SO YOU CAN SEE FOR YOURSELVES – Watford Relegated, Norwich Relegated, Who's NEXT?– my post,early March.
In the above post,concerning Burnley I said– "As for Burnley, I have always felt,even before the Ranieri sack at Watford, that they were too experienced to drop into the lower league. They have been here before and fought successfully".
Concerning Everton I said: "Frank Lampard who turned down the Crystal Palace job citing worries about player signings,accepted an Everton job that I think is even riskier. He is feeling the heat while Vieira is chilling at Crystal Palace. Everton is now destined for a relegation dog fight."
My final submission was, "Looking at all indices, I will pick Leeds United for the drop. I do so because, of the reasons I gave above and because, non-Premier league experience will most likely count on Jesse Marsch. It would be painful to see Leeds go down, but so it would be to see Everton go down. Incase someone is asking why I didn't pick Brentford, I'd say they've paid their dues and they have a certain tough mentality about them.
I stick with Leeds United as the third team for the drop."
Whilst I was right on Watford and Norwich who both still Mathematically had a chance of survival by early March, but I was wrong, to think that it will be a straight fight between Everton and Leeds. It was a fight between them nonetheless, but a three-way dog-fight as Burnley is/was part of the fight. The latest now is that Everton has pulled clear of the fight with their penultimate game, a come from behind, 3–2 victory over Crystal Palace. Now it's Burnley versus Leeds for who stays up. Ofcourse Brentford had since been home and dry.
It's all happening today,as today's round of matches will determine who stays up and who doesn't. It would be Burnley up against Newcastle United Leeds slugging it out against Brentford City. In the last 5 matches, Burnley has lost twice,won twice and drawn once(their very last match,which was against Aston Villa); whilst in the last 5 matches, Leeds have lost three and drawn two(one of which is the very last match, which was against Brighton and Hove). Perhaps we can note that all those losses by Leeds were to top 4 sides.
It's indeed going to be an epic battle between these two sides eventhough they aren't playing each other. The last column shows their points and you can observe it is a tie; the next to that is the goals difference and that's where you have a sharp difference, Burnley leads in that category with as many as 20 goals. First up,a draw by both teams, mean Leeds go down. If Leeds must stay up, they do not need a draw,even so they need a whooping victory(just incase Burnley wins by any margin) to cancel out the huge goals difference. This is what is referred to as practically impossible. It's like the Arsenal and Tottenham situation in the top 4 fight, where a draw for Tottenham and a win for Arsenal will see both clubs level on points, but with a whooping advantage in goals difference for Tottenham, a lot of Arsenal fans are already congratulating themselves and waiting for the Europa league draws to be released.
So what do I conclude on the Burnley, Leeds face-off? Do I go with my earlier prophecy? Burnley almost made me eat my words because I was scared the sacking of Sean Dyche after my aforementioned post, would impact them negatively. They have somehow managed it well and here they are. It's quite a tough call to make and funny enough they face teams who have thesame points currently,who follow each other on the log. We can say both teams they face really have nothing to play for, no European hope,no relegation worries, but a Newcastle has a project that will take major steps this summer and contracts naturally come to the fore. I am saying that players will be hoping to make a good impression on the club's management, even Eddie Howe the coach, has to do same because his job isn't safe yet, with the kind of ownership the club now has and the kind of rebuild that would follow.
So can I prophesy now? Ladies and gents, I chose Burnley to stay up citing their experience in relegation battles, but the disadvantage seems to rest in their camp(who by the way are coached by a caretaker boss) looking at what I just said on Newcastle and looking at how Leeds have actual done well since coach Bielsa was sacked. What do I do?
Well for some rather strange reasons,I choose to stick out my neck and stay put with my first stance, which says Leeds go down.