Who will end up in the final relegation spot?

Aston Villa, Wigan, Stoke, Sunderland and Norwich look to be the five sides competing to avoid dropping into the Championship with QPR and Reading, which side is the likeliest to go down?

How are the fixtures and form looking for each team?

Aston Villa: Three wins and a draw in their past five matches has put Villa on 34 points, but their good form might be scuppered by perhaps the trickiest run in of all the sides at the bottom. Manchester United and Chelsea feature in their last five games, but Villa will know that two wins out of the three games against relegation rivals Sunderland, Norwich and Wigan will see them across the line.

Prediction: Safe

Norwich: A disastrous run of form has seen Norwich plunged into a relegation fight they seem to have avoided, but having already put 35 points on the board, and with a reasonable set of fixtures to come, Chris Hughton's side should be able to stagger into next year's Premier League. Reading, Stoke, Aston Villa and West Brom make up their next four matches, and they should be safe before they play Manchester City on the final day of the season.

Prediction: Safe

Stoke: Stoke are on the poorest run of any side in the league, having only won once since the turn of the year. Their next three matches are crunch games with QPR, Norwich and Sunderland, if they don't pick up at least one win there it could easily be Tony Pulis' side that face the drop. However they are a resilient team, and despite looking so poor of late, you can see Stoke grinding out the two wins they need to stay up.

Prediction: Safe

Sunderland: Having looked set to go down, the arrival of Paolo Di Canio has thrown a wildcard into the mix, and the Tyne-Wear derby win at the weekend demonstrated the Italian has had an immediate impact at the Stadium of Light. Whether Di Canio is a wise long term appointment is a difficult question, but he should be able to inspire/bully his payers into a couple more wins this year.

Prediction: Safe

Wigan: Finally the team who currently sit in the relegation zone, and the team that many assume will be able to escape to safety in their remaining matches as they have done over the past few seasons. However this year seems like it might be different, and although they have a game in hand, Wigan might have left themselves too much to do to avoid relegation.

Prediction: Relegated

image: © illarterate

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