Relegation battle latest as Sunderland, Newcastle and Norwich scrap for survival
By Nick Wright
Last Updated: 11/05/16 7:55pm
Sunderland can secure their top-flight status and relegate fierce rivals Newcastle - alongside Norwich - in the process on Wednesday.
A 3-2 comeback win over Chelsea on Saturday lifted Sam Allardyce's men above Newcastle, who dropped back into the bottom three as they were held to a goalless draw by relegated Aston Villa. In the early kick-off, 19th-placed Norwich were unable to close the gap on their relegation rivals as they fell to a 1-0 loss against Manchester United.
So what could happen next in the fight for survival? Here, we take a look at Sunderland, Newcastle and Norwich's remaining fixtures and examine the battle as it stands.
Premier League relegation battle
|Position||Team||Games played||Goal difference||Points|
|20th||Aston Villa (R)||37||-45||17|
Sunderland can guarantee their Premier League survival - and condemn Newcastle and Norwich to the Championship - by beating Everton in their game in hand on Wednesday evening - live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 7pm.
But their superior goal difference to Newcastle and Norwich means just two points from their final two games would almost certainly be enough to clinch safety.
|Everton (h)||-||Watford (h)|
|Watford (a)||Tottenham (h)||Everton (a)|
The only two scenarios in which two points wouldn't be enough for Sunderland would be if Newcastle won their final game with an eight-goal swing or Norwich won their remaining fixtures with a 10-goal swing. Such dramatic swings in goal difference, of course, are extremely improbable.
The outlook is bleak for Norwich, who must beat Watford and Everton and hope Sunderland take no more than one point from their remaining two games against the same two sides.
They would also need Newcastle to drop points at home to Tottenham on the final day.
Newcastle could already be relegated by the time they face Tottenham next weekend, but they could clinch survival if they beat Spurs, and Sunderland take a maximum of one point from their remaining fixtures.
Relegation contenders' form
|Team||Last eight games (most recent last)|
|Sunderland||D D D L W D D W|
|Newcastle||D L L W D D W D|
|Norwich||L D W W L L L L|
The odds are stacked in Sunderland's favour after Saturday's action, but could there be one last twist still to come?
Sunderland have won just one of their last 10 Premier League home matches against Everton (W1 D4 L5).The Black Cats have netted just six goals in that run of 10 matches.
Sunderland have lost just one of their last nine Premier League games, winning two and drawing six.
The Toffees have registered just one win in their last nine top-flight games, drawing three and losing five.
Jermain Defoe netted just three goals in 17 Premier League games against Everton before joining Sunderland but has scored in both games for the Black Cats against the Toffees.
Watford have won four of their last six league visits to Norwich (L2).
The Canaries have now gone four consecutive Premier League games without scoring.
Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce has urged his side to "kill off" their rivals in front of the Sky cameras.
"Knowing we can do it in that one game and kill everyone else off is pressure in itself," Allardyce said.
"It would be a great relief for me if the players can do it against Everton. If it's points you need on the last day, it's even more unpredictable to decide what happens."
Rafa Benitez, has admitted his Newcastle side can only sit and wait.
"The only thing we can do is to prepare for our match and wait for their score, and after, try to win our game," he said. "I said to the players, 'Now it depends on them [Sunderland], so we must work during the week to prepare for us."
Norwich boss Alex Neil insists his side will be ready, should the scrap go to the final day.
"The odds are stacked against us, but if it comes down to one match then anything can happen," he said. "We need to keep believing and carry the fight. We're focused and still in with a chance, so we need to give ourselves a shot."
Who do you think will stay up? Let us know using the message boards or by tweeting @SkyFootball.