The Premier League is coming to an end, with only 3 more fixtures to be played in the upcoming weeks. With all the spotlight directed towards the top of the league, where Manchester City and Liverpool fight for the title, we will look at the other end of the table where Cardiff and Brighton fight a battle of their own.
As it stands now, Brighton and Cardiff sit at 17th and 18th place in the Premier League respectively. They are separated by only 3 points, which could potentially spell out a fierce battle for survival. While they won’t have to face off against each other, the two teams still need to prove their worth against other Premier League teams if they wish to remain at the top tier of English football next season. Should Cardiff survive this season’s Premier League, they will need to catch up to Brighton, who are still 3 points above them. This while being achievable just might prove to be a tough task for Cardiff, who are far from being in an optimal form.
To get a better insight into the chances of both teams finishing 17th in the league, we need to check the two teams their forms and the upcoming opponents.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton are far from impressive this season, as they hold an overall record of 9-7-19 and 34 points. Looking back at their recent performances, Brighton failed to win their last 6 league fixtures. While they did manage to grab a point from Wolves on April 20th (0:0), Brighton fell short against Chelsea (3:0), Bournemouth (0:5), Cardiff (0:2) and most recently Tottenham (1:0). We must give them some slack though, as their schedule was not too forgiving in the last month, but sadly for them, it will be even harder going forward into the last 3 fixtures.
In the 36th round, they will have to face off against Newcastle, which is most likely their only chance of grabbing at least a point, as they will need to play against Arsenal in 37th and Manchester City in the 38th round.
With incredible tough matches in the final two rounds, it all seems like their future in the Premier League will come down to how well, or should we say, how bad Cardiff will perform in the remaining 3 fixtures.
Cardiff, just like Brighton did not enjoy the best season. With a 9-4-22 record and 31 points, they deservingly sit in the relegation zone, where they still fight for survival. Sitting 3 points behind Brighton, Cardiff potentially have a chance to save themselves, however, their form might suggest otherwise.
Looking back at their last 5 league matches, Cardiff only managed to win once against Brighton (0:2), which was the decisive match which kept them in the fight for survival. While they enjoyed taking all 3 points from the Seagulls, Cardiff failed to impress against Chelsea (1:2), Manchester City (2:0), Burnley (2:0) and most recently Liverpool (0:2).
Much like Brighton, Cardiff had a tough schedule behind them, facing off against 3 of the top 6 teams in the league. This, however, will work in their favour going forward, as they need to face off against only one “top dogs” in the last 3 rounds, unlike Brighton who need to face against two. In the 36th round, Cardiff is to face off against Fulham, Crystal Palace in the 37th round and Manchester United in the last round.
With the questionable form of both teams, and somewhat hard schedules ahead of them, the question remains; can Cardiff close the gap and keep their boat afloat, or will it be Brighton who will get to play in the Premier League once again next season?
It will all come down to how well Cardiff can perform against Fulham and Crystal Palace, as they seem like the one-two teams that could potentially drop points. Brighton on the other side could potentially secure the 17th spot finish with a win against Newcastle, who they have defeated before. With many questions and slight chance of the two teams upsetting the “top dogs” in the last rounds of Premier League, this fight for survival is far from decided and could prove to be highly interesting to watch up until the very last round. Potentially it would be the last match against Manchester City which would decide which team will save themselves from the relegation and which team will win the Premier League.