Leicester, QPR, Burnley, Sunderland, Aston Villa and Hull: Which teams will be relegated?

We assess the form and run-ins of the Premier League's relegation candidates

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The Independent Football

With Chelsea seemingly running away with the Premier League title, the race for the top four is providing the main source of excitement at the top of the table. However, at the bottom things are all still very much to play for.

Currently, this season's three newly-promoted teams occupy the dreaded relegation spots, but with plenty of fixtures remaining and just three wins separating 20th place from 15th the more established sides above them are looking nervously over their shoulders.

So who is best placed to launch a late bid for survival? And who is doomed to face the drop?


That dramatic 5-3 comeback victory over Man Utd looks a lifetime away now. Leicester have remained rooted to the bottom of the Premier League since the end of November, and have secured just two of the last 21 points on offer. There have been plenty of encouraging displays in losing causes but Nigel Pearson's side need to convert more chances - only Sunderland and Aston Villa have scored less.

Form: WDWLLLLDLD (9 points from last 10 games)

Fixtures: Tottenham (A), West Ham (H), West Brom (A), Swansea (H), Burnley (A), Chelsea (H), Newcastle (H), Southampton (H), Sunderland (A), QPR (H)

Are they doomed? Only two sides have ever escaped the drop after being bottom at Christmas - West Brom in 2004/5 and Sunderland in 2013/14 - but Leicester have some cause for hope, with a game in hand and Burnley, Sunderland and QPR still to play. Nigel Pearson will be hopeful that his side's fate comes down to their final-day home fixture against the league's worst travellers.

Leicester's heroic victory over Man United seems a long time ago (Getty)


Remove Charlie Austin, who has scored more Premier League goals than any Englishman bar Harry Kane, and a better home record than any of their rivals from the equation and QPR would already be down. The only points the Hoops have managed away from Loftus Road came in a win over Sunderland last month, and with just four points from their last 10 games they have comfortably the worst record of the relegation candidates. A change of manager has not changed the club's fortunes, with five defeats in the six matches since Harry Redknapp's departure.

Form: DLLLLWLLLL (4 points from last 10 games)

Fixtures: Everton (H), West Brom (A), Aston Villa (A), Chelsea (H), West Ham (H), Liverpool (A), Man City (A), Newcastle (H), Leicester (A)

Are they doomed? Unless something changes drastically, yes. They have Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City still to play and unless they shore up the leakiest defence in the league, offer Austin more support and somehow secure more points away from home QPR will go down.


In ordinary circumstances, Burnley's win against Man City last week would be seen as a beacon of hope for a struggling club. However, Sean Dyche's side have not been lacking in heroic performances against big clubs this season, also taking points off Chelsea, Man Utd and Southampton. It is consistency that Burnley have lacked, as well as solidity - only QPR have conceded more goals.

Form: DWLLDLDLLW (9 points from last 10 games)

Fixtures: Southampton (A), Tottenham (H), Arsenal (H), Everton (A), Leicester (H), West Ham (A), Hull (A), Stoke (H), Aston Villa (A)

Are they doomed? Their performance against City indicated that there is plenty of fight left in Sean Dyche's side, and they will have to scrap for every point when they face three Champions League hopefuls in coming weeks. From there, their run-in is much kinder, giving Burnley a real chance of survival.

Can George Boyd's strike ignite Burnley's season? (AFP/Getty)


Fulham fans will be aware that parachuting in an experienced disciplinarian with a sterling record in European football does not necessarily guarantee survival. However, even if Dick Advocaat takes to English football more like Magath than Mourinho it would be difficult for Sunderland's situation to become any worse - they have failed to win in six matches and shipped four first-half goals to Aston Villa in the defeat that finally cost Gus Poyet his job.

Form: LLLWDLDLDL (6 points from last 10 games)

Fixtures: West Ham (A), Newcastle (H), Crystal Palace (H), Stoke (A), Southampton (H), Everton (A), Leicester (H), Arsenal (A), Chelsea (A)

Are they doomed? They could well be. Only QPR are in worse form than the Black Cats, and with their season culminating in consecutive trips to Arsenal and Chelsea they need Advocaat to find his feet fast if he is to keep them up.

Even goal-shy Villa found scoring against Sunderland simple (Getty)


What a difference a couple of wins make. Victory against West Brom ended a horror run of 12 league games without a win, but it was the demolition of Sunderland by a side that has struggled so spectacularly to find the net all campaign that indicated Villa just may have turned a corner. Their FA Cup semi-final place has added to the sense of optimism that Tim Sherwood has brought to Villa Park, and he seems to have worked the same transformation of Christian Benteke and Gabby Agbonlahor as he managed with Emmanuel Adebayor at Spurs.

Form: DLLLLLLLWW (7 points from last 10 games)

Fixtures: Swansea (H), Man Utd (A), QPR (H), Tottenham (A), Man City (A), Everton (H), West Ham (H), Southampton (A), Burnley (H)

Are they doomed? A month ago relegation looked certain. Now, though, they have more momentum than their rivals, have finally started to create chances and, with home clashes with QPR and Burnley still to come, Tim Sherwood's boundless enthusiasm should be enough to keep Villa up.

Benteke has been a different player since Tim Sherwood's arrival (Getty)


They may be 15th but Hull are by no means out of harms way, with a slender three points between them and the relegation zone. With just one defeat in six games Steve Bruce's side finally seems to have recovered from a mid-season slump - they went without a victory from the start of October until Boxing Day - that saw them plummet as low as 19th place.

Form: WLLLDWWLDD (12 points from last 10 games)

Fixtures: Chelsea (H), Swansea (A), Southampton (A), Liverpool (H), Crystal Palace (A), Arsenal (H), Burnley (H), Tottenham (A), Man Utd (H)

Are they doomed? They shouldn't be after securing crucial wins against fellow-strugglers Villa and QPR in recent weeks. However, Steve Bruce's side has the toughest run-in, facing six of the Premier League's top seven in their final nine fixtures, and with such a small margin for error Hull could easily find themselves dragged into the mix.

Did a touchline spat with Poyet show Bruce is feeling the pressure? (Getty)

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