Who are the biggest contenders in this year’s relegation race?

Relegation is a touchy subject at the best of times, but at just a few weeks into the Premier League, there are already a few teams who could be hanging on to their Premier League dream by the skin of their teeth.

 Kicking things off after being promoted to this season’s league are North Western outfit Burnley. After losing and drawing two games each, the team have been given odds of 1.5 to return with Betsafe to return to their former glory in the Championship.
 In 18th place however, Burnley are certainly not the smallest fish in the biggest pond, and have both Newcastle and West Bromwich Albion behind them. At the bottom, Newcastle have lost and drawn the same amount of games as the aforementioned Burnley, but find themselves in last place thanks to a goal difference of -6 compared to Burnley’s -3.
 It’s been a difficult journey for Newcastle, who have come unstuck against a set of far higher calibre rivals including last season’s winners Manchester City. Despite playing at home, The Magpies were defeated 2-0 on 17th August, and as yet, the best score they have managed to muster is a 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace.
Indeed, Wilfried Zaha could be the secret weapon that Newcastle need to ensure they do not get relegated this season. The 21-year-old managed to score a vital injury time equaliser that gave them the three points they so desperately needed.
Moreover, interestingly, Newcastle’s Tim Krul managed to keep a clean sheet during the 0-0 draw with Aston Villa on 23rdAugust. Whether this is indicative of Aston Villa’s lack of attacking power or Newcastle’s sterling defence is debatable, but the difference between the two teams is palpable: Aston Villa now find themselves in second place, just behind Premier League favourites Chelsea.
If Newcastle have the power to keep the Premier League’s second best team from winning, then they may just have what it takes to avoid relegation this season. The same cannot be said for West Bromwich Albion though – after a reasonably positive draw against Sunderland to start the season, a goalless draw and two losses have put them in 19th place.
Things are looking bleak for West Brom too as they now have to face top table contenders Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool in the near future. They will also have fellow relegation favourites Burnley to contend with in the meantime, but it could be a difficult next few weeks for the team.
 At this early stage in the season, it’s anyone’s guess as to what could happen, but one thing is for sure – some big changes will have to be made if the aforementioned three want to avoid the chop.

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