivered on expectations? No

Watford

The Hornets are looking to pull off yet another great escape as they currently sit perilously close to the drop in 19th.

Luckily manager Nigel Pearson is experienced in this department, having been in charge of Carlisle and signed Jimmy Glass, the goalkeeper whose dramatic final-day goal against Plymouth kept the Cumbrians in the Football League in 1999.

The Hornets are looking to pull off yet another great escape under gaffer Nigel Pearson

The Hornets are looking to pull off yet another great escape under gaffer Nigel Pearson

The Hornets are looking to pull off yet another great escape under gaffer Nigel Pearson

He also kept West Brom in the Premier League in 2005, Southampton in the Championship in 2008 and Leicester in the Premier League a year before they miraculously won the title.

Watford’s key fixtures:

Crystal Palace vs Watford – March 7

Watford vs West Ham – May 2

Pearson is looking to help the Hornets stay up and mark his fifth great escape.

Having experienced a managerial bounce following his appointment at the start of December that made Watford’s survival seem a formality, results have now levelled out.

They have failed to win their last four games and thrown away eight points from winning positions in the last three.

Following the winter break, Pearson’s side face tough games away at Manchester United, before hosting Liverpool at Vicarage Road. But possibly more important will be the matches against teams just above them as they scrap to avoid the drop.

A clash with Roy Hodgson’s ailing Crystal Palace is followed at the end of the season by a huge fixture against 18th-place West Ham on May 2.

Delivered on expectations? No

Norwich City

Newly-promoted Norwich have so far failed to make an impact on the Premier League, having taken the Championship title with relative ease last campaign. As was the case during their last foray into the top flight in 2016, the East Anglia side mainly hoped to stay up.

Newly-promoted Norwich have so far failed to make an impact despite goals from Teemu Pukki

Newly-promoted Norwich have so far failed to make an impact despite goals from Teemu Pukki

Newly-promoted Norwich have so far failed to make an impact despite goals from Teemu Pukki

But as was what happened four years ago, the side have had a tough time of it, gaining just 18 points from 25 games and sitting dead bottom of the table at the winter break.

Norwich’s key fixtures:

Norwich vs Liverpool – February 15

Watford vs Norwich – April 18

Norwich vs West Ham – April 25

Daniel Farke’s men sit six points adrift of Watford and seven from safety, with the German gaffer even admitting in December it would be a ‘miracle’ if they stay up.

But they do have the ability to cause an upset, having beaten Manchester City 3-2 in September thanks to top goalscorer Teemu Pukki and young sensation Todd Cantwell.

The Canaries’ will be welcomed back from their winter break with a visit from league leaders Liverpool, who stuffed them 4-1 last time they met in August and are yet to lose a game this year.

In their quest for survival, Farke’s men will look to take points off relegation-embattled Watford and West Ham. They face the London teams in consecutive weeks in April.

Delivered on expectations No

.