Does anyone want to survive in the Premier League?
Bournemouth remain in the relegation zone after a third defeat in four games but none of the strugglers seem capable of making a significant move.
The magical 40-point mark seems a long way away for the Cherries at present as they have 27 points from 29 games played, and it may be that considerably less is required to stay up this season.
With Norwich seemingly on their way to the Championship, the battle for survival is between Eddie Howe’s men, Aston Villa, Watford, West Ham and Brighton, with Southampton and Newcastle having a decent buffer in 14th and 13th respectively.
It would only take a run of seven points from three games to get any of the sides realistically out of trouble but none of them appear to have the ability to string any wins together.
A big week ahead 👊 pic.twitter.com/PJYIWb8iwO
— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) March 8, 2020
Bournemouth were perhaps unlucky not to take anything from champions-elect Liverpool while the Hornets, after ending the Reds’ unbeaten run, left Selhurst Park with nothing to show for their efforts after going down 1-0 to Crystal Palace.
The Hammers also fell 1-0 to Arsenal, with the Seagulls the only bottom-six club to pick up a point when drawing 0-0 at Wolves.
Aston Villa will try to do something about that when they play Leicester City on Monday night and they also have another game in hand on those around them, but the battle for survival looks set to go right to the wire.
So why is nobody able to break away from the pack and secure top-flight football for next season?
Confidence will be one factor, with those round the foot of the standings having to deal with the pressure of possible relegation all season long, and it can take its toll.
Players are reluctant to take chances with so much at stake, as games are running out to put things right and mistakes appear even more costly than they are earlier in the campaign.
Then there is the old adage that there are ‘no easy games in the Premier League’, which rang true as Nigel Pearson’s men pulled off ‘mission impossible’ when beating Liverpool.
It is a toss up as to which clubs will drop into the second tier of English football on May 17, with two of the three that were promoted last season right in the mix.
The other promoted club, Sheffield United, are pushing for a European spot and the managers at the sharp end of proceedings would love a bit of the Chris Wilder magic to rub off on their troops before the dust settles on the season.