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Battle to avoid relegation getting even tighter

9 Feb 2017
Crystal Palace v Sunderland

Only once before in PL history have bottom six clubs been so close after 24 Matchweeks

Chelsea are 12 points clear at the top, but at the other end of the Premier League table, the race to avoid relegation is as tight as it has ever been.

Two points are all that divide 15th-placed Middlesbrough, Leicester City, Swansea City, Hull City, Crystal Palace and bottom club Sunderland

Even more teams could get embroiled after this weekend.

Only once before have the Premier League’s last six sides been so tightly congested after 24 Matchweeks.

Premier League table after Matchweek 24 of 2008/09 season

Club P W D L Pts
14. Tottenham Hotspur 24 6 6 12 24
15. Newcastle United 24 5 9 10 24
16. Portsmouth 23 6 6 11 24
17. Stoke City 24 6 6 12 24
18. Blackburn Rovers 23 5 8 10 23
19. Middlesbrough 24 5 7 12 22
20. West Browich Albion 24 6 4 14 22

That was in February 2009 when two points separated the bottom seven teams, from West Bromwich Albion up to Tottenham Hotspur, in 14th. 

See: Romeu: Sunderland clash vital

Despite being only two points off bottom with 14 matches to play, Spurs finished eighth. 

By contrast Newcastle United, who were level with Spurs on 24 points, ended up getting relegated, despite moving up to 13th, two points above Spurs, after beating West Bromwich Albion 3-2 in their 25th match.

Peter Lovenkrands, Newcastle United
Relegation-bound Newcastle United's 3-2 win at The Hawthorns took them up to 13th place after Matchweek 25 of the 2008/09 season

After Matchweek 25 of 2008/09, only five points separated the bottom eight teams.

This weekend could provide an identical scenario should Hull continue their good form with a win at Arsenal, Crystal Palace beat Stoke City, Sunderland triumph against Southampton, who are 13th, while AFC Bournemouth, in 14th, fail to beat Manchester City.

See: The story of the 2008/09 season





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