The English Premier League is notorious for being one of the most competitive top-flight football leagues in the world and it is not hard to see why. The vast sums of money pumped into the league from all four corners of globe enables even those newly promoted sides to invest heavily in the transfer market and level the playing field somewhat to their more established peers.
That spending power is unprecedented in any other league around the World, but it does not always go to plan as Fulham are finding out.
As the Premier League heads into its final International break of the year, the Cottagers find themselves rooted to the bottom of the Premier League having made the third worst ever start to a Premier League season of any side.
However, despite just five points from their opening twelve games, Fulham sit just three points from safety and four points from 14th place. It may be relatively early days to judge to harshly but then again is it? Twelve games down mean there are just twenty-six to go and although that may sound a lot, the fact is it really is not.
Last season Swansea City and Stoke City both went down with 33 points,but Southampton survived on 36. Let’s assume that the minimum a side will need then to be in with a chance of safety is 34 points then Fulham need to pick up 1.12 points per game from now until the end of the season just to be in with a chance of survival.
Considering they have picked up just 0.42 points per game so far, they need to more than double their current average and that is no easy feat.
But they are not the only ones in trouble. Three go down and Huddersfield are only two points better off than Fulham with seven points but David Wagner’s men have shown an improvement of late with four points from their last two fixtures.
Then there is the trio of Cardiff, Southampton and Crystal Palace on eight points who have all shown strong signs of positivity at various points throughout the season. The truth is that anyone in the bottom half is essentially in the relegation fight with even Leicester in tenth just nine points clear of the drop.
Christmas is often the defining period for each team’s likelihood of surviving the dreaded drop in the Premier League with vast number of fixtures often dividing the men from the boys.
Once again the Premier League relegation fight is going to go down to the wire but the picture is forming already and it is looking grim for quite a few.