Who's going down? Graeme Souness and David Moyes assess relegation battle
By Peter Smith
Last Updated: 14/12/15 10:55am
Who will be relegated from the Premier League? That was the topic up for discussion in the Sky Sports studio after Newcastle leapt out of the drop zone with a last-gasp win at Tottenham on Sunday.
It was the second win in a row for Steve McClaren's side after they defeated Liverpool last weekend and means they are now two points clear of danger - and above defending champions Chelsea, who face Leicester City on Monday Night Football.
After a round of Premier League fixtures which also saw Bournemouth beat Manchester United, just four points separates the Cherries in 14th and 19th-placed Sunderland, with Aston Villa six points adrift of the Black Cats at the foot of the table.
Norwich and Swansea are also in the mix - and former Everton and Manchester United boss David Moyes expects it to be a tight battle right until the end of the season.
"It's the first time Norwich have dropped into the bottom three, Swansea are just a point outside of it as well. There's quite a few in there now," he told Sky Sports. "For a wee while, it just looked like Sunderland, Aston Villa and Newcastle.
"It's going to be tight but it always is. Someone always goes on a good run and gets themselves out, at the moment both Bournemouth and Newcastle are doing that."
For Graeme Souness, Aston Villa fans have real reasons for concern. Souness watched Villa lose 2-0 at home to Arsenal on Super Sunday and sees few signs of encouragement for Remi Garde's side.
Aston Villa look a sorry group. They're bang in trouble.
"Mathematically, if it is still possible, they'll keep believing but they look a sorry group," he said. "There was nothing about them today that would suggest they can get out of trouble. It's not as though they've got an out-and-out striker who can nick them games, I don't see anyone like that on their books.
"They've got to come up with a way of playing that makes them hard to play against but still score goals. I don't see it. I think they're bang in trouble."
Premier League table
Souness also shared his views on the other sides fighting relegation - but says Newcastle have shown that teams can quickly turn around their situation.
"Swansea would be a concern for me," he said. "I think they've got to get a manager as soon as possible.
"If you go back a week, Newcastle would have been a worry but the way they've played in their last two games, if they could bottle that and repeat that consistently, they'll be well up the table. But that's a big if.
"Sunderland are in and out - can Big Sam [Allardyce] get some consistency? They're another big football club that feel they shouldn't be there.
"Norwich are a team huffing and puffing at the moment, conceding daft goals with a relatively new manager [Alex Neil] in our league.
"They all have to come up with a formula that makes them hard to play against but at the same time allows them to nick goals. They're not going to out-football everyone, with the possible exception of Bournemouth.
"It's going to be hard for all of them down there but Newcastle have shown that in a short space of time, you can go from being near enough everyone's favourite to go down to, after today, you think they're going to be fine."