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Football expert Jason Pettigrove is here to give some insight into the relegation battle in the Premier League.

With at least 13 games to go of the current Premier League season, more for a number of teams, there’s everything to play for at both ends of the table.

Whilst it would take a monumental collapse for Manchester City to lose their grip on the title from here, Liverpool could move to within six points of them if they win their game in hand, and the teams that are first and second in the table still have to play each other again.

It would be some comeback, but the real excitement this season is down at the opposite end of the table.

At the time of writing, there are at least seven clubs that could potentially consider themselves at risk of going down. Brentford, in 14th, down to Burnley at the bottom.

The Clarets have only won one of their 21 games so far, and although Sean Dyche’s side have games in hand on all of their relegation rivals, they are already seven points from safety.

They showed with their performances against Manchester United and Liverpool that they’re still playing for their manager, however, they’re just not getting points on the board and that’s a real problem.

Watford have changed managers twice already this season, but haven’t won in 12 games in all competitions. The 4-1 win over Man United on November 20, that saw the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign at Old Trafford, is the last time the Hornets had that winning feeling.

With no goals in their last four games, Roy Hodgson’s problems are crystal clear.

A goal against Newcastle was when they last found the net, and since that game, Eddie Howe’s Magpies have won three on the bounce.

Those nine points have propelled the St. James’ Park outfit up into 17th place and four points clear of the bottom three.

At this stage it’s all about momentum, and that’s absolutely something that Newcastle have at present. St. James’ Park has been packed to the rafters of late, and the atmosphere has been the complete opposite of when Mike Ashley was Chairman and Steve Bruce oversaw the first-team.

Howe has them playing with verve, bravery and spirit, and if they’re able to steer clear of injuries, Newcastle might just keep their heads above water in 2021/22.

Everton will hope that their recent appointment of Frank Lampard will turn the tide for the Toffees, but the former Chelsea manager has already seen the best and worst of his team.

A superb 4-1 win in the FA Cup against Brentford had all of the ingredients one might expect from a Lampard side. As did their most recent 3-0 victory over free-falling Leeds United.

They sandwiched an abject performance at Newcastle, where new signing Dele Alli produced the same under-par showing as he’d done at Tottenham, which had paved the way for his move north in the first place.

Everton should have enough to keep themselves out of trouble, but they’ll have to tighten up at the back if they want to make their last 16 English top-flight matches semi-enjoyable.

Thomas Frank’s Brentford are running out of steam at the worst possible time.Like Leeds the season before them, the Bees have been a breath of fresh air to the Premier League.

Frank likes his team to play on the front foot at all times, even if that ends up being to their detriment. No wins in six has to be reversed quickly, and the next half dozen games should give the West Londoners a better idea of how well equipped they are to survive.

During that time, they’ll face Arsenal, Newcastle, Norwich, Burnley, Leicester and Chelsea, all of whom are after points for one reason or another. With the worst recent record of the bottom seven sides, the need for wins is obvious.

Leeds seemingly haven’t learned from their 7-0 humbling against Man City back in December. Marcelo Bielsa’s side have since lost 4-1 to Arsenal, 2-0 to West Ham in the FA Cup, 1-0 to Newcastle and 3-0 to Everton.

A draw against Aston Villa and wins over West Ham and Burnley evidences a fighting spirit, however, Bielsa’s penchant for all-out attack is likely to prove his undoing.

There’s clearly still all to play for, and mental strength, resilience and desire will be vital for the run in.

Only the strongest will survive…

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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