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Swansea and Hull hopes helped by run-in

2 May 2017
Hull City v Swansea City

Using the Fixture Difficulty Rankings we assess the remaining matches of teams fighting relegation

With three Matchweeks of the season remaining, the race to stay in the Premier League is heating up. 

There are still two spots available after Sunderland's relegation was confirmed on Saturday, and so we decided to use the Fixture Difficulty Rankings (FDR) tool from Fantasy Premier League to rate each team's chances.

The FDR is based on an algorithm analysing the performance statistics for each team across home and away matches, combining this with form over the past six fixtures to create a perceived difficulty value.

The values are simplified into ratings from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest difficulty of a match. 

Hull City's Harry Maguire and Swansea City's Jordan Ayew
Swansea and Hull have identical run-ins in terms of difficulty, according to the FDR

See: More on Fixture Difficulty Rankings

It suggests that Swansea City can avoid relegation, especially if they defeat Everton in their next match.

Saturday's meeting with the Toffees is given an FDR score of three and precedes two promising fixtures to end the season: away at Sunderland and at home to West Bromwich Albion

But unfortunately for the Swans, the team directly above them, Hull City, have a run-in that is identical in terms of promise. 

The Tigers are yet to play Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur, giving them an FDR average of 2.33 - exactly the same as that of Swansea. 

Remaining fixtures and FDR average
36 MCI (A)  SUN (H) EVE (H)  CHE (A) 
37 HUL (H)  CRY (A)  SUN (A)  SOU (H) 
38 MUN (A)  TOT (H)  WBA (H)  LIV (A) 
FDR 3.33 2.33 2.33 4.0

If Hull and Swansea take advantage of their favourable run-ins it could spell trouble for Crystal Palace.

After a run of six wins in eight matches under Sam Allardyce, the Eagles have lost their last two and, although they are currently six points clear of the bottom three, still have to face both Manchester clubs and direct rivals Hull. 

Burnley and West Ham United could also still be dragged down the table. 

Both teams currently sit seven points clear but the Hammers in particular will be wary of teams below them, as they still have to play Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool before a trip to Turf Moor on the final weekend.

Only Middlesbrough have a tougher run-in than West Ham. Their FDR score averages out at 4.0, with Steve Agnew's side tasked with facing Chelsea, Southampton and Liverpool in their bid to close the six-point gap to safety. 

See: FDR race for top four

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