The 2022-23 Premier League has almost reached its climax, and what a battle we have in the relegation zone.
EvertonEmbed from Getty Images
An emphatic 5-1 victory over an in-form Brighton and Hove Albion certainly boosted Sean Dysche’s Everton, who lept out of the relegation zone.Embed from Getty Images
Dwight McNeil and Abdoulaye Doucouré were the architects of the Toffees’ astonishing performance at the Amex Stadium, with two goals each.
Manager, Sean Dyche was astonished by his side’s performance, especially after a winless streak of six games.
“I’m not sure I [saw it coming] myself, with the scoreline. I saw the performance coming because I saw it at Leicester. There’s been a lot of noise about Everton playing away but we’ve been improving the mentality. There have been some stronger performances away from home, more committed.” “I said to the lads it is only another step, just a step,” “There are three more big steps we have to take.”Dysche: The Guardian
Obtaining four points from two games lifts the Toffees out of the relegation zone for the time being, however, a tough task awaits at home to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City who will be eager to pile the pressure back on Arsenal on Sunday.Embed from Getty Images
After a pulsating 4-3 win over fellow season strugglers Southampton, Steve Cooper’s Nottingham Forrest has also boosted their prospects of another season in the Premier League.
Danilo’s cooley-taken finish in the 73rd minute was enough to take the three points, despite James Ward-Prowse’s penalty in the 96th minute.
Morgan Gibbs-White also played a pivotal role on a sensational night at the City Ground, scoring Forests’ third goal, and was instrumental in the fourth, by playing the final pass to Danillo, to put away the winner.
“Playing football is always hard work, that’s why I love this game for nights like this. The fans were incredible once again. They stuck behind us through every moment in the game, every decision they still stuck behind us.
“It’s going to be hard, it’s not going to be easy but there are still three games left. I believe, the team believes and I hope the whole fan base believes. We can definitely do it.”Morgan Gibbs-White: BBC Sport
Given the fact that Arsenal, Chelsea, and Crystal Palace are Forrest’s last three games are against Chelsea, Arsenal, and Crystal Palace, the likelihood of a second season back in the Premier League remains an unlikely prospect.
After eight long seasons in the top tier of English football, The Foxes find themselves on the cusp of relegation. And despite a spirited second-half performance against Fulham, Dean Smith’s side have it all to do, if they are to stand any chance of another season in the Premier League.
The biggest issue for Leicester is that they are continuously leaking goals.Embed from Getty Images
Daniel Iversen is yet to keep a clean sheet in nine appearances, and his deputy, Danny Ward has only six in 26 appearances.
Of course, it doesn’t help when your main centre-backs have been struggling with injuries, as Johnny Evans found out in the club’s first game of 2023.
Another thing that has hampered the Foxes in the past few seasons, is their lack of recruitment for this season. In 2021-22, they spent over £70milion on Patison Daka, Boubakary Soumare, Jannick Westergaard, and Ryan Bertrand, which took them to an eighth-place finish. However this season, they cashed in on Harry Souttar, Wout Faes, Tete, and Victor Kristiansen for more than £ 50 million, which is a big difference of £20 million.
If you look at teams like Newcastle United and Brighton, one of the main reasons why they are having such a successful season, is because of how well their owners, have done in the recruitment side.
They’ve really thought about the type of club they want to be, and have also set up a solid structure in terms of their managerial appointments, and recruitment of players, and have really committed to their long-term plans.
Look where they are now, challenging for a place in the Champions League.
Since the miraculous season of 2015/16, you can kind of sense that the Foxes have gone backwards in terms of trying to build on that success.
Despite winning the FA Cup in 2021, the Foxes only reached the semi-finals of the 2021-22 Europa Conference League last season, where they lost to eventual Champions Roma.
The East Midlands Club ended the 2021-22 season in eighth place, just four points off a place in Europe, and although they missed out on this, there were still some hopes of a better outcome for 2022-23.
However, injuries to key players have really hindered their progress, particularly Kalechi Iheanacho, who may be available for the Foxes’ final game of the season at home to West Ham.
As well as their end-of-season clash against West Ham, Dean Smith’s side have two tough games at home to Top 4 chasing Liverpool and a tough trip to Newcastle United, can they somehow sneak a victory or two out of those final three games?
Leeds UnitedEmbed from Getty Images
With Javi Gracia unable to tidy up the mess left by Jesse Marsche, the onus is now on Sam Allardyce, to do another rescue mission at the West Yorkshire club.
However, the Lillywhites did not get off to the best of starts, following a 2-1 defeat to City. but what was good to see, was the fight being shown by the players, especially after being 2-0 down after 27 minutes, where many people thought they would crumble to a heavy defeat by the reigning Champions.
They will need to show the same fighting spirit to get anything from Newcastle United, West Ham, and Tottenham Hotspur if they are to stand a chance at Premier League Football next Season
One of the major concerns for Leeds is conceding goals. Illan Meslier has only kept five clean sheets in 34 matches this season.
Allardyce opting to go for Joel Robles for the game against Pep Guardiola’s side, was a bit of a gamble considering he had only made three appearances for the club.
There was hardly anything he could do, to stop Illkay Gündoğan’s two rockets, that flew into the bottom right and left corners of the net. It’ll be interesting to see if he starts against the Magpies on Saturday.
“The fear of relegation and the fear of losing Premier League status should make them fight and want to fight for their Premier League status.” “We have nine points to go for [and] I would be very satisfied if we were still in it when we take on Tottenham,”Alardyce: BBC Sport
Newcastle United and West Ham are the next two fixtures before the last game with Ryan Mason’s side. with Leeds on 30 points, you would say that a victory is a must in at least one of those games.
So who will survive in the fight to avoid relegation?
Find out on World in Sport.