Huge weekend in the Premier League survival race
It is a huge weekend at the foot of the Premier League with a couple of ‘six pointers’ to look forward to in the race for survival.
With the Premier League title race all-but over, all the excitement is focused on the other end of the table with just six points separating Newcastle in 13th place and Bournemouth down in 19th.
And with some of the relegation contenders facing off on Saturday, it could be a pivotal weekend in the season.
The teams involved have played down the significance of the games in the lead-up to them, saying they are not season defining, but deep down they will know how crucial they are.
There is a long way to go and plenty of points to fight for, but the games take on even more importance when they are against fellow strugglers.
Here are the three big games of the weekend.
Brighton v Aston Villa
Villa may be in the bottom three of the Premier League, but just three points separate these two sides and Dean Smith’s men could jump out of the bottom three and close the gap with a win.
That will be much easier said than done considering the run they are on at the moment having lost three of the last five games. Can take heart from the performance when drawing at Leicester in the Carabao Cup semi-final and the same kind of heart will be needed on Saturday.
The pressure could be on the Seagulls considering they are at home and have won just one game in the last five. A crucial win would give them more breathing space from the bottom.
Norwich v Bournemouth
Both clubs are in the relegation zone and cannot buy win. The Cherries have lost nine from 11 in an alarming slide down the table and the 3-0 home defeat against Watford last weekend had many supporters reaching for the panic button.
There is still time for Eddie Howe’s men to get out of trouble, but the recovery needs to start now before it is too late.
The game is must-win for the Canaries. Cut adrift at the bottom, it might already be too late, but three points on Saturday could kick-start the great escape.
The Hornets looked dead and buried before Nigel Pearson took over, but all of a sudden, following four wins and a draw they are a club on the up and will be looking to keep the good run going against Spurs in the early kick off on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho’s men have been up and down and will be without Harry Kane, so it looks like a great opportunity for the resurgent Watford to get another crucial win.