The race for Premier League survival is becoming increasingly more intriguing with each passing week as every encounter now makes a telling difference at the bottom end of the table.
Ten games remain in the Premier League season [11 for Newcastle United] and only goal difference separates Norwich City, Sunderland and Newcastle after another round of fixtures.
Aston Villa have long looked doomed, and their 3-1 home defeat to Everton in midweek leaves the Villans some eight points from safety after taking just 16 points from 28 matches.
Bookmakers Sky Bet have stopped taking bets on Villa going down, while on the flip side both Bournemouth and Swansea City are now deemed all but safe following midweek victories.
Swansea, at one stage favourites ahead of Sunderland and Newcastle for the drop, pulled off a shock 2-1 win at Arsenal to move six points clear of their relegation rivals and move closer to safety.
Sky Bet have odds set at 8/1 for a Swansea relegation, a now extremely unlikely scenario when taking into account their next three games are against Norwich, Bournemouth and Villa.
Sunderland, despite their improvements and current position of 17th, are next favourites [after Villa] with odds of 1/3 to go down largely due to a difficult run-in between now and May.
The Black Cats have to travel to relegation rivals Newcastle and Norwich, while fixtures against Arsenal, Chelsea, Stoke City, Southampton and Everton could prove problematic in their bid for survival.
Norwich were defeated 2-1 by Chelsea on Tuesday and are now 2/5 to go down, illustrated by their wretched run of form which has seen the Canaries go eight league games without a victory.
Newcastle are still Sky Bet's tip to beat the drop of the teams currently fighting it out, although their odds of 10/11 to go down suggests they are still very much in danger of heading to the Championship.
Steve McClaren’s men suffered their sixth straight Premier League defeat on their travels after they were downed 1-0 by Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium in midweek.
If the Magpies stay up, it will be as a result of their home form with Sunderland, Norwich, Swansea and Crystal Palace all still to visit St. James’ Park over the next two months.