Premier League relegation picture: Status, remaining fixtures heading into stretch run

It's not too early to eyeball how things will look for next season in the Premier League given the almost ridiculous situation in the bottom half of the table.

That's true in the Championship as well, but let's leave promotion for another post as longtime PL mainstays continue to jockey for a place back in the top flight (Southampton, Leeds, Leicester, wow!).

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Burnley and Sheffield United are in a bad, bad place, while four others are in trouble points-wise but have had mixed performances.

Everton's six-point deduction has put a borderline solid team — six more more points would have them 14th — and Forest's defense and Brentford's attack have been defied by their records.

So what matches are left for the seven teams currently closest to the Championship, and how worried should each be? Read on...

Deep, deep, deep trouble

Sheffield United (20th place, 15 points, 8 matches left)

This season has been harder to take than a Vinicius Souza tackle. The young Brazilian has been quite good for the Blades, but they lead the Premier League in goals conceded by 13 goals, having given up 80 despite getting a league-best number of saves per game. Turns out not keeping the two most influential players from a promotion push is pretty harmful.

Remaining fixtures: Chelsea (H), Brentford (A), Burnley (H), Newcastle (A), Forest (H), Everton (A), Tottenham (H)

Burnley (19th place, 19 points, six matches left)

While Burnley are not as bad as their defensive record indicates, the goals just haven't been there often enough and they've blown leads late in the season. There just may not be enough winnable fixtures left on the list to overcome not one but two teams on the table, especially after the loss away to Everton.

Remaining fixtures: Brighton (H), Sheffield United (A), Man Utd (A), Newcastle (H), Tottenham (A), Forest (H)

Long road ahead

Luton Town (18th place, 25 points, six matches left)

Rob Edwards' Hatters fight, and they fight hard. You could say it's difficult to be a Hatters' hater. There are some points left on the board, for sure, but remember that the numbers say Luton need more than things appear given Everton's plight being more about a points punishment than performance. Will Brentford or Forest present Luton a chance to pass them?

Remaining fixtures: Man City (A), Brentford (H), Wolves (A), Everton (H), West Ham (A), Fulham (H)

Nottingham Forest (17th place, 25 points, seven matches left)

Forest have actually defended alright this year, and been victim of some serious xGA defying goals. They've also missed Taiwo Awoniyi for double-digit games — he's got six goals and three assists in just over 1,000 minutes. Chris Wood's found the net 11 times, too, while Morgan Gibbs-White has four goals and seven assists, a real talent finding his potential. If they shore up their set-piece defending — the Tricky Trees have allowed 12 (?!) goals between the branches off corner kicks and seven more off free kicks or free kick routines — Nuno Espirito Santo's men may be fine.

Remaining fixtures: Spurs (A), Wolves (H), Everton (A), Man City (H), Sheffield United (A), Chelsea (H), Burnley (A)

Just don’t fall apart and you’ll be fine

Brentford (16th place, 29 points, six matches left)

This really shouldn't be an issue, especially with Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa both healthy and contributing along with Ivan Toney, Neal Maupay, and Co. in attack. Brentford rank as high third in the Premier League in big chances missed, according to fotmob. Missing Toney and Mbeumo for as long as they did and have is a part of that, and it's a safe bet to assume more of those go into the goal with Toney and, soon, Mbeumo on the pitch. The Bees have also allowed almost six more goals than xGA. Like Everton, they're better than this.

Remaining fixtures: Sheffield United (H), Luton (A), Everton (A), Fulham (A), Bournemouth (A), Newcastle (H)

Everton (15th place, 29 points, seven matches left)

Remember the six-point deduction here, because Everton are certainly not a relegation team on merit: only Arsenal have kept more clean sheets than Sean Dyche's Toffees (nine). Everton also ranks high in interceptions and tackles per match. Everton are actually quite decent, and their fixtures really could boost them to safety.

Remaining fixtures: Liverpool (H), Chelsea (A), Forest (H), Brentford (H), Luton (A), Sheffield United (H), Arsenal (A)

Crystal Palace (14th place, 30 points, seven matches left)

Palace need Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze healthy because the duo make the Eagles a much more dangerous team. They've also missed Odsonne Edouard for a half-dozen games and Cheick Doucoure's achilles injury has really hurt their chances of winning without their best attackers. Palace weren't particularly strong with Doucoure — 4W-2D-5L — but they were quite awful without him prior to Oliver Glasner's arrival.

Remaining fixtures: Newcastle (H), Liverpool (A), West Ham (H), Fulham (A), Man Utd (H), Wolves (A), Villa (H)