With the final stretch of the Premier League now arriving, Brighton and Hove Albion find themselves in a precarious position.
The Seagulls have seen a recent upturn in fortunes in recent times since achieving big wins against Liverpool and Tottenham, yet still find them themselves languishing only three points clear of the relegation zone.
Now considering the miracle needed to save bottom placed Sheffield United, Brighton must now go head-to-head with the likes of Burnley, Newcastle, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham to decide who fills the remaining two spots in the Championship next season.
But based on previous results against their remaining opponents, will they survive?
Brighton- Current Points 26
Well, Brighton arguably the toughest run-in with Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester all to come.
There is also comfort in the fact that many bottom half teams also lay ahead with both relegation rivals Newcastle and Sheffield United also scheduled.
Repeating wins against The Toon and also Championship winners Leeds would add to create an underwhelming nine further points from twelve games spelling real trouble.
This leaves 35 points as the season total.
Burnley- Current Points 29
The Clarets currently sit in 15th place and stand the least risk of possible relegation.
Whilst they still face the prospect of tough games against top 4 opposition, previous season results against Sheffield and Wolves alongside strugglers like Southampton still to come mean that they shouldn’t be too concerned as they collect 14 more points.
Newcastle- Current Points 26
The Magpies match points and arguably face just as tough of a fight to maintain top-flight status.
However, a stronger playing squad and three matches against all the current relegation placed teams give them much more opportunity to escape.
They should comfortably gain 12 or more points and pull away up the table before too long.
West Brom- Current Points 17
It seems safe to say that even with Sam Allardyce leading the charge, there is not much hope for his team.
Despite resurgences in recent times there is not the quality to gain over 18 points which are needed to push Brighton into 18th position.
In fact, if results stand from the start of the season, they would only muster a mere 2 points before may.
Fulham- Current Points 23
Statistics suggest Fulham are the only threat standing between Brighton and another season in the Premier League.
Like West Brom, their early season form suggests they will only gain 5 points and easily fail to survive.
Only this time, there are real changes to the team with Scott Parker’s shrewd market moves for players such as striker Josh Maja making a real impact on his team.
In fact, their new revival leaves them looking at three or four lost games now being winnable, with 12 points taking them comfortably into 17th at Brighton’s expense.
The clear facts are that only two teams appear competitively poised to make a difference come the final day of the season, and with Brighton facing Arsenal it is a day fans will hope is not crucial in their season.
Results suggest survival, but this is very easily stolen by another team like Fulham so every match truly counts now as even a solitary point could be the difference next season between playing at Old Trafford or Wycombe Wanderers.
Photo Credit: Nathan Rogers