Is the battle to avoid relegation going to be closer than many initially thought?

Crystal Palace and Sunderland have shown small signs of promise in recent weeks, do they have enough to survive after being written off?

Given the way the start of the season went, you could be forgiven for thinking that at least one of the sides near the bottom of the table were going through the motions and preparing themselves for life back in the Championship next season.

The other one you could say the plan of hiring so many new players and managerial appointments had also gone awry. But over the past couple of weeks in the Premier League, it looks as though it has closed up just a little at the bottom of the Premier League this season.

Crystal Palace have managed to pick up four points from their last two games without conceding a goal and have now climbed off the bottom of the table whilst Sunderland have had two big home wins ever since Gus Poyet arrived at the new club.

Combined with the fact that Palace have a new manager at the helm in Tony Pulis – from what seemed like two teams who were so lost earlier on in the season, and looked as if they could’ve been relegated by March – they are now both in shooting distance of getting out of the relegation zone with West Ham only three points ahead of them.

Whilst people may talk about the top of the table being tight, and the race for the title being a little more open than they thought it would be, the battle for survival looks like it could last for much of the season with just eight points separating 10th and the bottom side.

Despite their loss at the weekend Sunderland fans will be feeling a little more confident about their chances of survival whilst Tony Pulis walks into Selhurst Park with a degree of momentum behind them. Now with a lot of games to be played in December, would anybody really be surprised if the bottom half of the table had a very different look to it at the turn of the year?

image: © Tom Brogan

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