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Ever wondered what a Premier League table would look like in a calendar year? Well, it doesn’t make for good reading if you’re a supporter of Aston Villa, Newcastle United or Sunderland.
As per the table above provided by Opta Stats, the struggling trio would be completely cut adrift in the bottom three and staring relegation to the Championship in the face.
Now, while that isn’t quite the situation at present, the trio’s struggles at the start of the current campaign appear to have carried over from where they left off at the end of last season.
Aston Villa escaped the drop in 2014/15 due to a miraculous initial improvement under former boss Tim Sherwood - Christian Benteke was scoring for fun, and Jack Grealish rose to prominence.
However, a number of changes to personnel in the summer have so far failed to pay off, as nine defeats in 12 league matches leaves them rooted to the foot of the table and Sherwood without a job.
Their overall points tally for 2015 stands at 22 from 31 matches, an alarming figure for a club of such prestige. New boss Remi Garde has a huge job on his hands in fighting off relegation once again.
Achieving just one point extra since the turn of the year is Newcastle United, a club that has seemingly been through it all in recent seasons, including six straight defeats to their arch rivals Sunderland.
John Carver oversaw a massive dip in form towards the end of last season, and it seems to have taken former Derby County boss Steve McClaren some time to get going as his successor.
The Magpies have improved somewhat of late, earning victories over Norwich City and Bournemouth to lift themselves out of the bottom three at the Cherries’ expense.
There are a number of quality young players now on the books at St. James’ Park, and there is fresh hope that a good season is still in store and a considerably better 2016.
Sunderland make up a 2015 bottom three, picking up 24 points from 31 games which leaves them 13 points shy of the next total of 37 points accumulated by West Ham United.
The Black Cats are seemingly forever drawn into relegation battles, though unless Sam Allardyce can perform a miracle, it’s looking increasingly likely that this will be the season in which they finally drop.
The Wearside outfit have an unbalanced squad lacking in genuine quality up front and the sort of solidarity at the back which sees the likes of Watford and West Bromwich Albion outperforming them.