Tue, May 8, 8:45pm by Staff Writer
Stoke City became the first club to be relegated from the EPL this season, as their fight for survival came to an end at home to Crystal Palace. Two more clubs will join them in the next week West Brom, Southampton, Swansea and Huddersfield Town all in danger of playing their football in the Championship next season.
For Stoke, who had been in the EPL since 2008, their fate was sealed with a 2-1 loss to a rejuvenated Crystal Palace. Despite Xherdan Shaqiri opening the scoring for the Potters, two second half goals condemned them England’s second tier of football. Palace striker Patrick Van Aanholt ultimately scored the goal that sent Stoke down in the 86th minute of the game.
The win confirmed Palace’s survival which had seemed extremely unlikely after their start to the season. Having lost their first seven games of the campaign they were rooted to the bottom of the table. The hiring of Roy Hodgson in September appears to have been a masterstroke as he managed to keep the club up.
West Brom kept alive their faint hopes of survival with a huge win over Spurs. Despite still not having a price with Sportsbet it does remain possible, if unlikely, that the Baggies can survive the drop. As big as the 1-0 win over Spurs was, their fate remains out of their own hands as they are relying on results from other clubs to keep them up.
Southampton and Swansea will meet on Wednesday morning (AEST), in a match that could decide the future of both clubs as well as West Brom. A draw will give unlikely hope to West Brom, whilst a win for either side will condemn the Baggies to relegation and almost certainly secure top-flight football for the victor.
A 96th minute equaliser dented Southampton’s hopes as Everton denied them a vital three points. Tom Davies’ goal was a cruel blow to Mark Hughes’ side who must now regroup to take on Swansea in their penultimate match of the season. They stand at $2 to be relegated.
Swansea’s loss to Bournemouth has left their precariously placed in the relegation zone on goal difference alone. Priced at $2.30 they actually have the easier run in following their clash with Southampton. If they can get a positive result in that game then they face already relegated Stoke, whilst Southampton host the Champions Manchester City.
The race for Champions League qualification was kept alive with Spurs losing to West Brom, whilst Chelsea beat Liverpool. Chelsea remain in 5th place only two points behind 4th placed Spurs and three behind Liverpool in 3rd. Antonio Conte’s side are priced at $4.50 to gain an unlikely finish in the top four.
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